Noted baseball writer Joe Posnanski has been named the winner of the 2021 CASEY Award for his new book "The Baseball 100" by Avid Reader Press.
The award is presented annually by "Spitball: The Literary Baseball Magazine" for the best baseball book of the year.
"The Baseball 100" ranks the best players in baseball history with essays devoted to each player. It was selected among nine finalists for the award. The runner-up was "Forty Years a Giant: The Life of Horace Stoneham by Steven Treder and published by the University of Nebraska Press.
Judge Rob Langenderfer called "The Baseball 100" "a thoughtful book which tells more unknown stories about the backgrounds of the players than any other book of this type. It provides much interesting analysis and showcases each figure as a baseball player and a human being."
Spitball Editor Mike Shannon said, "We are grateful for the job that our three Judges (Langenderfer, Kostya Kennedy, and Larry Phillips) did in fulfilling their important task. In coming to a clear consensus, they did exactly what they were called upon to do: select the one book out of a very strong field that deserves to be recognized more than any other as the Best Baseball Book of the Year. We sincerely congratulate them and thank them for a job well done."
The 39th annual CASEY Awards ceremony will take place in early March at Poor Michaels' Karaoke Bar & Restaurant in Cincinnati. The date of the event will be announced later at spitballmag.com.
The other finalists for the award were:
• “The Bona Fide Legend of Cool Papa Bell: Speed, Grace, and the Negro Leagues,” by Lonnie Wheeler (Abrams Press).
• “The Bronx Zoom: Inside the New York Yankees’ Most Bizarre Season,” by Bryan Hoch (Triumph Books).
• “Cheated: The Inside Story of the Astros Scandal and a Colorful History of Sign Stealing,” by Andy Martino (Doubleday).
• “Cobra: A Life of Baseball and Brotherhood,” by Dave Parker and Dave Jordan (University of Nebraska Press).
• “Escape from Castro’s Cuba,” by Tim Wendell (University of Nebraska Press);
• “Forty Years a Giant: The Life of Horace Stoneham,” by Steven Treder (University of Nebraska Press);
• “Lights, Camera, Fastball: How the Hollywood Stars Changed Baseball,” by Dan Taylor (Rowman & Littlefield); and
• “Our Team: The Epic Story of Four Men and the World Series that Changed Baseball,” by Luke Epplin (Flatiron Books).
Most of the finalists were also featured in Dan Schlossberg’s Best Baseball Books of 2021 in Sports Collectors Digest.
“As usual, this is an impressive list of titles which reflects the inexhaustibility of baseball as a subject that continues to engage the brightest minds and most talented writers,” Spitball Editor-in-Chief Mike Shannon said of the finalists. “No serious fan of the National Pastime would want to be without all of these books, each of which makes a notable contribution to the vast, rich field of baseball literature.”