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            Established in 2002 by the Baseball Reliquary to recognize individuals for their commitment to the preservation of baseball history, the Tony Salin Memorial Award is named in honor of the baseball historian and researcher who passed away in 2001 at the all-too-young age of 49. From the time he was eight years old, Tony was referred to as "Mr. Baseball" by family and friends, whom he regularly astounded with his exhaustive knowledge of facts and trivia related to old-time ballplayers. Over the years, this preoccupation blossomed into a passion for the study and research of unsung players and forgotten aspects of baseball history, which he felt were important to document and keep alive for future generations. The Tony Salin Memorial Award is an antiquated baseball encased and mounted in a Plexiglas box bearing an engraved inscription, and it is presented annually at the Baseball Reliquary’s Shrine of the Eternals Induction Day. The recipients are as follows:

            A renowned baseball author and historian, Peter Golenbock (whose books include Dynasty: The New York Yankees 1949-1964, Bums: An Oral History of the Brooklyn Dodgers, and Wild, High and Tight: The Life and Death of Billy Martin), has mentored many young baseball authors, including Tony Salin, sharing information and offering advice.

            A resident of the San Francisco Bay Area, David Nemec is an award-winning novelist and baseball writer. He has authored nine novels and over twenty books on baseball history and memorabilia, including the definitive work on the early years of our national pastime, The Great Encyclopedia of 19th Century Major League Baseball.

            A statistician of legendary proportions, Bill Weiss of San Mateo, California produced sketchbooks for numerous Minor Leagues containing biographical information and career records for all players in the league. He produced some 200 of these sketchbooks over four decades, providing a wealth of biographical and statistical data which has been of inestimable value to researchers and historians. Weiss also served as the official historian of the Pacific Coast League, edited a weekly newsletter for the California League for over thirty years, and maintained a close affinity with baseball scouts, whom Weiss has called "the unsung heroes of the game."

            One of the foremost authorities on the Pacific Coast League, Dick Beverage is founder and president of the Pacific Coast League Historical Society, editor and publisher of its bimonthly newsletter, and the author of seminal books on two of the PCL’s great franchises, the Los Angeles Angels and Hollywood Stars.

            Kerry Yo Nakagawa is founder and director of the Nisei Baseball Research Project, a Fresno, California-based nonprofit organization dedicated to preserving the legacy of Japanese Americans in baseball. He also curated Diamonds in the Rough, an exhibition on the history of Japanese-American baseball which has traveled throughout the United States and Japan; served as a consultant to Baseball as America, the National Baseball Hall of Fame’s touring exhibition; authored the book Through a Diamond, which chronicles one hundred years of Japanese-American baseball history; and served as associate producer and baseball consultant for American Pastime, a movie about baseball in the Japanese-American internment camps during World War II.

            A prominent baseball photo archivist, Mark Rucker is founder and president of Transcendental Graphics, an historical photo agency that has provided baseball images of all kinds to countless books, films, and other assorted projects, including Ken Burns’ multi-part film series Baseball and ESPN documentaries.

            A Biology professor at the University of Delaware since 1975, David W. Smith has always been attracted to baseball history, both numerical and literary, and began keeping detailed records from his homemade scorecards at the age of eleven. In 1989 he founded Retrosheet, a nonprofit, all-volunteer historical organization dedicated to the collection, computerization, and free distribution of play-by-play accounts of Major League games. With well over 100,000 game accounts available free of charge at, this play-by-play information and its public accessibility have been of extraordinary value to both fans and researchers.

            Mike Shannon, Cincinnati, Ohio, is founder and editor of Spitball: The Literary Magazine since 1981. While Spitball originally debuted as a baseball poetry journal, it quickly evolved into a broader literary magazine that included baseball short fiction, prose, art, and book reviews. He has authored 15 baseball books, including Diamond Classics: Essays on 100 of the Best Baseball Books Ever Published; Everything Happens in Chillicothe: A Summer in the Frontier League with Max McLeary, the One-Eyed Umpire; and Tales from the Dugout: The Greatest True Baseball Stories Ever Told. Shannon has written a monthly column on baseball collectibles for Reds Report since 1993, and curated a traveling art show devoted to Willie Mays in celebration of his 75th birthday (“24 at 75”).

            A nearly lifelong resident of the Twin Cities, Stew Thornley is a freelance author who has written several highly-acclaimed books on baseball history, including On to Nicollet: The Glory and Fame of the Minneapolis Millers, about the minor-league baseball team that played in Minneapolis prior to the arrival of the Twins, and Holy Cow! The Life and Times of Halsey Hall, a biography of the Minnesota sportscasting legend and the first man to use the term “Holy Cow!” on a baseball broadcast.  An official scorer for Minnesota Twins games since 2007, he has, since the mid-1990s, visited and documented the known graves of over 200 luminaries enshrined in the National Baseball Hall of Fame, a fascinating hobby which has earned him the nickname the “Sultan of Cemeteries.”

            Paul Dickson has authored nearly 60 nonfiction books and hundreds of magazine articles, and his baseball titles include The Hidden Language of Baseball: How Signs and Sign Stealing Have Influenced the Course of Our National Pastime; The Joy of Keeping Score: How Scoring the Game Has Influenced and Enhanced the History of Baseball; The Unwritten Rules of Baseball: The Eitiquette, Conventional Wisdom, and Axiomatic Codes of Our National Pastime; and Bill Veeck: Baseball’s Greatest Maverick.  Originally published in 1989, The Dickson Baseball Dictionary, the most authoritative and comprehensive guide to baseball terminology ever compiled, ranks as the author’s most popular book.

            The “go-to” sports expert at the Library of Congress for thirty years, Dave Kelly began working there in 1971 as a book page, retrieving and re-shelving books for researchers. He was appointed to a reference librarian position at the Library of Congress in 1975, later becoming the reference specialist and recommending officer for sports and recreation between 1981 and 2011.  In the latter position, he assisted countless baseball authors in their research for books and articles, and his importance in preserving, protecting, and promoting the history of sports in America is unequaled.

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