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J. G. Taylor Spink

J. G. Taylor Spink
Born John George Taylor Spink
(1888-11-06)November 6, 1888
St. Louis, Missouri, USA
Died December 7, 1962(1962-12-07) (aged 74)
Nationality American
Occupation Publisher
Known for J. G. Taylor Spink Award

John George Taylor Spink (November 6, 1888 – December 7, 1962), or Taylor Spink, was the publisher of The Sporting News from 1914 until his death in 1962. He inherited the weekly American baseball newspaper from his father Charles Spink, younger brother of its founder Alfred H. Spink. Upon Taylor Spink's death in 1962, the Baseball Writers Association of America established the annual J. G. Taylor Spink Award, given to writers "for meritorious contributions to baseball writing", and made him its first recipient.

Life and career

"Taylor Spink is first-class. Everything he does is first-class. He travels first-class, he works first-class. He nightclubs first-class and he tips first-class. His paper is first-class. He demands the best and he gets it."

Spink on himself[1]

Spink was born on November 6, 1888 in St. Louis, Missouri, the son of Charles and Marie (née Taylor) Spink. In an interview with Sports Illustrated, Gerald Holland described Spink's mother as "a great character in her own right".[1] In 1913, Taylor was an official scorer for the World Series between the Philadelphia Athletics and the New York Giants.[2] Charles had acquired The Sporting News from its founder, his brother Alfred H. Spink, and Taylor Spink inherited the paper when Charles died in 1914. Taylor Spink ran TSN until his death. On the issue of racial integration in baseball, Spink wrote there "was no good" in raising the issue.[3] During his tenure, the company published its first Baseball Register in 1940.[4] Author Richard Peterson credits his leadership as a reason why the paper became "the Bible of baseball".[5] Spink died on December 7, 1962, and is buried in a mausoleum at Bellefontaine Cemetery; upon his death, The Sporting News passed to his son, C. C. Johnson Spink.[6]

Following his death, the Baseball Writers Association of America inaugurated the J. G. Taylor Spink Award in his honor, awarded annually at the induction ceremonies of the Baseball Hall of Fame; Spink was the first recipient. The annual award is given "for meritorious contributions to baseball writing".[7] Around the same time, Minor League Baseball instituted its J.G. Taylor Spink Award for the Topps/Minor League Player of the Year.[8] In 1969, Spink was inducted into the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association Hall of Fame.[9]


  1. 1.0 1.1 Holland, Gerald (February 27, 1991). "'Taylor Spink is First Class'". Sports Illustrated (Time Warner): 11–12. 
  2. Spalding's Official Base Ball Guide for ... {1913}. American Sports Publishing. 1913. pp. 77–79. 
  3. Lamb, Chris (August 18, 2006). "A reporter's role in breaking baseball's color barrier". The Christian Science Monitor (Christian Science Publishing Society). 
  4. Gietschier, Steve. "Henry Chadwick Award: J.G. Taylor Spink". Society for American Baseball Research. Retrieved December 1, 2013. 
  5. Richardson, Richard F. (2006). The St. Louis Baseball Reader. University of Missouri Press. p. 51. ISBN 978-0-8262-6558-6. 
  6. "Spink Family Mausoleum". Bellefontaine Cemetery. Retrieved December 1, 2013. 
  7. "J. G. Taylor Spink". National Baseball Hall of Fame. Retrieved December 1, 2013. 
  8. Wild, Danny (October 28, 2009). "Giants' Posey wins '09 Spink Award: Catcher skipped Double-A, dominated at San Jose, Fresno". Minor League Baseball. Retrieved June 9, 2010. 
  9. "J. G. Taylor Spink In Hall of Fame". The Boston Globe. April 2, 1969.  (subscription required)

External links

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