An award has been established in memory of Greg Spira, a baseball researcher who was ahead of his time and passed away in December at age 44.
The Greg Spira Baseball Research Award will be given annually in recognition of the best published original research by a person age 30 or younger.
"The winning entry must display innovative analysis or reasoning," according to the statement announcing the award Friday, which would have been Spira's 45th birthday.
Raised in New York City and a Harvard graduate, Spira founded the Internet Baseball Awards in 1991 and announced the 2011 winners a month before his death, caused by complications from polycystic kidney disease and a subsequent kidney transplant.
The IBAs today are maintained by Baseball Prospectus.
The creators of the Spira award include Sean Forman of Baseball-Reference.com, Joe Hamrahi and Dave Pease of Baseball Prospectus, Sean Lahman of Baseball1.com, and Gary Gillette of 24-7 Baseball, L.L.C.
The award's winner, to be announced annually on April 27, will receive a $1,000 cash prize. Second- and third-place pieces receive $200 and $100 respectively.
Articles or papers eligible for consideration include those published online, in e-books and in print, as well as academic papers and conference presentations. Deadlines and procedures for submissions, which will be judged by a seven-person panel, will be announced on June 1.
Information is available at SpiraAward.org and GregSpira.com.
Evan Drellich is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @EvanDrellich. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.