JG Taylor Spink

Spink was honored by the Hall of Fame in 1962 with an award subsequently named for him. The J.G. Taylor Spink Award recognizes journalists who have made outstanding contributions to baseball. Taylor Spink was born two years after The Sporting News was founded by his uncle, whom he succeeded as editor in 1914. Under his direction, the paper grew from one undergoing financial difficulties to become “the Bible of Baseball,” with a small core of permanent staff and 250 correspondents.

Spink worked at it seven days a week. He would call anybody at any time of the day or night to get a story. He took the paper’s guardianship of the game seriously, furnishing officials with leads to players involved in gambling and helping to uncover the 1919 Black Sox Scandal. He was on a permanent campaign to improve baseball and keep it honest. He supported expansion, started annual awards for rookies, pitchers, and relievers, and carried on the MVP awards when the major leagues dropped them, until the BBWAA picked it up.

Spink was known for his ambiguities, outbursts of temper, profanity, and changeability. He was dynamic, argumentative, gruff, sentimental, sensitive, and generous. His signature was an illegible flourish of ink. Dan Daniel, a longtime correspondent, and columnist for TSN, once said Spink had fired him 16 times. He supported Ban Johnson and disliked Judge Landis, who looked with disfavor on the paper’s policy of charging minor leagues to carry their box scores. His son, C.C. Johnson Spink, succeeded him as publisher until the paper was sold in 1977.