PFRA Awards

In 1987 the PFRA established two awards to be given out annually. The following year the first two receipts were honored.

The Ralph Hay Award, named after the Canton Bulldogs owner whose showroom was the site of the NFL’s first organizational meeting is awarded for “lifetime achievement in pro football research and historiography.”

The Nelson Ross Award is presented annually by the PFRA for “outstanding recent achievement in pro football research and historiography.”

 In 2009 the PFRA established a third award to be given out annually starting in 2010.

The Bob Carroll Memorial Writing Award is named after Bob Carroll, one of the original founders of the PFRA and former editor of the organization’s publication The Coffin Corner for thirty years (1979-2009). This award honors the best Coffin Corner article of the year.

 

Ralph Hay Award

 The Ralph Hay Award, named after the Canton Bulldogs owner whose showroom in Canton, Ohio was the site of the NFL’s first organizational meeting, is awarded for “lifetime achievement in pro football research and historiography.” Past PFRA winners have been:

1988 - David Neft

1989 - Joe Plack

1990 - Bob Gill

1991 - Joe Horrigan

1992 - Richard Cohen

1993 - Robert Van Atta

1994 - Jim Campbell

1995 - John Hogrogian

1996 - Don Smith

1997 - Total Sports Publishing

1998 - Seymour Siwoff

1999 - Stan Grosshandler

2000 - Mel “Buck” Bashore

2001 - Tod Maher

2002 - Ken Pullis

2003 - John Hogrogian

2004 - Jeffrey Miller

2005 - John Gunn

2006 - Emil Klosinski

2007 - Vince Popo

2008 - Ralph Hickok

2009 - Bob Carroll

2010 - Pete Palmer

2011 - Ken Crippen

2012 - Chris Willis

2013 - Cliff Christl

2014 - Pete Fierle

2015 - Jack Clary

2016 - Mark L. Ford

2017 - John Maxymuk

 

Nelson Ross Award

The Nelson Ross Award is presented annually by the PFRA for “outstanding recent achievement in pro football research and historiography.” Past PFRA winners include:

1988- Bob Braunwart

1989- Bob Gill

1990- Pearce Johnson, for his book Professional Football in Rhode Island and Its National Connections

1991- Tod Maher, for his book Wiffle: The World Football League Chronicle

1992- John M. Carroll, for his biography Fritz Pollard: Pioneer in Racial Advancement

1993- Myron J. Smith, for his reference book Professional Football: The Official Pro Football Hall of Fame Bibliography

1994- Rick Korch, for his book The Truly Great Ones: The 200 Best Football Players of All-Time

1995- Phil Dietrich, for his PFRA Annual Down Payments: Professional Football in Akron, Ohio 1896-1930

1996- John Hogrogian, for his PFRA book All-Pros: The First 40 Years

1997- Tod Maher and Bob Gill, for their book The Pro Football Encyclopedia

1998- Keith McClellan, for his book The Sunday Game: At the Dawn of Professional Football

1999- Joe Ziemba, for his book When Football Was Football: The Chicago Cardinals and the Birth of the NFL

2000- Paul Reeths, for his book The USFL Chronicle

2001- William J. Ryczek, for his book Crash of the Titans: TheEarly Years of the New York Jets and the AFL

2002- Bob Gill, Steve Brainerd, and Tod Maher for their book Minor League Football, 1960-1985

2003- Mark L. Ford, for his book NFLX: NFL Exhibition Games 1950 to 2002

2004- Michael MacCambridge, for his book America’s Game: The Epic Story of How Pro Football Captured A Nation

2005- Chris Willis, for his book Old Leather: An Oral History of Early Pro Football in Oho, 1920-1935

2006- Matthew Algeo, for his book Last Team Standing: How the Steelers and Eagles—The Steagles- Saved Pro Football During World War II

2007- Andy Piascik, for his book The Best Show in Football: The 1946-1955 Cleveland Browns

2008- Sean Lahman, for his book The Pro Football Historical Abstract

2009- Robert Lyons, for his biography Any Given Sunday: A Life of Bert Bell

2010- Kate Buford, for her biography Native American Son: The Life and Sporting Legend of Jim Thorpe

2011- Mark Speck, for his book …and a Dollar Short: The Empty Promises, Broken Dreams and Somewhat-Less-Than-Comic Misadventures of the 1974 Florida Blazers

2012- Dan Daly, for his book The National Forgotten League

2013- Ivan Urena, for his book Pro Football Schedules: A Complete Historical Guide from 1933 to the Present

2014- William J. Ryczek, for his book Connecticut: Football Minor Leaguers of the 1960's and 1970's

2015- Ted Kluck, for his book Three-Week Professionals: Inside the 1987 NFL Players' Strike

2016- James Sulecki, for his book The Cleveland Rams: The NFL Champs Who Left Too Soon, 1936-1945

2017- Ralph Hickok, for his book The Vagabond Halfback: The Saga of Johnny Blood McNally

 

 

Bob Carroll Memorial Writing Award

Established in 2009 The Bob Carroll Memorial Writing Award is named after Bob Carroll one of the original founders of the PFRA and for thirty years (1979-2009) the former editor of the organization’s publication The Coffin Corner. This award, first given out in 2010, honors the best Coffin Corner article for the year. The previous winners have been:

2010: Jeff Eby, “The Big Mo: Does It Really Exist?” (CC, vol. 32, no. 5)

2011: George Bozeka, “The Kardiac Kids” (CC, vol. 33, no. 2); “Broadway Joe’s 1967 Season (CC, vo. 33, no. 3); “It’s Good to Be King” (CC, vol. 33, no.4)

2012: William J. Ryczek, “You Ready Honey? Breaking Pro Football’s Gender Barrier” (CC, vol. 34, no. 5)

2013: Brain Marshall, “Rushing to Judgment: Recovering Jim Brown’s Lost Yardage in 1962” (CC, vol. 35, no. 3)

2014: John Turney, “Roman Gabriel: A Career in Three Acts” (CC, vol. 36, no. 4)

2015: Doug Bigelow, “The Oswego Shakespeares and the Disputed 1915 Title” (CC, vol. 37, no. 2)

2016: Kenn Tomasch, “Then and Now: The Demographics of the NFL in 1941 and Today” (CC, vol. 38, no. 1)

2017: John Wilke, “Who was Really the NFL's First 1,000-Yard Rusher? The Case for Tex Hamer” (CC, vol. 39, no. 2)

 
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