In Memoriam: Greg Spira
By Jacob Pomrenke
Greg Spira, 44, a member of the Connie Mack, Bob Davids and Casey Stengel Chapters, died December 28, 2011, after a long battle with kidney disease in New York City. A lifelong, diehard, passionate and knowledgeable New York Mets fan, Spira joined SABR in 1988 and was viewed by his colleagues as a peerless researcher. He graduated magna cum laude from Harvard University with a B.A. in American History in 1989. In 1991, before the World Wide Web was created, Spira founded the Internet Baseball Awards — now in their 20th year — which will live on in his name at BaseballProspectus.com. He was an important pioneer in online baseball discussion at Usenet’s rec.sport.baseball group, and an early contributor to Baseball Prospectus. He also created the BaseballBooks.net website with Sean Forman and annually updated Baseball-Reference.com’s travel guide. Spira’s publishing credits include the groundbreaking 2008 Slate.com article “The Boys of Late Summer”, on the differences between ballplayers born in July and August. He also contributed, as an editor, co-editor and researcher, to Maple Street Mets Annual (2009-11), Big League Ballparks (2009), Meet the Mets (2008), Ultimate Yankees Companion (2008), Ultimate Red Sox Companion (2007), ESPN Pro Football Encyclopedia (2006-07), USA Today Sports Weekly’s Best Baseball Writing 2005, ESPN Baseball Encyclopedia (2004-08), Total Basketball (2003), Total Baseball (2001), Sports Illustrated Sports Almanac (2000-01) and Baseball: The Biographical Encyclopedia (2000). Spira was survived by his brother, Jonathan, and his mother, Marilyn. He was interred in Mount Hebron Cemetery in Flushing, Queens.