Philadelphia writer Hagen honored with Spink Award

Philadelphia writer Paul Hagen was selected as the winner of the 2013 J.G. Taylor Spink Award on Tuesday and will be honored at the Baseball Hall of Fame next summer.

The award is presented yearly by the Baseball Writers' Association of America "for meritorious contributions to baseball writing." Spink, the first recipient of the award in 1962, was a driving force of The Sporting News, known during his lifetime as the "Baseball Bible."

Hagen received 269 votes from the 421 ballots cast by BBWAA members with 10 or more consecutive years' service. Detroit writer Jim Hawkins received 87 votes, while Cleveland baseball fixture Russell Schneider got 60.

A graduate of Ohio University, Hagen began his baseball writing career with the San Bernardino Sun covering the Los Angeles Dodgers in 1974. Three years later, he started a decade's worth of coverage of the Texas Rangers for the Dallas Times Herald and the Fort Worth Star Telegram.

In 1987, Hagen moved on to the Philadelphia Daily News where he covered the Philadelphia Phillies for 15 seasons before becoming the paper's national baseball columnist in 2002. In addition to his regular workload of features and columns, Hagen specialized in in-depth takeouts such as a three-part series in 2007 examining why the Phillies had been so unsuccessful for so long, a Q&A with Supreme Court Justice - and Phillies fan - Samuel Alito, and a 2011 assessment of the fall of former Phillies center fielder Lenny Dykstra.

An enthusiastic member of the BBWAA, Hagen served as national president in 2003 and on various other committees, including the Hall of Fame Veterans Committee on Executives in 2007.

Awarded annually since 1962, the Spink Award boasts a famous roster of writers, notably Ring Lardner, Grantland Rice, Damon Runyon, Leonard Koppett, Peter Gammons, Bill Madden and last year's recipient, Bob Elliot.