Share this page: 1997 BBWAA Career Excellence Award Winner Sam Lacy Contents More BBWAA Career Excellence Award Winners Hall of Fame Awards Sam Lacy was recognized as a pioneer in baseball journalism in becoming one of the first African-American members of the Baseball Writers' Association of America. Lacy's career in print journalism began in the 1920s, working as a sports writer at the Washington Tribune under the tutelage of editor Lewis Lautier. He was both managing editor and sports editor of the paper from 1934-39, before moving to Chicago to become assistant national editor for the Chicago Defender from 1940-1943. He then returned to his roots in Baltimore to become a columnist and sports editor for the weekly Baltimore Afro-American, where he remained for well over half a century. He authored the widely popular column "A to Z" for many years. Wendell Smith (right) with (left) Sam Lacy and Dan Bankhead (center) boarding a flight to Santo Domingo for Dodgers training camp - BL-487-98 (National Baseball Hall of Fame Library) Share this image: His illustrious career as a sports journalist spanned 17 presidential elections. But it was as a crusader in the 1930s and 1940s, when Lacy's columns were devoted to desegregating baseball in the major leagues, that he made his greatest impact as a journalist. Lacy passed away on May 8, 2003. More BBWAA Career Excellence Award Winners To the top 1996 BBWAA Career Excellence Award Winner Charley Feeney BBWAA Career Excellence Award For meritorious contributions to baseball writing. 1998 BBWAA Career Excellence Award Winner Bob Stevens Hall of Fame Awards To the top Hall of Fame Awards Frick (broadcasters), BBWAA Career Excellence (writers) and O'Neil (lifetime achievement) Ford C. Frick Award For broadcasters' contributions to baseball. Buck O'Neil Award For lifetime achievement.