Remembering a Friend
by Tom Goldstein
If you don't live in Minnesota, or have only recently become a subscriber to this journal, you've probably never heard of the name Dave Moore, let alone why we've created an award in his memory. But if you knew Dave, knew what he stood for and what he cared about, well, the reasons would be obvious.
For the uninitiated, Dave Moore was a legend in these parts for most of the past forty some years, both as a familiar face on television and mellifluous voice over the air waves. But mainly he was a regular guy, passionate about baseball, comfortable at a game, interested in other fans that he met at the ballpark. Dave was one of those rare guys who brushed aside fame and adoration in favor of connecting with all people, not just the rich and famous. Thus, it was possible for him to embrace a small, grass roots movement to save Metropolitan Stadium in the late 1970s even though most other well-known individuals remained indifferent or aligned themselves with the corporate elite that led the push for the godforsaken Metrodome. Hell, if Dave hadn't been a high- profile television anchor, he probably would have led the opposition, and maybe today we'd still have a ballpark in Minnesota rather than an indoor football arena. That's just the kind of guy Dave was; he believed in supporting the right causes, even if they were unwinnable battles. And that's probably why he gave a damn' about a little upstart journal of writing about baseball and a banquet for baseball fans (the annual Hot Stove League affair in St. Paul) that became a lifesaving fundraiser for us during our early struggles fifteen years ago. (Dave even rearranged his very busy schedule to make sure he was available to MC the banquets each year.)
When Dave passed away in January, 1998, we wanted to do something for him that would serve as a lasting tribute. Right up there with Dave's great love for baseball was an appreciation of literature, so it just seemed natural to create an award in his memory that would recognize the most important work of baseball literature each year. There are other annual awards for the "best" baseball book, but we wanted ours to honor the many ways in which Dave encouraged people to believe in themselves, whether a struggling actor, a rookie journalist, an unpublished writer, a new theater company, or a naive group of activists who thought they could save a ballpark. That's why The Dave Moore Award will give particular consideration to the works of emerging authors, especially those published by the small press. And thanks to the generosity of Dave's long-time employer, WCCO-Television of Minneapolis, the award will also include a $250 honorarium.
Someday, when EFQ has become a household name in baseball, and The Dave Moore Award the most prestigious literary honor in the game, everybody will know about Dave Moore. But until that time, we'll just remember him the way editor Steve Lehman so warmly recalled him a year ago in EFQ: "He loved the game, and he loved people, and he was endlessly fascinated by both."
From EFQ issue 16:2 (Spring, 1999)
© 1999 Elysian Fields Quarterly
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