The showing turned in by Rose was especially impressive given the outstanding field of finalists, which was extended by two books over the normal total of 10 Finalists.
“The judges had a difficult task,” said Spitball editor Mike Shannon, “but they did exactly what they were supposed to do: working independently of each other, they identified the best baseball book of the year.”
“You do not have to have a passionate stance one way or the other regarding Pete Rose in order to enjoy Kennedy’s book,” said Scott Ferkovich, who served as one of the judges. “You do not have to particularly like Pete Rose the person. You do not have to care whether or not he belongs in the Hall of Fame. I certainly didn’t. I’d already grown tired of the sordid story of Rose. But this book rekindles (indeed reinvents) the debate, the emotion, the shouting and the tumult, the champagne and the glory, the hustle and the hustler, and the seamy underside that was and is so much a part of the life of Peter Edward Rose. Kennedy instills it all with the stuff of Shakespearean tragedy, yet takes no sides. He is an immensely talented writer who knows what he is doing, and he does it better than just about anybody else.”
Kennedy becomes the second two-time winner of the CASEY Award, along with Howard Bryant. Kennedy previously won in 2011 for 56: Joe DiMaggio and the Last Magic Number in Sports.
Kennedy's bio on Pete Rose wins Spitball's Casey Award