Jack Pfeiffer is one of those true characters who have given much to the sport. When I first met Jack, he scared me. Jack is eccentric, wears his emotions on his sleeve and lives for indoor high school track. He was there with the good Dr. Norb during the challenging years. I am happy to see him get the Stan Saplin award.
NEW YORK, February 14, 2019 – During Tuesday’s 85th Annual Eastern States Indoor Championships, The Armory Foundation will recognize Jack Pfeifer, who worked at The Armory for nearly 20 years, as the 2019 winner of the Stan Saplin Media Award.
The Stan Saplin Media Award is named after the late sports journalist, track and field historian, and statistician Stan Saplin, who died in 2002.
The Eastern States Indoor Championships will take place at The Armory New Balance Track & Field Center in Washington Heights. Premier high school track & field student-athletes along the East Coast will be competing in one of The Armory’s signature meets of the indoor season.
“The Armory is delighted to honor Jack Pfeifer with this award,” said Rita Finkel, Armory Foundation Co-President. “His love and dedication to the sport of track and field showed in everything he wrote.”
The Stan Saplin Award ceremony is scheduled to begin at 6:50 p.m. on Tuesday (Feb. 19). The meet starts at 4:30 p.m. and is scheduled through 10 p.m.
Pfeifer played a key role in bringing the history of the facility to life for fans and spectators, amplifying The Armory’s legacy and the foundation’s message. He developed a personal attachment to the building from his first visit in 1999, at the invitation of the late Dr. Norb Sander Jr., the founder of The Armory Foundation and last year’s award winner.
Starting in 2001, Pfeifer produced an annual yearbook, filled with stories about New York City’s rich track and field history and information about events taking place at The Armory. Using the expertise he developed as a former editor at the New York Times and as President of the Track and Field Writers of America, an organization he helped found in 1973, Pfeifer made the yearbook into a must-have collector’s item for any aficionado of the sport.
“Given Jack’s vast contributions to The Armory and track and field, it is fitting that he be suitably recognized,” Armory Foundation Co-President Jonathan Schindel said.
Pfeifer spent countless hours researching track meets from more than a century ago in order to produce an exhaustive list of every record set at The Armory. Plaques signifying these records adorn the building’s stairwells, greeting today’s competitors who hope to be similarly immortalized. He also assembled current records, and when one was broken Pfeifer was always sure to send the old plaque to the former record-holder.
Pfeifer also devoted a significant amount of time to maintaining the Andrew & Jessica Hogue Archive Room at The Armory, collecting various books, meet programs and other artifacts to create a space celebrating the history of the sport with a focus on New York City. The archive room attracts numerous visits each season from sports historians hoping to enrich their understanding of the sport’s past.
Additionally, Pfeifer played a major role in bringing collegiate track and field back to The Armory. He worked tirelessly to persuade college coaches that a track meet in New York City was a viable idea, and helped revitalize the Armory Collegiate Invitational, now known as the Dr. Sander Invitational Columbia Challenge. Pfeifer went on to expand the collegiate presence by bringing in numerous conference championship meets, including the Big East and the Ivy League.
Past Stan Saplin Media Award winners from 2007- 2017 include Frank Litsky (The New York Times), William J. Miller (The New York Times), Bill Moore (Amsterdam News), Ed Grant (New Jersey Track), Walt Murphy (Eastern Track), Elliott Denman (Asbury Park Press), Marc Bloom (The Runner Magazine and The New York Times), Peter Gambaccini (Runner’s World), Derek Alvez (Staten Island Advance) and George Kochman (Staten Island Advance), Nancy Haggerty (The Journal News), Paul Schwartz (The Record) and Dr. Norbert Sander Jr. (Armory Foundation).
About The Armory Foundation
The Armory is a New York City non-profit institution, with the mission of “Keeping Kids on Track.” Each season The Armory– the proud home of the NYRR Millrose Games — hosts more than 100 track & field meets and welcomes more than 220,000 athlete visits. Among its many youth sports and educational programs, including the acclaimed Armory College Prep program, The Armory runs the leading collegiate indoor track meet with the Dr. Sander Invitational, and hosts the largest high school indoor track meets with this year’s 25th Hispanic Games, The New Balance Games, and the New Balance Nationals Indoors. The Armory also oversees the Columbia & NewYork-Presbyterian Indoor Marathon presented by New York Road Runners, which is the world’s largest indoor marathon relay. The Armory is also the home to the National Track & Field Hall of Fame and dozens of very large education-focused events. For more: Please visit Armory.NYC and ArmoryTra