CHIPPEWA FALLS -- The Society for American Baseball Research has announced that Joe Niese’s "Zack Wheat: The Life of the Brooklyn Dodgers Hall of Famer," published by McFarland & Co., has been selected as the winner of the Ron Gabriel Award in 2021.

The Ron Gabriel Award annually honors the author(s) of the best research, published or unpublished, on the subject of the Brooklyn Dodgers completed during the preceding calendar year.

Niese is director of the Chippewa Falls Public Library and author of books and articles about sports.

A lifelong sports fan and longtime resident of the Chippewa Valley, Niese is a member of the Society for American Baseball Research and the Professional Football Researchers Association.

Niese has written three sports biographies: "Burleigh Grimes: Baseball's Last Legal Spitballer"; "Handy Andy: The Andy Pafko Story"; and "Gus Dorais: Gridiron Innovator, All-American and Hall of Fame Coach."

In 2015, "Handy Andy" won a bronze prize in Foreword Review's Book of the Year Award (Sports). That same year, Niese received the Wisconsin Baseball Coaches Association State Media Award.

Niese lives in Chippewa Falls with his wife and three children.