Eddie Kantar is the recipient of the 2017 Sidney H. Lazard Jr. Sportsmanship Award.
The selection committee explains that while the award is customarily given to an active player, they made an exception in Kantar’s case.
“This year the selection committee chose to honor an icon of the game who has been a beacon of sportsmanship and integrity for decades. It is an honor for the committee to add Eddie Kantar’s name to the distinguished list of recipients of the Lazard Sportsmanship Award, an honor he
certainly would have received long ago had the award existed during his playing heyday.”
Kantar, well-known in retirement for his writing and humor, is an ACBL Grand Life Master and a World Bridge Federation Grand Master with two World Championship gold medals and 17 North American Bridge Championship titles. He was inducted into the ACBL Hall of Fame in 1996, and named ACBL’s Honorary Player of the Year in 2015.
“For over 50 years,” the selection committee says, “Eddie has entertained the lovers of our
game with both humor and grace; the respect and acclaim of his peers is matched only by that of his readers.”
When informed of the honor, Kantar’s reaction was “genuinely shocked and characteristically humble,” reports a committee spokesperson.
“This is an honor I will always treasure,” Kantar says, “because it means that my peers have thought enough of me to present me with this award. I have tried to live up to being a
sportsman when I played the game as well as when I was away from the game.”
Established by Sidney Lazard Sr. in memory of his son, the sportsmanship award recognizes high-level players who strive to win with class and dignity.
Formal presentation of the trophy will take place during the Hall of Fame ceremony at the Summer NABC in Toronto.
The selection committee members are Steve Beatty, Zia Mahmood and Steve Weinstein.