Edwin (Eddie) Kantar has been named the 2017 recipient of the Sidney H. Lazard Jr. Sportsmanship Award. The award is typically given to a current high-level player who has demonstrated outstanding sportsmanship while achieving exceptional results during the previous year, but 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 is best known to modern audiences for his writing. For over 50 years, 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. He is a long-time contributor to The Bridge World and the ACBL’s Bridge Bulletin, and has written dozens of books, many of them classics, including Roman Keycard Blackwood, Kantar on Kontract, and the Kantar for the Defense series. Though Eddie retired from competitive play years ago, his resume is impressive. An ACBL Grand Life Master and a World Bridge Federation World Grand Master, he won 2 World Championships and 17 North American Championships, including 3 Vanderbilts, 4 Spingolds, and 4 Reisingers. He was elected into the ACBL Hall of Fame in 1996.
When informed of the committee’s decision, Kantar was genuinely shocked, and characteristically humble.
This is an honor I will always treasure 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. I have always admired strong opponents who were a pleasure to play against even though being very competitive. I've strived to be like that as well. However, I think I may have passed the ultimate sportsmanship test; playing and actually looking forward to playing with my wife, Yvonne.
The Sportsman Award was established by Sidney Lazard in honor of his son, Sidney, Jr., who died in 1999 at the age of 41 after a year-long battle with cancer. The object of the award is to enhance sportsmanship among top players and to salute those who try to win with class and dignity. The award will be presented at the American Contract Bridge League Hall of Fame banquet during the Summer North American Bridge Championship in Toronto on July 20th.
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