Madden took 226 of the 452 votes from other members of the Baseball Writers Association of America in becoming the 61st winner of the award, the association announced Tuesday. He will formally receive the award July 25 at the Baseball Hall of Fame.
Madden joined the Daily News in 1978 after nine years with United Press International. He was a beat writer covering the New York Yankees before becoming the newspaper's national baseball columnist.
He has covered 35 World Series and has written four books on baseball. He is currently working on a biography of Yankees principal owner George Steinbrenner.
Previous winners of the Spink award, first given in 1962, include former UPI writers Milton Richman and Tracy Ringolsby along with such legendary newspapermen as Ring Lardner and Damon Runyan.