The Balrog Award, often referred to as the coveted Balrog Award*, was created by Jonathan Bacon and first conceived in issue 10/11 of his Fantasy Crossroads fanzine in 1977 and actually announced in the final issue, where he also proposed the Smitty Awards for fantasy poetry. The awards were presented for the first time at Fool-Con II at the Johnson County Community College in Overland Park, Kansas on April 1, 1979. The awards were never taken particularly seriously, even by those who won the award. The final awards were presented in 1985. The first Balrog Special Awards were presented in 1980 to Ian and Betty Ballantine. Special Awards were also presented in 1981, 1983, and 1985.
I wrote the following about Betty Ballantine in 2005 in my fanzine, Argentus, with the aim of having a Worldcon present a Special Committee Award to Ballantine. In 2006, L.A.con IV presented her with such an award.