Baseball Books I’ve Read

“God, I love baseball” –Roy Hobbs

It is spring, and spring means baseball! I watched the first Yankees/Red Sox matchup of the season, and it was wonderful to watch. It helped that the Yankees won the game. While in Florida a few weeks back, I read Tom Verducci’s new book, The Cubs Way: The Zen of Building the Best Baseball Team and Breaking the Curse and it has to rank among the best baseball books I’ve ever read. It got me started on a baseball reading frenzy. It also got me thinking about the baseball books I’ve already read.

I went back through my reading list. Here are all the baseball books I’ve read since January 1, 1996:

  • Triumph and Tragedy in Mudville: A Lifelong Passion for Baseball by Stephen Jay Gould
  • Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game by Michael Lewis
  • 3 Nights in August by Bud Bissnger
  • Baseball: A History of America’s Game by Benjamin G. Radar
  • Great Baseball Writing: Sports Illustrated 1954-2004 edited by Rob Felder
  • Ball Four by Jim Bouton
  • Where Nobody Knows Your Name: Life in the Minor Leagues of Baseball by John Feinstein
  • The Joy of Keeping Score by Paul Dickson
  • A Nice Little Place on the North Side by George F. Will
  • The Cubs Way: The Zen of Building the Best Baseball Team and Breaking the Curse by Tom Verducci
  • Watching Baseball Smarter by Zack Hample
  • The Game: Inside the Secret World of Major League Baseball’s Power Brokers by Jon Pessah

Actually, those are all of the nonfiction baseball books I’ve read. If I include the works of fiction, then I have to add these:

  • Shoeless Joe by W.P. Kinsella
  • The Iowa Baseball Confederacy by W.P. Kinsella
  • The Thrill of the Grass by W.P. Kinsella
  • Magic Time by W.P. Kinsella
  • The Natural Bernard Malamud
  • Blockade Billy by Stephen King
  • The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon by Stephen King

Most of the stories that I have written and sold make some mention of baseball. Two of them are all about baseball:

I’ve tried thinking back to where my love of baseball began, but there isn’t a time I can recall when I didn’t love it. I have vague memories of watching the 1977 World Series, and slightly less vague memories of watching the 1978 World Series. I’m sure it was my Dad who first got me interested in baseball, but I don’t know how he did it. All I know is that I will always be grateful for that.

My recent dive back into baseball book is by no means over. On the day I write this, I’ve started The Baseball Codes: Beanballs, Sign Stealing & Bench-Clearing Brawls: The Unwritten Rules of America’s Pastime by Jason Turbow. And following that up, I’ve got the following books that I am looking forward to reading:

  • Pinstripe Empire: The New York Yankees From Before the Babe to After the Boss by Marty Appel
  • So You Think You Know Baseball: A Fan’s Guide to the Official Rules by Peter E. Meltzer
  • Our Game: An American Baseball History by Charles C. Alexander
  • The Yankee Years by Joe Torre & Tom Verducci
  • Casey Stengel by Marty Appel

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