For those of us always looking for a good read, tell us about some of your favorite baseball books (fiction or non!)
Game of Shadows
Juiced and Vindicated
Three Nights in August. It is about Tony LaRussa and how he manages. The book takes place around a 3 game series in St Louis in 2003 against the Cubs. It was a great series and both teams were battling for first place. Later in the month the Cubs Cards had an epic 5 game series in Wrigley that was the pinnacle of the season, the Cubs took 4 of 5 in Wrigley, should of won all 5 but Moises Alou got robbed on a line drive down the left field line with the bases loaded. The ball clearly hit the chalk but was called foul. The book does not include the 5 game series in Wrigley, it is just the last fond memory I have of the Cubs so I reminisce.
Wrigleyworld-by Kevin Kaduk. Slouching Toward Fargo-Neal Karlen. The Baseball America Prospect Handbook. Every year I get it. It’s actually fun to go back to different years and see scouts opinions on players that made it. And ones that didn’t.
Ball Four by Jim Bouton was the first baseball book I read in my youth. I liked it for its honesty, humanizing our ‘heroes’ showing their flaws and the book was funny as all get out. What Joe Pepitone did with that popcorn is worth the price right there.
Men at Work: The Craft of Baseball by George Will is outstanding if you really like getting in the weeds of the details analyzing pure hitting and pitching.
Banks to Sandberg to Grace by Carrie Muskat has a special place in my heart as she graciously allowed me to post excerpts from her book here at VFTB in 2005 in a series I entitled Thru Cub Eyes. Pure, simple, it’s what being a Chicago Cub means in the words of those who actually wore the uniform.
Where’s Harry? by Steve Stone is very entertaining as you get an honest depiction of the incomparable Harry Caray. Neither a puff piece or a hatchet job with the exception of Milo Hamilton. Stones goes after him with spikes up.
Second to Home by Ryne Sandberg isn’t nearly as exciting as Stone’s book but if you’re a Sandberg fan you will like his story of coming up through the nminors and making it to the big leagues. I gave my copy away to a guy who idolized Ryno. For me, I’d suggest finding a transcript of his HOF speech, which ranks up there for me as good as any speech I have ever seen or read.
The annual John Sickels prospect book is a must-read.
The Big Show – it’s not a book about the wrestler, it’s the Olbermann/Patrick book about ESPN. Although I think the wrestler has written a harlequin novella that allegorizes his career with the same title.
i agree three nights in August and Ball Four two of the greatest!
Thanks for all the great ideas, please keep them coming! I’ve wanted to read Ball Four for awhile but that one isn’t available on Kindle (among others). I don’t think I remember how to actually hold a book!
“Bases Loaded” by Kirk Radomski (sp?) was also a good read.
I always like Scorecasting. Although that’s not purely baseball.
Does the book even mention baseball?
Moneyball, it is probably the most commonly misunderstood book that is tangentially about sports. If you think Moneyball is just about baseball, you really did not read the book.
Moneyball- I saw an interview with Brad Pitt regarding Moneyball. They were asking him about the irony of a high priced actor playing the roll of a decision maker who hires on value as Brad Pitt summarized, “I know, in hollywood there are tons of talented people that could of played this roll for a lot less money yet they hire me and pay me big.”
08 is a great book about one of the better seasons in baseball history, and was when the Cubs were one of the best teams in baseball. Ball Four was also the first baseball book that I read.