Barrel It Up With These 5 Seriously Best Books About Baseball

Do you consider yourself the biggest baseball advocate of all times? If so, these 5 best books about baseball should be perfect for you.

This collection of best books on baseball consists of not only technical - heavy reads, but also very interesting materials on the history of the game, as well as on many golden figures that have made their names throughout the glorious history of baseball. 

Quick Comparison On 5 Best Books About Baseball

My Rating

My Rating

My Rating

My Rating

My Rating

Author

Michael Lewis

Author

Roger Kahn

Author

Lawrence S Ritter

Author

Jim Bouton

Author

Robert Peterson

One of the best books for baseball coaches

Best for the Dodgers’ fans

Best for learning about the history of baseball

Best for Jim Bouton’s fans

Best for education youngsters about the evils of racism

Deeper Considerations on best books on baseball


This book focuses on one of the most surprising cases in modern baseball: The Oakland Athletics’ amazing win streaks of 20 games. What’s so amazing about their triumph is the absolute adaptation of “Moneyball” (also the name of our book).

As described very clearly by the author - Michael Lewis, Moneyball, also known as sabermetrics, takes into consideration the stupendously large amount of data and metrics, such as Runs batted in (RBI); batting average (BA) or on-base percentage (OBP) to name a few.

From these seemingly theoretical number, Oakland General Manager - Billy Beane, and his right-hand-man - Harvard graduate Paul DePodesta, has managed to create a winning machine without the need to do what other big teams have been doing for a long time: splash the cash for the most renown superstars on the market.

What you will like about this book:

  • The raw emotions conveyed through every page of this book is timeless
  • This book is written in the exact time when coaches realize how vital analysis of past performances can be to building a winning group. Hence, reading this book means that you are indirectly witnessing a turning point in baseball history.

​What you might not enjoy about this book:

  • This book shies away from the instinctual of baseball, but rather focusing on the more logical and strategic aspect of the sport.


Our next entry is another classic best book about baseball. The author - Roger Kahn, after having decided to step away from the world of daily newspaper and turn to freelance writing, determined to revisit his father’s and his heroes: The Brooklyn Dodgers.

In his book, Roger mainly covers the Dodgers during their most turbulent period: the 1950s. It is during this period that the Dodgers and their fan base received the worst heartbreaks. The team came close to greatness on several occasions, only to fall short in the end, losing to the Yankees in both the 1952 and 1953 World Series.

Being a beat reporter for the team as well as a fervent supporter, Roger shows no efforts to hide his emotional appeal as he writes about the ups and downs of the teams, as well as the lives of many legends after their retirement. This combines with his gruesomely descriptive writing style amplifies the emotion that is already very abundant in this book.

What you will like about this book:

  • Roger Kahn goes deep into the lives of many Dodger’s legends, which is a very welcomed feature for baseball enthusiasts.
  • Rather than a report, this book oozes personal affections from the author to his childhood team.
  • The undeniable historical contribution of this book.

​What you might not enjoy about this book:

  • The structure on which he bases his writing of the after-retiring lives of Dodgers’ legends is repetitive.


Many baseball advocates favor the earlier days of baseball, when the sport was more instinctual, rawer and downright more emotional.

Being in the same opinion pool as many others, Lawrence S Ritter, in 1966, has published this enormous collection of pieces and bits of baseball life in the early 20th century, as told by some of the biggest legends that have walked the field.

The most engaging thing about this read is the abundance of pictures that come with the captivating stories of Rube Marquard, Joe Wood, Babe Ruth, Goose Goslin,Hank Greenberg and the like.

What you will like about this book:

  • The historical insights that this book provides cannot be more accurate

​What you might not enjoy about this book:

  • Some might argue that the author should include more stories from more legendary players of the past.


The next book in our list of best books about baseball is created from the personal experience of Jim Bouton - a former professional player for the Yankees.

One of the most prominent features of this read is that it is composed in the form of a diary. Hence, readers will feel like they are actually conversing with Jim, rather than reading a book published in 1970.

In his memoir, Jim recalls not only the glorious side of his career, but also the hidden and darker edges of the game. He mentions a wide mix of game-winning occasions, frequent drug usage, internal jealousy between team players as well as salary conflicts. All of these stories blend together to create a brutally honest perspective of baseball.

What you will like about this book:

  • The all-rounded perspectives of the professional baseball career as described in this book.

​What you might not enjoy about this book:

  • As the view in this book is personal, it does not reflect entirely the massive scope of baseball as a professional career and a pastime favorite during the 20th century.


This is probably the most tear-jerking, disturbing even, entry of our list of best books on baseball.

In “Only The Ball Was White”, author Robert Peterson sheds light on the forgotten players of the period when the color line - an off-the-table boundary that discourages many worthy players of an adequate opportunity, was still a thing.

Through various means of collecting information such as going through the accounts of games in old black press, interviewing past players as well as depicting the Negro League Robert Peterson manages to unveil the previously unknown colored baseball legends and gives them their rightful spotlight.

Through his honest words and stories, readers get to witness a different side of the golden age of baseball, and at the same time be reminded that the above mentioned period also sees the uncontrollable rise of the horrendous Jim Crow law.

What you will like about this book:

  • The emotion, the heartbreaking reality of racism and more
  • How Robert Peterson unhesitatingly describes the hardship of the forgotten players.

​What you might not enjoy about this book:

  • None

Best Baseball Books - Detail Comparison table

Name

Image

My Rating

Author

Michael Lewis

Roger Kahn

Lawrence S Ritter

Jim Bouton

Robert Peterson

My first thought of these books

One of the best books for baseball coaches

Best for the Dodgers’ fans

Best for learning about the history of baseball

Best for Jim Bouton’s fans

Best for education youngsters about the evils of racism

Historic values

A-

A-

A+

A

A+

Technical aspect

4.9

4.5

4.3

4.6

4.3

Reader-friendliness

Suitable as reference for coaches

Suitable for general (especially Dodgers’) fans

Suitable for all ages

Suitable for  adults

Suitable for all ages

Available

Read On For Some More Baseball Knowledge

Ever wondering what your favorite position on the baseball field says about your personality? Let’s find out.

best books about baseball

1. Pitcher

Being in the most demanding position on the field, you can turn into the most influential and serious player on the field, despite your normal goofiness. This rule also applies to any situation in your daily life when a leading figure is called for

2. Second Base

Being away from the spotlight at basically all levels of baseball, second basemen tend to be extremely persevering and optimistic.

3. Centre Field

Center field is seen by many as the most glamorous position on the field. Naturally, the centre field men tend to be the flashiest, in terms of playing style, fashion and even personality
Those are the 3 examples of how your favorite position on the baseball field can tell others a little bit about you. To read more, check out this article.

best books on baseball

Here are 5 extra fun-ish facts about some favorite MLB (Major League Baseball) legends that die-hard fan should (or already) know

1. Legend Babe Ruth is terrible in a pinch

Despite being an extremely good hitter (career batting average of .344), his performance when pinch-hitting is not exactly up to expectation, with a career average of .167 (13 hits in 67 at-bats)

2. Gaylord Perry and his moon homerum

In 1963, San Francisco Giants pitcher Gaylord Perry made this famous declaration: “They’ll put a man on the moon before I hit a homerun”.

Coincidently, on July 20th, 1969, he hit his first, and only home run of his entire career just 20 minutes after Neil Armstrong set foot on the moon.

3. Mark McGwire’s home runs travel the Everest twice

In 1998, St. Louis Cardinals first base man, Mark McGwire made a name for himself as the highest home runs hitter in a single season with 70 home runs.

All of his home runs travel a total distance of 29, 958 feet, which is more than the distance you need to make a roundabout journey to the top of Mt. Everest.

4. Red Murray and his “thunderous” game-ending catch

On July 17, 1914, The NY Giants vs Pittsburgh Pirates game had been back and forth for several hours until Giants outfielder Red Murray camped under the potentially game-winning ball.

Upon catching the ball, he was struck by a bolt of lightning, which consequently left him unconscious while still holding on to the ball.

5. Stan Musial loves to keep things balanced

Hall of Fame Stan Musial had 3,630 hits in his career, second only to Ty Cobb.

Of these more than 3,000 hits, half of them were hit at home and the other half on opponents' ground.

Try this article for even more astonishing facts!

best books on baseball

What Is My Final Say About The Best Books On Baseball?

Being a strong supporter of many anti-racism movements around the world, my choice for the best baseball book must be “Only The Ball Was White”.

Despite not being the most well-written read on our list, this edition wins me over by smashing the attractive curtain of professional baseball in the 20th century, to unveil the ugly reality of racism and unfair treatment towards not only black players, but also Latino born talents.

Other than being an eye-opening read, “Only The Ball Was White” serves as a relevant educational material even to this day, showing the younger generations of the devastating effects of racism.

  • So, have you chosen the best books about baseball for you yet? Do you suggest any others? Share with us!
Click to rate this post!
[Total: 0 Average: 0]

0 0 vote
Article Rating
Subscribe
Notify of
guest
0 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Copyright © 2020 TheMidnightGarden – All right reserved

0
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x
()
x
TheMidnightGarden.Net