Home of the greatest baseball story ever told….

Innings Through Time

Here is a partial list of some of the worlds best baseball books including baseball novels, baseball bios, baseball fiction, baseball history and everything baseball.

The Glory of Their Times by Lawrence S. Ritter

Shortly after the death of legendary baseball player Ty Cobb in 1961, Ritter, armed with a portable tape recorder, attempted to obtain an oral history of early-20th-century baseball from Cobb's contemporaries. The edited transcription of the interviews he obtained became a best seller and went to several editions. This audio, accompanied by a 32-page booklet of photos, is a modern release (also available on CD) of Ritter's interviews with Fred Snodgrass, Sam Crawford, Hans Lobert, Rube Bressler, Chief Meyers, Davy Jones, Rube Marquard, Joe Wood, Lefty O'Doul, Jimmy Austin, Goose Goslin, and Bill Wambsganss, as selected by producers Henry W. Thomas and Neal McCabe. It is quirky, charming, witty, and fun. What a love for baseball they all had!

The Bill James Historical Abstract by Bill James

True to form, James's new Historical Baseball Abstract is filled with often fascinating and frequently quirky evaluations and insights regarding the history of baseball. Starting with the 1870s, James explores, decade by decade, how and where the game was played and who played it. He discusses nicknames, top minor-league teams, and the most admirable superstars, among other matters. At the close of the initial 13 chapters, the author highlights each ten-year period "in a box," with a player or two tagged as the best-looking, the ugliest, the fastest, the slowest, and so forth. The last half of the book presents James's evaluations of the top 100 or more players at each position. Some are expected, with Lou Gehrig and Jimmie Foxx, for example, deemed the top first basemen. But Hank Greenberg is slotted in only at eighth place, and then James spends most of his time ragging on the great slugger's performance as the Cleveland Indians' general manager from 1949 to 1957. In other instances, the description of a player's on-field antics is melded with curious social commentary. All of this makes for a sometimes illuminating, occasionally exasperating book certain to engender controversy among baseball aficionados.

The Boys of Summer by Roger Kahn

At a point in life when one is through with boyhood, but has not yet discovered how to be a man, it was my fortune to travel with the most marvelously appealing of teams." Sentimental because it holds such promise, and bittersweet because that promise is past, the first sentence of this masterpiece of sporting literature, first published in the early '70s, sets its tone. What follows only gets better, deeper, more sentimental, and more bittersweet. The team, of course, is the mid-20th-century Brooklyn Dodgers, the team of Robinson and Snyder and Hodges and Reese, a team of great triumph and historical import composed of men whose fragile lives were filled with dignity and pathos. Roger Kahn, who covered that team for the New York Herald Tribune, makes understandable humans of his heroes as he chronicles the dreams and exploits of their young lives, beautifully intertwining them with his own, then recounts how so many of those sweet dreams curdled as the body of these once shining stars grew rusty with age and battered by experience. It is the rare sports book that cannot be contained by the limitations of its genre; it is equal parts journalism, memoir, social history, and poetry.

Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game by Michael Lewis

Lewis (Liar's Poker; The New New Thing) examines how in 2002 the Oakland Athletics achieved a spectacular winning record while having the smallest player payroll of any major league baseball team. Given the heavily publicized salaries of players for teams like the Boston Red Sox or New York Yankees, baseball insiders and fans assume that the biggest talents deserve and get the biggest salaries. However, argues Lewis, little-known numbers and statistics matter more. Lewis discusses Bill James and his annual stats newsletter, Baseball Abstract, along with other mathematical analysis of the game. Surprisingly, though, most managers have not paid attention to this research, except for Billy Beane, general manager of the A's and a former player; according to Lewis, "[B]y the beginning of the 2002 season, the Oakland A's, by winning so much with so little, had become something of an embarrassment to Bud Selig and, by extension, Major League Baseball." The team's success is actually a shrewd combination of luck, careful player choices and Beane's first-rate negotiating skills. Beane knows which players are likely to be traded by other teams, and he manages to involve himself even when the trade is unconnected to the A's. " `Trawling' is what he called this activity," writes Lewis. "His constant chatter was a way of keeping tabs on the body of information critical to his trading success." Lewis chronicles Beane's life, focusing on his uncanny ability to find and sign the right players. His descriptive writing allows Beane and the others in the lively cast of baseball characters to come.

Veeck--As In Wreck: The Autobiography of Bill Veeck by Bill Veeck and Ed Linn

Bill Veeck was an inspired team builder, a consummate showman, and one of the greatest baseball men ever involved in the game. His classic autobiography, written with the talented sportswriter Ed Linn, is an uproarious book packed with information about the history of baseball and tales of players and owners, including some of the most entertaining stories in all of sports literature.

Babe: The Legend Comes to Life by Robert Creamer

Babe Ruth is without a doubt the most famous character ever produced by the sport of baseball. A legendary player, world-famous for his hitting prowess, he transcended the sport to enter the mainstream of American life as an authentic folk hero. In this extraordinary biography, noted sportswriter Robert W. Creamer reveals the complex man behind the sports legend. From Ruth's early days in a Baltimore orphanage, to the glory days with the Yankees, to his later years, Creamer has drawn a classic portrait of an American original.

The Lords of the Realm by John Helyar

Helyar ( Barbarians at the Gate ) presents a history of player-owner labor relations that dissects baseball for the big-business it is. As background, he shows how the owners intimidated players into accepting low salaries and prohibited their movement through the reserve clause, which made the player the property of his team forever. The central character of the book is union organizer Marvin Miller. Helyar relates how Miller overcame anti-union feelings of the players, and how he succeeded in overturning the reserve clause with the cases of Catfish Hunter, Dave McNally and Andy Messersmith. He scored another win after the strike of 1981, when he hood-winked the baseball owners into salary arbitration, which grossly inflated salaries. We're shown the commissioners: pompous Bowie Kuhn; Peter Ueberroth and his disastrous "collusion" policies that caused the owners to pay millions of dollars in retribution to players for restricting their free movement; and Fay Vincent, whose tenure was soap-operish. This enlightening and provocative book may be too legalistic for the casual fan.

The Summer Game by Roger Angell

The Summer Game, Roger Angell’s first book on the sport, changed baseball writing forever. Thoughtful, funny, appreciative of the elegance of the game and the passions invested by players and fans, it goes beyond the usual sports reporter’s beat to examine baseball’s complex place in our American psyche. Between the miseries of the 1962 expansion Mets and a classic 1971 World Series between the Pirates and the Orioles, Angell finds baseball in the 1960s as a game in transition—marked by league expansion, uprooted franchises, the growing hegemony of television, the dominance of pitchers, uneasy relations between players and owners, and mounting competition from other sports for the fans’ dollars. Willie Mays, Roberto Clemente, Brooks Robinson, Bob Gibson, Sandy Koufax, Carl Yastrzemski, Tom Seaver, Jim Palmer, and Casey Stengel are seen here with fresh clarity and pleasure. Here is California baseball in full flower, the once-mighty Yankees in collapse, baseball in French (in Montreal), indoor baseball (at the Astrodome), and sweet spring baseball (in Florida)—as Angell observes, “Always, it seems, there is something more to be discovered about this game.”

Eight Men Out: The Black Sox and the 1919 World Series by Eliot Asinof and Stephen Jay Gould

The headlines proclaimed the 1919 fix of the World Series and attempted cover-up as "the most gigantic sporting swindle in the history of America!" First published in 1963, Eight Men Out has become a timeless classic. Eliot Asinof has reconstructed the entire scene-by-scene story of the fantastic scandal in which eight Chicago White Sox players arranged with the nation's leading gamblers to throw the Series in Cincinnati. Mr. Asinof vividly describes the tense meetings, the hitches in the conniving, the actual plays in which the Series was thrown, the Grand Jury indictment, and the famous 1921 trial. Moving behind the scenes, he perceptively examines the motives and backgrounds of the players and the conditions that made the improbable fix all too possible. Here, too, is a graphic picture of the American underworld that managed the fix, the deeply shocked newspapermen who uncovered the story, and the war-exhausted nation that turned with relief and pride to the Series, only to be rocked by the scandal. Far more than a superbly told baseball story, this is a compelling slice of American history in the aftermath of World War I and at the cusp of the Roaring Twenties.

A False Spring by Pat Jordan

In A False Spring, Pat Jordan traces the falling star of his once-promising pitching career, illuminating along the way his equally difficult personal struggles and quest for maturity. When the reader meets Jordan, he is a hard-throwing pitcher with seemingly limitless potential, one of the first “bonus babies” for the Milwaukee Braves organization. Jordan’s sojourn through the lower levels of minor-league ball takes him through the small towns of America: McCook, Waycross, Davenport, Eau Claire, and Palatka. As the promised land of the majors recedes because of his inconsistency and lack of control, the young man who had previously known only glory and success is forced to face himself.

Summer of '49 by David Halberstam

This book is ostensibly about the pennant race between the Yankees and Red Sox that year and the "rivalry" between Joe DiMaggio and Ted Williams. But, as he did in Breaks of the Game (LJ 11/15/81) and The Amateurs (LJ 7/85), Halberstam focuses on a season and studies an era. Baseball came of age in the summer of 1949. Postwar America looked to baseball for a sense of normalcy in its life; television began to have an impact on the sport; Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier. Summer of '49 is more than a collection of anecdotes. It is a study of all the elements and personalities that influenced baseball that year and beyond. Halberstam brings them together in such an enjoyable, interesting, and informative manner that a reader needn't be a baseball fan to appreciate the book.

The Natural by Bernard Malamud

The Natural, Bernard Malamud’s first novel, published in 1952, is also the first—and some would say still the best—novel ever written about baseball. In it Malamud, usually appreciated for his unerring portrayals of postwar Jewish life, took on very different material—the story of a superbly gifted “natural” at play in the fields of the old daylight baseball era—and invested it with the hardscrabble poetry, at once grand and altogether believable, that runs through all his best work. Four decades later, Alfred Kazin’s comment still holds true: “Malamud has done something which—now that he has done it!—looks as if we have been waiting for it all our lives. He has really raised the whole passion and craziness and fanaticism of baseball as a popular spectacle to its ordained place in mythology.”

Baseball's Great Experiment: Jackie Robinson and His Legacy by Jules Tygiel

In this gripping account of one of the most important steps in the history of American desegregation, Jules Tygiel tells the story of Jackie Robinson's crossing of baseball's color line. Examining the social and historical context of Robinson's introduction into white organized baseball, both on and off the field, Tygiel also tells the often neglected stories of other African-American players--such as Satchel Paige, Roy Campanella, Willie Mays, and Hank Aaron--who helped transform our national pastime into an integrated game. Drawing on dozens of interviews with players and front office executives, contemporary newspaper accounts, and personal papers, Tygiel provides the most telling and insightful account of Jackie Robinson's influence on American baseball and society.

The Southpaw by Mark Harris

The Southpaw is a story about coming of age in America by way of the baseball diamond. Lefthander Henry Wiggen, six feet three, a hundred ninety-five pounds, and the greatest pitcher going, grows to manhood in a right-handed world. From his small-town beginnings to the top of the game, Henry finds out how hard it is to please his coach, his girl, and the sports page—and himself, too—all at once. Written in Henry’s own words, this exuberant, funny novel follows his eccentric course from bush league to the World Series. Although Mark Harris loves and writes tellingly about the pleasures of baseball, his primary subject has always been the human condition and the shifts of mortal men and women as they try to understand and survive what life has dealt them. This new Bison Books edition celebrates the fiftieth anniversary of the publication of The Southpaw. In his introduction to this edition, Mark Harris discusses the genesis of the novel in his own life experience. Also available in Bison Books editions are The Southpaw, It Looked Like For Ever, and A Ticket for a Seamstitch, the other three volumes in the Henry Wiggen series.

Whatever Happened to the Hall of Fame by Bill James

Arguing about the merits of players is the baseball fan's second favorite pastime and every year the Hall of Fame elections spark heated controversy. In a book that's sure to thrill--and infuriate--countless fans, Bill James takes a hard look at the Hall, probing its history, its politics and, most of all, its decisions.

Joe DiMaggio : The Hero's Life by Richard Ben Cramer

Joe DiMaggio was, at every turn, one man we could look at who made us feel good. In the hard-knuckled thirties, he was the immigrant boy who made it big -- and spurred the New York Yankees to a new era of dynasty. He was Broadway Joe, the icon of elegance, the man who wooed and won Marilyn Monroe -- the most beautiful girl America could dream up. Joe DiMaggio was a mirror of our best self. And he was also the loneliest hero we ever had. In this groundbreaking biography, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Richard Ben Cramer presents a shocking portrait of a complicated, enigmatic life. The story that DiMaggio never wanted told, tells of his grace -- and greed; his dignity, pride -- and hidden shame. It is a story that sweeps through the twentieth century, bringing to light not just America's national game, but the birth (and the price) of modern national celebrity.

Can't Anybody Here Play This Game?: Improbable Saga of the New York Met's First Year by Jimmy Breslin
A vivid history of the Mets, preserving for all time a wonderful look at New York's other team, is written by a Pulitzer Prize-winning author.

Total Baseball by John Thorn The most complete, authoritative, and informative baseball encyclopedia available. No other book gives you: 1) The complete statistics for all of the more than 13,000 major league players, with a full array of new and revealing stats compiled from an unparalleled historical database. 2) The top 100 lifetime and single season leaders in batting, pitching, and fielding for 95 different stats. 3) The starting lineups, plus key pitchers and substitutions, for all teams since 1871. 4) Corrections for the thousands of errors in other books of this kind. 5) The detailed history of baseball by the game's reigning historian. 6) The little known story of black baseball before 1947. 7) Biographies of the 400 greatest players, including more than 200 Hall of Famers. 8) The complete balloting for all of baseball's major awards in the 20th Century. 9) Feature chapters on the minor leagues, team histories, Japanese baseball, Latin ball, nicknames, scandals, trades, streaks and feats, commissioners, managers, coaches, umpires, and baseball lore.

The Long Season by Jim Brosnan
The classic inside account of a baseball year by a major league pitcher. It begins, appropriately, with the winter doldrums and sweating out a new contract, then follows the author and his family to spring training in Florida and through the full season's schedule to October. One of the best baseball books ever written. It is probably one of the best American diaries as well.

No Cheering in the Press Box by Jerome Holtzman
Paul Gallico, Shirley Povich, Ford Frick, Red Smith, Jimmy Cannon and 20 other sportswriters who were active in what the author refers to as the Golden Age of Sports--the time between the two world wars--give readers their reminiscences and opinions in this "earthy, gossipy, often hilarious" (New York Times) collection.

A Whole Different Ball Game: The Inside Story of the Baseball Revolution by Marvin Miller
Marvin Miller, the first executive director to the Major League Baseball Players Association, recounts his experience in dealing with club owners and his success in winning a new role for the players. He helped virtually end the system that bound an athlete to one team forever, and thereby raised salaries enormously.

New Thinking Fan's Guide to Baseball by Leonard Koppett
An updated, rewritten version of the 1967 baseball classic, A Thinking Man's Guide to Baseball , this book by New York Times national edition columnist Koppett delivers what its title promises: a challenging, thoughtful discourse on a sport that, for the true fan, cannot be overanalyzed. Drawing on his decades of baseball reporting (since the days the Dodgers and Giants called New York home) and countless interviews with players, managers and others, the author addresses all facets of the game--from elements of play on the field to "behind the scenes" subjects, including, significantly, lawyers and agents. Often, the less obvious topics are most compelling, such as the chapter on signs and his argument that managers "who have great effect on any given game are the exceptional ones." page 113 In a typical fascinating observation, he points out that the average playing field has 90,000 square feet of fair territory. Throughout Koppett provides historical perspective and shows that the "changeless" game has always changed and continues to change. Reading this is the fan's equivalent of players' spring training.

The Numbers Game: Baseball's Lifelong Fascination with Statistics by Alan Schwarz and Peter Gammons
Sports journalist Schwarz brings to the fore this intelligent, smartly researched and often hilarious look at the use of statistics in baseball, which Schwarz definitively shows to "date back to the game's earliest days in the 19th century." It will delight any fan who memorizes the numbers on the back of trading cards or pores over newspaper box scores. The book's success is rooted in its focus on the people "obsessed with baseball's statistics ever since the box score started it all in 1845," rather than being about the statistics themselves. The reader is presented with enthusiastic but unvarnished looks at such key figures as Henry Chadwick, whose love for numbers led to his inventing the box score grid that remains, Schwarz shows, "virtually unchanged to this day"; Allan Roth, the numbers man hired by the Brooklyn Dodgers who was as important to the team's success as its famed GM Branch Rickey; and the all-but-forgotten work of George Lindsey, one of the first people to apply statistical analysis to weigh various baseball strategies. Delivered in a delightfully breezy and confident style, this volume also serves as an excellent alternate or parallel history of the sport, as we see how the statistics influenced the game itself—such as the banning of the spitball—as much as they were used to detail individual games.

You Know me Al by Ring W. Lardner
First great success of Ring Lardner was "You Know Me Al", a fictional series of letters from a popular baseball hero to his friend, slowly revealing the hero as a semiliterate, crude, conceited, self-deceiving boob. This work was created while Lardner was writing a sports column for The Chicago Tribune, first appeared in The Saturday Evening Post. It was later published in the book form in 1916. You Know Me Al shows Lardner as a satirical master: a fine and misanthropic storyteller with a excellent feel for the niceties of characters and speech.

Nine Innings by Daniel Okrent
You'll never watch baseball the same way again.
A timeless baseball classic and a must read for any fan worthy of the name, Nine Innings dissects a single baseball game played in June 1982 -- inning by inning, play by play. Daniel Okrent, a seasoned writer and lifelong fan, chose as his subject a Milwaukee Brewers Baltimore Orioles match up, though it could have been any game, because, as Okrent reveals, the essence of baseball, no matter where or when it's played, has been and will always be the same. In this particular moment of baseball history you will discover myriad aspects of the sport that are crucial to its nature but so often invisible to the fans -- the hidden language of catchers' signals, the physiology of pitching, the balance sheet of a club owner, the gait of a player stepping up to the plate. With the purity of heart and unwavering attention to detail that characterize our national pastime, Okrent goes straight to the core of the world's greatest game. You'll never watch baseball the same way again.

Red Smith on Baseball: The Game's Greatest Writer on the Game's Greatest Years by Red Smith
The Trojan War had Homer. Baseball had Red Smith. Through his unmatched diction, allusions and irony, through his penetrating observations and well-considered opinions, through a style verging on poetic--Smith turned the everyday drama that is the game into beautiful, enduring art. This magnificent collection of selected columns showcases some of baseball's mythic figures, revealing that it was Red Smith who helped give them their legendary status. Standouts include pieces on Joe DiMaggio, Branch Rickey, Casey Stengel (whom Smith clearly enjoyed listening to) and Bill Veeck Jr., baseball's greatest promoter. Smith's essays on Bobby Thomson's "shot heard 'round the world," Mickey Mantle's first game and Don Larsen's no-hit pitching in the 1956 World Series are all worthy of memorization, and his trenchant views on the reserve clause and the night World Series games are strikes down the middle. As a bonus, the collection offers readers a fascinating look at how baseball writing has changed over the years, as have American attitudes. By the end, for example, women are no longer referred to as "tomatoes," and "coloreds" have become "blacks." A majority of the essays deal with the three great New York teams and the St. Louis Cardinals, but this should in no way prevent any baseball fan from enjoying this book.

Only the Ball Was White: A History of Legendary Black Players and All-Black Professional Teams by Robert Peterson
Early in the 1920s, the New York Giants sent a scout to watch a young Cuban play for Foster's American Giants, a baseball club in the Negro Leagues. During one at-bat this talented slugger lined a ball so hard that the right fielder was able to play it off the top of the fence and throw Christobel Torrienti out at first base. The scout liked what he saw, but was disappointed in the player's appearance. "He was a light brown," recalled one of Torrienti's teammates, "and would have gone up to the major leagues, but he had real rough hair." Such was life behind the color line, the unofficial boundary that prevented hundreds of star-quality athletes from playing big-league baseball. In Only the Ball Was White, Robert Peterson tells the forgotten story of these excluded ballplayers, and gives them the recognition they were so long denied. Reconstructing the old Negro Leagues from contemporary sports publications, accounts of games in the black press, and through interviews with the men who actually played the game, Peterson brings to life the fascinating period that stretched from shortly after the Civil War to the signing of Jackie Robinson in 1947. We watch as the New York Black Yankees and the Philadelphia Crawfords take the field, look on as the East-West All-Star lineups are announced, and listen as the players themselves tell of the struggle and glory that was black baseball. In addition to these vivid accounts, Peterson includes yearly Negro League standings and an all-time register of players and officials, making the book a treasure trove of baseball information and lore.

A Day In The Bleachers by Arnold Hano

From the subway ride to the ballpark, through batting practice and warm-ups, to the game-winning home run, A Day in the Bleachers describes inning by inning the strategies, heroics, and ineluctable rhythms of the opening game of the 1954 World Series. Here are the spectacular exploits of the Indians and Giants, and of a young player named Willie Mays, who made the most-talked-about catch in baseball history. “The best of all the baseball books written from the point of view of the man in the stands." Roger Kahn, from the Introduction

October 1964 by David Halberstam

TITLR Halberstam, David. Pulitzer Prize-winner Halberstam has always had a fondness for sports, and occasionally he turns away from his more "serious" historical pursuits to explore a particularly resonant moment in sporting time. Here it's the 1964 major-league baseball season, especially the World Series, which pitted the New York Yankees against the St. Louis Cardinals. Halberstam likes to place his sports reporting within a significant social context, and this time he isolates 1964--the last pennant for the Yankee dynasty that stretched back to Babe Ruth and the late 1920s--as signifying the end of an era dominated by mostly white, power-hitting baseball. The Cardinals, with their three black starters in the field and All-Star pitcher Bob Gibson, were ushering in a new era of speed and black stars. Halberstam wants to hang his hat on the theory that baseball changed dramatically in 1964, and though he seems to be stretching a bit, let's give it to him. What really matters to most readers, after all, isn't the historical premise but the particulars: Halberstam's unerring eye for detail, his sense of team dynamics, and his sensitive, thoughtful profiles of the players and managers--including Mickey Mantle, Roger Maris, Whitey Ford, and Elston Howard on the Yanks and Bob Gibson, Curt Flood, Bill White, and Lou Brock on the Cards. Halberstam profiles each at length, how their past shaped their present and future, and he does the same with the teams. By any standard, this is a thoughtful, entertaining, and illuminating examination of two intriguing teams from baseball's golden era. Expect high demand among boomer-age fans.

Baseball Between the Numbers: Why Everything You Know About the Game Is Wrong by The Baseball Prospectus Team of Experts and Jonah Keri

In the numbers-obsessed sport of baseball, statistics don't merely record what players, managers, and owners have done. Properly understood, they can tell us how the teams we root for could employ better strategies, put more effective players on the field, and win more games. The revolution in baseball statistics that began in the 1970s is a controversial subject that professionals and fans alike argue over without end. Despite this fundamental change in the way we watch and understand the sport, no one has written the book that reveals, across every area of strategy and management, how the best practitioners of statistical analysis in baseball-people like Bill James, Billy Beane, and Theo Epstein-think about numbers and the game. Baseball Between the Numbers is that book. In separate chapters covering every aspect of the game, from hitting, pitching, and fielding to roster construction and the scouting and drafting of players, the experts at Baseball Prospectus examine the subtle, hidden aspects of the game, bring them out into the open, and show us how our favorite teams could win more games. This is a book that every fan, every follower of sports radio, every fantasy player, every coach, and every player, at every level, can learn from and enjoy.

Maybe I'll Pitch Forever by Leroy Paige, David Lipman, and John B. Holway

Satchel Paige was forty-two years old in 1948 when he became the first black pitcher in the American League. Although the oldest rookie around, he was already a legend. For twenty-two years, beginning in 1926, Paige dazzled throngs with his performance in the Negro Baseball Leagues. Then he outlasted everyone by playing professional baseball, in and out of the majors, until 1965. Struggle—against early poverty and racial discrimination—was part of Paige's story. So was fast living and a humorous point of view. His immortal advice was "Don't look back. Something might be gaining on you."

Game Time: A Baseball Companion by Roger Angell, Steve Kettmann, and Richard Ford

Roger Angell has been writing about baseball for more than forty years . . . and for my money he's the best there is at it," says novelist Richard Ford in his introduction to Game Time. Angell's famous explorations of the summer game are built on acute observation and joyful participation, conveyed in a prose style as admired and envied as Ted Williams's swing. Angell on Fenway Park in September, on Bob Gibson brooding in retirement, on Tom Seaver in mid-windup, on the abysmal early and recent Mets, on a scout at work in backcountry Kentucky, on Pete Rose and Willie Mays and Pedro Martinez, on the astounding Barry Bonds at Pac Bell Park, and more, carry us through the arc of the season with refreshed understanding and pleasure. This collection represents Angell's best writings, from spring training in 1962 to the explosive World Series of 2002.

Five Seasons: A Baseball Companion by Roger Angell

Five Seasons covers the baseball seasons from 1972 through 1976, described as the “most significant half decade in the history of the game.” The era was notable for the remarkable individual feats of Hank Aaron, Lou Brock, and Nolan Ryan, among others. It also presented one of the best World Series of all time (1975), including still the greatest World Series game ever played (Game Six). Along with visiting other games and campaigns, Roger Angell meets a trio of Tigers-obsessed fans, goes to a game with a departing old-style owner, watches high-school ball in Kentucky with a famous scout, and explores the sad and astounding mystery of Steve Blass’s vanished control. Angell’s Five Seasons is a gem and a gift for baseball lovers of all ages.

Luckiest Man: The Life and Death of Lou Gehrig by Jonathan Eig

Lou Gehrig was a baseball legend -- the Iron Horse, the stoic New York Yankee who was the greatest first baseman in history, a man whose consecutive-games streak was ended by a horrible disease that now bears his name. But as this definitive new biography makes clear, Gehrig's life was more complicated -- and, perhaps, even more heroic -- than anyone really knew. Drawing on new interviews and more than two hundred pages of previously unpublished letters to and from Gehrig, Luckiest Man gives us an intimate portrait of the man who became an American hero: his life as a shy and awkward youth growing up in New York City, his unlikely friendship with Babe Ruth (a friendship that allegedly ended over rumors that Ruth had had an affair with Gehrig's wife), and his stellar career with the Yankees, where his consecutive-games streak stood for more than half a century. What was not previously known, however, is that symptoms of Gehrig's affliction began appearing in 1938, earlier than is commonly acknowledged. Later, aware that he was dying, Gehrig exhibited a perseverance that was truly inspiring; he lived the last two years of his short life with the same grace and dignity with which he gave his now-famous "luckiest man" speech. Meticulously researched and elegantly written, Jonathan Eig's Luckiest Man shows us one of the greatest baseball players of all time as we've never seen him before.

The Celebrant: A Novel by Eric Rolfe Greenberg

The first two decades of the 20th century were a time of promise and innocence in America. Hardworking immigrants could achieve the American dream, and heroes were really heroic. Greenberg authentically chronicles the real-life saga of the first national baseball hero, Christy Mathewson, and the fictional story of a Jewish immigrant family of jewelers.

The Great American Novel by Philip Roth

Gil Gamesh, the only pitcher who ever literally tried to kill the umpire. The ex-con first baseman, John Baal, "The Babe Ruth of the Big House," who never hit a home run sober. If you've never heard of them—or of the Ruppert Mundys, the only homeless big-league ball team in American history—it's because of the Communist plot, and the capitalist scandal, that expunged the entire Patriot League from baseball memory. In this ribald, richly imagined, and wickedly satiric novel, Roth turns baseball's status as national pastime and myth into an occasion for unfettered picaresque farce, replete with heroism and perfidy, ebullient wordplay and a cast of characters that includes the House Un-American Activities Committee.

Clemente: The Passion and Grace of Baseball's Last Hero by David Maraniss

On New Year's Eve 1972, following eighteen magnificent seasons in the major leagues, Roberto Clemente died a hero's death, killed in a plane crash as he attempted to deliver food and medical supplies to Nicaragua after a devastating earthquake. David Maraniss now brings the great baseball player brilliantly back to life in Clemente: The Passion and Grace of Baseball's Last Hero, a book destined to become a modern classic. Much like his acclaimed biography of Vince Lombardi, When Pride Still Mattered, Maraniss uses his narrative sweep and meticulous detail to capture the myth and a real man. Anyone who saw Clemente, as he played with a beautiful fury, will never forget him. He was a work of art in a game too often defined by statistics. During his career with the Pittsburgh Pirates, he won four batting titles and led his team to championships in 1960 and 1971, getting a hit in all fourteen World Series games in which he played. His career ended with three-thousand hits, the magical three-thousandth coming in his final at-bat, and he and the immortal Lou Gehrig are the only players to have the five-year waiting period waived so they could be enshrined in the Hall of Fame immediately after their deaths. There is delightful baseball here, including thrilling accounts of the two World Series victories of Clemente's underdog Pittsburgh Pirates, but this is far more than just another baseball book. Roberto Clemente was that rare athlete who rose above sports to become a symbol of larger themes. Born near the canebrakes of rural Carolina, Puerto Rico, on August 18, 1934, at a time when there were no blacks or Puerto Ricans playing organized ball in the United States, Clemente went on to become the greatest Latino player in the major leagues. He was, in a sense, the Jackie Robinson of the Spanish-speaking world, a ballplayer of determination, grace, and dignity who paved the way and set the highest standard for waves of Latino players who followed in later generations and who now dominate the game. The Clemente that Maraniss evokes was an idiosyncratic character who, unlike so many modern athletes, insisted that his responsibilities extended beyond the playing field. In his final years, his motto was that if you have a chance to help others and fail to do so, you are wasting your time on this earth. Here, in the final chapters, after capturing Clemente's life and times, Maraniss retraces his final days, from the earthquake to the accident, using newly uncovered documents to reveal the corruption and negligence that led the unwitting hero on a mission of mercy toward his untimely death as an uninspected, overloaded plane plunged into the sea.

Baseball: The Golden Age by Harold Seymour, Dorothy Z. Seymour, and Dorothy Jane Mills

Focusing on the years 1903 to 1930, Dr. Seymour discusses the emergence of the two major leagues and the World Series, the bitter trade struggles and pennant rivalries, and such legendary figures as Babe Ruth and Ty Cobb.

Bums: An Oral History of the Brooklyn Dodgers by Peter Golenbock

"Revealing . . . memorable . . . reminiscences about the most beloved baseball team of all time." -- New York Times "An era is brought to life with remarkable, consistent passion." -- Newsweek "Golenbock gathers stories of a team, a park, and an era gone by in Bums. Few teams experienced more greatness or more heartbreak, which makes the book worthwhile for an audience wider than just New Yorkers or just National League fans." -- Cleveland Plain-Dealer Before the team headed to Los Angeles in 1957, the Brooklyn Dodgers were one of the most colorful and beloved teams in baseball. In Bums, bestselling author Peter Golenbock has compiled a fascinating oral history of the Ebbets Field heroes with recollections from former players, writers, front-office executives, and faithful fans. Dodgers legends such as Pee Wee Reese, Leo Durocher, Duke Snider, Roy Campanella, Ralph Branca, and many others recall the ups and downs of that unforgettable ball club in their own words. Among his many books are Dynasty, the definitive history of the 1949-1964 New York Yankees (also available from Contemporary Books); Wild, High, and Tight, his revealing biography of Yankees manager Billy Martin; and Wrigleyville, an oral history of the Chicago Cubs. He has been a frequent guest on many television shows, including A&E's Biography, ESPN's 50 Greatest Athletes, and Larry King Live. He lives in Saint Petersburg, Florida.

Season Ticket by Roger Angell

In this chronicle of seasons from 1982 to 1987, the incomparable Angell (The Summer Game, Five Seasons and Late Innings) combines 19 of his New Yorker articles to tell about several principal events and developments in recent baseball history. Here is superlative clubhouse, field, dugout and even spring-training reportage that not only describes the stars of our time Boggs, Brett, Gooden, Hernandez, Mattingly, Rose, Seaver and Valenzuela among thembut also examines in detail (based on extensive conversations with the leading practitioners) the intricacies of catching, infield play and pitching, the problems of running a club and the mysteries of managing, and the appeal of baseball's hall of fame in Cooperstown, N.Y. Here too are vivid accounts of the rise and fall of the Cubs, the decline of Buck Weaver and his Orioles, the sudden ascent of Sparky Anderson's Tigers, and the amazing 1986 play-offs that led to the fantastic Mets-Red Sox world series.

The Bronx Zoo: The Astonishing Inside Story of the 1978 World Champion New York Yankees by Sparky Lyle and Peter Golenbock

Relief Pitcher Sparky Lyle was the 1977 American League Cy Young Award winner for his role in helping the New York Yankees to their first World Series championship since 1962. The following winter, the Yankees - who changed the face of baseball in those early years of free agency - went out and acquired Pittsburgh closer Goose Gossage, relegating Lyle to an observer's role for the 1978 season. As it turned out, Lyle proved to be a more astute observer than anyone could have predicted. And, as luck would have it, the Yankee's 1978 season turned out to be as sensational, controversial, and colorful a season as there have ever been - a real zoo, in fact. The Bronx Zoo is Lyle's best-selling, highly acclaimed collaboration with author Peter Golenbock that, when originally released in 1979, was favorably compared to Jim Bouton's groundbreaking Ball Four as a hilarious - but scathing - baseball tell-all. Lyle had an insider's view like no other in a season for the ages, and the 1978 Yankees remain the biggest sideshow the game of baseball has ever seen.

Prophet of the Sandlots: Journeys With a Major League Scout by Mark Winegardner

From 1942 to 1988, the late Tony Lucadello was a baseball scout. Working first for the Chicago Cubs and then for the Philadelphia Phillies, he signed up 50 players who went on to the major leagues, including such stars as Ferguson Jenkins and Mike Schmidt. Winegardner, who accompanied Lucadello during his last year on the job, depicts an uncommonly generous man who sat through hundreds of college, high school and sandlot games, ever on the lookout for young men with the "right stuff" to take them to the top--and always willing to help them. In illuminating Lucadello's life, which ended in suicide, Winegardner ( Elvis Presley Boulevard ) evokes the spirit of baseball.

The Dickson Baseball Dictionary by Paul Dickson

Dickson's dictionary does far more than define the terms and phrases of the game; many of his 5000 definitions provide etymological descriptions and contending theories, context notes, external uses of the term, and its "earliest" appearance. Patrick Ercolano's Fungoes, Floaters, and Forkballs (Prentice Hall, 1987), an effective glossary, provides 1500 basic terms, but doesn't approach Dickson's detailed descriptions and depth of coverage: team histories, field names, archaic and obsolete language, fan jargon, and dugout slang. A wide-ranging bibliography (240 books and articles) on baseball terminology , and baseball and language in general , guides users to more in-depth exploration. Although as current as the 1988 season's "balkamania," future editions to this excellent collection are planned. This work will be accessible to the young fan just discovering the game, as well as to scholars of the game and our versatile and ever-expanding language.

Shut Out by Howard Bryant

WINNER OF SPITBALL MAGAZINE'S 2002 CASEY AWARD FOR BEST BASEBALL BOOK OF THE YEAR "An essential read." -John Henry, principal owner of the Boston Red Sox With a new introduction by celebrated baseball writer Roger Kahn and a new afterward by the author, updating John Henry's first year of ownership after nearly six decades of the Yawkey dynasty, the legacy of the late Will McDonough, and the author's return to his native Boston after a seventeen-year absence, Shut Out has reopened the discussion of baseball, race, and Boston with a new candor. "Sport is not always a metaphor . . . but in this instance the story of race and the Red Sox is an exceedingly accurate mirror of the story of race and Boston, and thus race and America." -Jonathan Yardley, Washington Post "One of the best baseball books I have ever read, and in fact one of the best non-fiction books I have read in years. To simply call it a baseball book is to do it a disservice, in that people interested in American history, race relations in America, and simply human nature might not read it, which would be their loss." -Lisa Winston, USA Today's Sports Weekly "Shut Out...is the first book detailing and analyzing the racial problems of the Red Sox...it is required reading for anyone who cares about the history of racial prejudice and the game of baseball." -Louis P. Masur, The Nation A native of Boston, Howard Bryant is a journalist for the Boston Herald. His work has appeared in Red Sox Century, Yankees Century, and Top of the Heap: A Yankees Collection.

Ted Williams: The Biography of an American Hero by Leigh Montville

He was The Kid. The Splendid Splinter. Teddy Ballgame. One of the greatest figures of his generation, and arguably the greatest baseball hitter of all time. But what made Ted Williams a legend – and a lightning rod for controversy in life and in death? What motivated him to interrupt his Hall of Fame career twice to serve his country as a fighter pilot; to embrace his fans while tangling with the media; to retreat from the limelight whenever possible into his solitary love of fishing; and to become the most famous man ever to have his body cryogenically frozen after his death? New York Times bestselling author Leigh Montville, who wrote the celebrated Sports Illustrated obituary of Ted Williams, now delivers an intimate, riveting account of this extraordinary life. Still a gangly teenager when he stepped into a Boston Red Sox uniform in 1939, Williams’s boisterous personality and penchant for towering home runs earned him adoring admirers--the fans--and venomous critics--the sportswriters. In 1941, the entire country followed Williams's stunning .406 season, a record that has not been touched in over six decades. At the pinnacle of his prime, Williams left Boston to train and serve as a fighter pilot in World War II, missing three full years of baseball. He was back in 1946, dominating the sport alongside teammates Dominic DiMaggio, Johnny Pesky, and Bobby Doerr. But Williams left baseball again in 1952 to fight in Korea, where he flew thirty-nine combat missions—crash-landing his flaming, smoke-filled plane, in one famous episode. Ted Williams's personal life was equally colorful. His attraction to women (and their attraction to him) was a constant. He was married and divorced three times and he fathered two daughters and a son. He was one of corporate America's first modern spokesmen, and he remained, nearly into his eighties, a fiercely devoted fisherman. With his son, John Henry Williams, he devoted his final years to the sports memorabilia business, even as illness overtook him. And in death, controversy and public outcry followed Williams and the disagreements between his children over the decision to have his body preserved for future resuscitation in a cryonics facility--a fate, many argue, Williams never wanted. With unmatched verve and passion, and drawing upon hundreds of interviews, acclaimed best-selling author Leigh Montville brings to life Ted Williams's superb triumphs, lonely tragedies, and intensely colorful personality, in a biography that is fitting of an American hero and legend.

The Ultimate Baseball Book, Expanded and Updated by Harris Lewine and Daniel Okrent

THE ULTIMATE BASEBALL BOOK has more than lived up to its name. Spanning the complete history of the sport from the fledgling leagues in the late 1870s to the powerhouses of the 1990s and revealing in the process what a remarkable effect baseball has had on our collective experience, this is THE book for any and all baseball fans, certain to grace coffee and bedside tables alike. Designed with that wonderful nostalgia that the sport itself so often evokes, THE ULTIMATE BASEBALL BOOK combines timeless images with a sweeping narrative history as well as essays on various idols and icons by such heavy hitters as Red Smith, Wilfrid Sheed, Roy Blount, Jr., Tom Wicker, and George Will. This new edition covers baseball through the nineties, the decade when home run records fell and the sport reclaimed its hold on America, and celebrates the national game in ultimate style.

The Catcher Was a Spy: The Mysterious Life of Moe Berg by Nicholas Dawidoff

Magazine writer Dawidoff (Sports Illustrated, New Yorker, New Republic) reduces one of baseball's most colorful characters mostly to monochrome. What better subject for a biography than Moe Berg, a man reputed to be the sport's greatest intellectual, who iced the cake by retiring to become an espionage agent in the nation's service? Sadly, Dawidoff has taken a mythic character and exposed him as an eccentric crank whose oversized feet were made almost entirely of clay. And the author has done so in the worst fashion possible: with pedantry rather than heart. A closing ``Note on Sources'' lists the hundreds of people interviewed and archives researched; it is a fitting coup de grƒce to a book filled with the minutest details of who Berg mooched a dinner and a hotel room from in 1959, or who he regaled with exaggerated tales of wartime heroics. Dawidoff has accumulated a vast body of information in a remarkable job of research, especially considering that Berg, who died of a heart attack at age 70 in 1972, deliberately cloaked the details of his life in mystery. What Dawidoff has failed to do is distill it into a story calculated to hold a reader's interest. Rather, he presents an almost legalistic mass of evidence to prove that Berg followed up a career (1923-39) as a pseudo intellectual, third string catcher by becoming a mediocre WW II spy, and then spent the last 25 years of his life as an unemployed vagabond, living off his charm and his wit and his vast store of friends. The only mystery left at the end of the book is whether to feel pity for Berg as a tragic, unfulfilled genius or irritation with him as a boor who gets more attention than he deserved. The reader is left knowing immeasurably more about Moe Berg, and caring immeasurably less.

The Pitch That Killed by Mike Sowell

The story of Ray Chapman of the Cleveland Indians, a popular player struck in the head and killed in August 1920 by a pitch thrown by Carl Mays of the New York Yankees. Mr. Sowell's book investigates the incident and probes deep into the backgrounds of the players involved and the events that led to baseball's only death at bat. A New York Times Notable Book of the Year. Splendidly researched and vivid as today...remarkable. --Roger Kahn

Willie's Time: Baseball's Golden Age by Charles Einstein

This twenty-fifth anniversary edition of Willie’s Time: Baseball’s Golden Age restores to print Charles Einstein’s vivid biography of one of baseball’s foremost legends. With a new preface from the author, this volume replays the most dramatic moments of the Say Hey Kid’s career—from the 1951 Miracle Giants to the Amazing Mets of 1973—and takes us inside the lives of Ruth, DiMaggio, Aaron, Durocher, and others along the way. Einstein offers a compelling and complete look at Mays: as a youth in racist Birmingham, a triumphant symbol of African American success, a sports hero lionized by fans, and yet all the while, still a very human figure destined to play for two decades amid baseball’s Golden Age.

Iron Horse: Lou Gehrig in His Time by Ray Robinson

Playing in the considerable shadow of Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig's accomplishments as baseball's "Iron Horse" include a legendary record of 2,130 consecutive games played. The shy, unassuming Gehrig was every bit as much a hero of the national pastime as the ubiquitous Ruth, but unlike Ruth he has not had many biographers. Robinson's narrative not only traces Gehrig's life and career but also provides an insightful look at baseball in the 1920s and the Depression years. Robinson brings to life the Hall of Fame busts of Ruth, Pittsburgh's Waner brothers, Ty Cobb, indomitable Yankee manager Miller Huggins, and others. Although not as revealing as Charles Alexander's Ty Cobb ( LJ 3/1/84), Robinson's is a powerful baseball book on one of the game's neglected legends, and surpasses Frank Graham's Lou Gehrig: A Quiet Hero (1942).

Pure Baseball by Keith Hernandez

An MVP of a guide to the national pastime from a savvy 17-year veteran of the major leagues who remains an ardent fan in retirement. Hernandez (If At First, 1986) or his muse came up with an angle that works to near perfection: tellingly detailed start-to- finish accounts of two games played midway through the 1993 baseball season. The former Met first followed a close encounter between Philadelphia and Atlanta from the stands in the City of Brotherly Love. One week later, he turned couch potato to take in the telecast of a Yankee Stadium contest pitting New York against Detroit. As it happened, the Phillies and Bronx Bombers both won; the final scores, however, are almost beside the points Hernandez wants to and does make. Drawing on pitch-by-pitch recaps and experience gained during a long career, the author (a slick fielder and slugger in his day) offers an insider's astute observations on the mini-matchups and workaday stratagems that cumulatively can determine outcomes or, if need be, give attentive onlookers something to watch for in the late innings of a laugher. Focusing on the primal battle of wills between pitcher and batter, for example, he digresses into ad-rem commentary on the importance of the ball/strike count, defensive placements, base-running tactics, hit-and-run opportunities, the role of the cutoff man, distinctions between American and National League umpires, how managers handle their bullpens, pickoff plays, and a host of allied topics. In particular, Hernandez prizes baseball's lack of secret moves and/or trick plays. ``It's cat-and-mouse out there...not hide-and-seek,'' he says. ``Chess, not poker.'' If his all-star handbook can't make casual fans masters of the game, it could at least enhance their credibility as second-guessers in season and out.

Juicing the Game: Drugs, Power, and the Fight for the Soul of Major League Baseball by Howard Bryant

Boston Herald sports columnist Bryant gives the full history behind the steroids scandal that has slowly but steadily enveloped major-league baseball over the past 10 years, a scandal that now calls into serious question the integrity of many of the records set during that time, if not the integrity of the game itself. Bryant begins with the disastrous strike of 1994, which cut short a memorable season and eliminated that fall's World Series. It was from the ruins of 1994 that baseball found salvation in the long ball, whose resurgence came as a result of smaller new ballparks, a reduced strike zone, and a ridiculously lax policy on performance-enhancing anabolic steroids. For example, offenders could be caught using steroids four times before finally receiving a one-year suspension. If players were the obvious culprits, the scandal, according to Bryant, was really the result of interlocking failures: a league that did not have the stomach in the face of record revenues to police itself, a players' union that fought every effort by the league to test its members, beat writers afraid to ask hard questions of the players they covered on a daily basis, and fans, who, fully aware their heroes might be juiced, still flocked to ballparks in record numbers. In presenting this thoughtful, detailed account of what one writer has called "baseball's Watergate," Bryant will bring baseball fans fully up to speed on both the steroids issue and the hoped-for reforms to come. Alan Moores

Seasons in Hell: With Billy Martin, Whitey Herzog and "The Worst Baseball Team in History"-The 1973-1975 Texas Rangers by Mike Shropshire

"Even before the start of spring training, Herzog had said, 'If Rich Billings is the starting catcher again, we're in deep trouble.' When that evaluation was passed along to Billings, he simply nodded and said, 'Whitey, obviously, has seen me play.'" In early 1973, gonzo sportswriter Mike Shropshire agreed to cover the Texas Rangers for the Fort-Worth Star-Telegram, not realizing that the Rangers were arguably the worst team in baseball history. Seasons in Hell is a riotous, candid, irreverent behind-the-scenes account in the tradition of The Bronx Zoo and Ball Four, following the Texas Rangers from Whitey Herzog's reign in 1973 through Billy Martin's tumultuous tenure. Offering wonderful perspectives on dozens of unique (and likely never-to-be-seen-again) baseball personalities, Seasons in Hell recounts some of the most extreme characters ever to play the game and brings to life the no-holds-barred culture of major league baseball in the mid-seventies. Mike Shropshire is a longtime journalist who has written for numerous newspapers and magazines such as Sports Illustrated and is the author of several books, including When the Tuna Went down to Texas: How Bill Parcells Led the Cowboys Back to the Promised Land. He lives in Dallas, Texas.

Baseball As I Have Known It by Fred Lieb and Lawrence S. Ritter

From Honus Wagner to Johnny Bench, Baseball As I Have Known It covers sixty-six seasons of America’s national sport. Fred Lieb, the dean of baseball writers, tells about its heroes, rogues, controversies, and grand plays. He broke in as a sportswriter in the Polo Grounds press box in 1911. In 1933, in the midst of the Depression, Lieb was fired from the New York Post and began a freelance career writing about his beloved sport. Baseball As I Have Known It, first published in 1977 when Lieb was eighty-nine years old, remains a vital record of a glorious bygone era. In superb style, he comments on changes in baseball over the decades and tells inside stories about great events and immortal players.

Once More Around the Park: A Baseball Reader by Roger Angell

New Yorker editor and seasoned observer of baseball Angell offers a selection of stylish writing about the game and its people, past and present. Outstanding among the choices from his Season Ticket ( LJ 3/15/88), other previous books, and new pieces are visits with Hall of Famer Bob Gibson and then-91-year-old Smoky Joe Wood. This is fun reading. However, since much of it is reprinted material, and is available elsewhere, it is primarily for comprehensive sports collections and those without other Angell compilations.

The BILL JAMES GUIDE TO BASEBALL MANAGERS: From 1870 to Today by Bill James

How do you determine excellence in a baseball manager? After citing won-lost records and World Series appearances, fans are reduced to subjective references to motivating players and setting strategy. Statistical analyst James, famous for the Baseball Abstract, does his best to provide a basis for comparing, say, Walter Alston with Casey Stengel. The book is loosely structured by decade, with James analyzing each era's best, worst, and most influential skippers on the basis of such elaborate criteria as, Does the manager platoon his players or use a set lineup? Does he prefer veterans over young players? Does he like his pitchers to complete their starts or is he a "quick hook" ? As always, James' opinions are thought provoking and entertainingly expressed. It's been too long since his last book-length collection of essays, and this volume's appearance in a spring of renewed interest in the grand old game is perfect timing. Expect significant interest in a fine book. Wes Lukowsky

Men at Work: The Craft of Baseball by George F. Will

Columnist/commentator Will turns his attention from political parties and economies to split-fingered fastballs and aluminum bats in this study of four men who practice the craft of baseball with consummate skill. The four are Tony LaRussa, Orel Hershiser, Tony Gwynn, and Cal Ripken Jr., each of whom represents a major element of the game (managing, pitching, hitting, and fielding). He credits their success to attention to detail, a necessity in "a game where you have to do more than one thing very well, but one at a time." The author's own devotion to detail in defining the components of the game is sure to instill in readers a greater appreciation of what is required to master the sport at the major league level, thereby providing a deeper understanding of the foundation of the game. Altogether, this is hardcore baseball presented in fluent style.

This Time Lets Not Eat the Bones: Bill James without the Numbers by Bill James

Known for his annual Baseball Abstract, James here puts aside his persona as a sabremetrician (read statistician) and presents excerpts from that publication and from his articles in Esquire. The book is divided into five sections, four of which deal with various teams, players and other figures in the sport, mostly managers. The bits and pieces here, some only a sentence or two in length, make fragmented reading. The fifth section, titled "Essays," offers longer, interesting pieces, particularly selections like "A History of Being a Kansas City Baseball Fan" and "On Salary Arbitration Cases." Readers who are already devotees of James will find this a pleasurable book; others will be less impressed.

Baseball before We Knew It: A Search for the Roots of the Game by David Block and Tim Wiles

It may be America’s game, but no one seems to know how or when baseball really started. Theories abound, myths proliferate, but reliable information has been in short supply—until now, when Baseball before We Knew It brings fresh new evidence of baseball’s origins into play. David Block looks into the early history of the game and of the 150-year-old debate about its beginnings. He tackles one stubborn misconception after another, debunking the enduring belief that baseball descended from the English game of rounders and revealing a surprising new explanation for the most notorious myth of all—the Abner Doubleday–Cooperstown story. Block’s book takes readers on an exhilarating journey through the centuries in search of clues to the evolution of our modern National Pastime. Among his startling discoveries is a set of long-forgotten baseball rules from the 1700s. Block evaluates the originality and historical significance of the Knickerbocker rules of 1845, revisits European studies on the ancestry of baseball which indicate that the game dates back hundreds, if not thousands of years, and assembles a detailed history of games and pastimes from the Middle Ages onward that contributed to baseball’s development. In its thoroughness and reach, and its extensive descriptive bibliography of early baseball sources, this book is a unique and invaluable resource—a comprehensive, reliable, and readable account of baseball before it was America’s game.

The Curse of the Bambino by Dan Shaughnessy

The Boston Red Sox’s loss to the New York Yankees in the final game of last year’s playoffs has been called "the game of the century," evidence that the rivalry between the Red Sox and the Yankees is hotter than ever. In the wake of that defeat, author and Boston Globe sports columnist Dan Shaughnessy has updated his bewitching story of the curse that has lain over the Red Sox since they sold Babe Ruth to the hated Yankees in 1920. Here he sheds light on classic Sox debacles—from Johnny Pesky’s so- called hesitation throw, to the horrifying dribbler that slithered between Bill Buckner’s legs, to last year’s stunning extra-inning home run that kept the Sox without a World Championship for yet another year. Lively and filled with anecdotes, this is baseball folklore at its best.

Juiced: Wild Times, Rampant 'Roids, Smash Hits, and How Baseball Got Big by Jose Canseco

When Jose Canseco burst into the Major Leagues in the 1980s, he changed the sport -- in more ways than one. No player before him possessed his mixture of speed and power, which allowed him to become the first man in history to belt more than forty home runs and swipe more than forty bases in the same season. He won Rookie of the Year, Most Valuable Player, and a World Series ring. Canseco shattered the mold of the out-of-shape baseball player and ushered in a new era of super athletes who looked like bodybuilders, made outrageous salaries, and enjoyed rock-star lifestyles. And the ticket for this ride? Steroids. Behind the gaudy stats and the glamour of his public life, Canseco cultivated a secret just about everyone in MLB knew about, one that would alter the game of baseball and the way we view our heroes forever. Canseco made himself a guinea pig of the performance-enhancing drugs that were only just beginning to infiltrate the American underground. Anabolic steroids, human growth hormones -- Canseco mixed, matched, and experimented to such a degree that he became known throughout the league as "The Chemist." He passed his knowledge on to trainers and fellow players, and before long, performance-enhancing drugs were running rampant throughout Major League Baseball. Sluggers scooping up pitches at their ankles and blasting them out of the park, pitchers cranking fastballs inning after inning -- Canseco showed the players how to customize their doses to sculpt the bodies they wanted, and baseball as we know it was the result. Today, this issue has crept out of the closet and burst into the headlines as players balloon to Herculean proportions and hundred-year-old records are not only broken, but also demolished. In this shocking memoir, Canseco sheds light on a life of dizzying highs and debilitating lows, provides the answers to questions about steroids that millions of fans are only now beginning to ask -- and suggests that, far from being a passing trend, the steroid revolution is only a taste of things to come. Who's juiced? According to Canseco's authoritative account, more than you think. And baseball will never be the same.

The Duke of Havana: Baseball, Cuba, and the Search for the American Dream by Steve Fainaru and Ray Sanchez

The Duke of Havana is the inside story of Orlando "El Duque" Hernandez, fallen hero of the Cuban revolution. Banned by the Castro government for plotting to defect and shunned by Cuban society, the finest pitcher in Cuba's history fearlessly turned his internal exile into a political crusade. He ultimately escaped his country in a twenty-four-foot boat and, nine months later, triumphed in the World Series with the New York Yankees. Present throughout his story are the immensely talented Cuban players whose lives reflect the slow death of Cuban socialism. Also present is the Castro-hating Miami-based sports agent Joe Cubas, whose audacious, secret plots have transformed him into a major political figure in the Cuban exile community's relentless war to topple Castro. These personal stories illuminate the rising political and social tensions in Cuba, the growing status of the Catholic Church in the country's affairs, major league baseball's astonishingly corrupt system for recruiting players, its systematic violation of the U.S. trade embargo against Cuba, and the historic role of baseball in U.S.-Cuba relations. Reported in the United States and Cuba by two award-winning journalists who became part of the story they were reporting, The Duke of Havana is a riveting story of sports, politics, and greed.

Pitching In A Pinch: Or, Baseball From The Inside by Christy Mathewson

One of baseball's more enduring classics and earliest memoirs, Christy Mathewson's primer, first published in 1912, has also become one of the game's foremost anthropologies. Mathewson was one of baseball's first immortals: he was a star on the field, winning 373 games between 1900 and 1916--all but one as a Giant; an educated gentleman off the field; and a legitimate war hero who died from the effects of being gassed in World War I. Pitching in a Pinch passes on Mathewson's substantial knowledge of the game in general, and the intricacies of the mound in particular. The book's continuing delight and value rests in Mathewson's facility for capturing--from the inside--the game's ethos in the early 20th century, and the generous combination of anecdote and insight with which he shares it.

The Kid from Tomkinsville by John R. Tunis

Shortly before a serious accident ends his dream of pitching, Roy Tucker is called up from a small-town team in Connecticut to help the Brooklyn Dodgers out of a slump. A classic.

Shoeless Joe by W. P. Kinsella

"W. P. Kinsella plays with both myth and fantasy in his lyrical novel, which was adapted into the enormously popular movie, 'Field of Dreams.' It begins with the magic of a godlike voice in a cornfield, and ends with the magic of a son playing catch with the ghost of his father. In Kinsella's hands, it's all about as simple, and complex, as the object of baseball itself: coming home. Like Ring Lardner and Bernard Malamud before him, Kinsella spins baseball as backdrop and metaphor, and, like his predecessors, uses the game to tell us a little something more about who we are and what we need."

The Iowa Baseball Confederacy: A Novel by W. P. Kinsella

On the day he met his true love, a carnival performer named Darling Maudie, Matthew Clarke was literally struck by lightning and magically imbued with the knowledge that in 1908 the Chicago Cubs had traveled to Onamata, Iowa, to play a seemingly endless game against an all-star amateur team, the Iowa Baseball Confederacy. He spends the rest of his life trying to prove this fact to the world even writing a dissertation on it but no one else remembers the Confederacy or the game. When Matthew commits an imaginative suicide (by allowing himself to be hit by a stray line drive), his son Gideon, the hero of this tale, inherits his father's obsession. With the help of an old family friend who has a glimmer of memory of the game, Gideon and a friend, Stan, travel back through time to 1908, to witness the event and to learn about the mysterious forces that caused a memory lapse in those who witnessed it. In his first novel since Shoeless Joe, Kinsella returns to the magical turf he created there: a loving mixture of baseball, life and fantasy, in a world where dreams don't have to come true, because they have a validity all their own.

Koppett's Concise History of Major League Baseball by Leonard Koppett

Shocked to discover how little contemporary baseball stars knew of their sport’s rich lore, acclaimed baseball writer Leonard Koppett set out to change all that in one fell swoop. Koppett's Concise History of Major League Baseball, first published in 1998, now updated through the 2003 season and available in paperback for the first time, this great baseball book makes the entire treasure of the game’s history available in one richly enjoyable volume. Opening to literally any page, readers will find lively narratives on the shape and significance of each baseball season from the sport’s nineteenth century beginnings through 2003's scintillating postseason, as well as quantitative summaries of statistics that chronicle changes in the game. Each chapter recounts trends, players, and events during different eras, offers succinct seasonal recaps, and summarizes the highlights of each baseball era. On the origins and evolution of on-the-field play—from the 1880s origin of pitching high and tight then low and away, to today’s ballplayers’ use of body armor at bat—plus statistics and record-breaking achievements, Koppett’s got it covered. On the introduction of night baseball, radio and TV broadcasting, free agency, and the divisional play-offs, Koppet’s got it covered, too. And if readers want to know just whose interests have been served with each new development in the life of major-league baseball, Koppett’s the man. This is the only book of its kind--an instantly accessible and concise history of baseball by a Hall of Fame sportswriter that spans the divide between statistical encyclopedias and specialized narratives on individual seasons, teams, and players. In this first update since the original edition, David Koppett has taken his late father's copious notes and expanded the book with new sections on interleague play, home run races and records, newly opened ballparks, changes in umpiring, the Commissioner's office, the 2002 labor agreement, and summaries for every season since 1995.

The Neyer/James Guide to Pitchers: An Historical Compendium of Pitching, Pitchers, and Pitches by Bill James and Rob Neyer

Pitchers, the pitches they throw, and how they throw them -- these days it's the stuff of constant scrutiny, but there's never been anything like a comprehensive source for such information. That's what preeminent baseball analyst Bill James and ESPN.com baseball columnist Rob Neyer realized over lunch more than a dozen years ago. Since then, they've been compiling the centerpiece of this book, the "Pitcher Census," which lists specific information for nearly two thousand pitchers, ranging throughout the history of professional baseball.

A Day of Light and Shadows: One Die-Hard Red Sox Fan and His Game of a Lifetime: The Boston-New York Playoff 1978 by Jonathan Schwartz

DESTINY 5 - RED SOX 4 declared one Boston headline after Bucky Dent's unlikely home run had cost the Red Sox the dramatic 1978 playoff game at Fenway Park against the Yankees for the Eastern Division title of the American League. No one has commented more eloquently and openly on destiny's victories over the Sox and their devoted fans through the years than writer and New York radio personality Jonathan Schwartz, who left his heart in Fenway at an early age. Schwartz's stirring and unusually intimate account of the beauty and heartbreak of that resplendent day in '78 appeared in Sports Illustrated in 1979. It is now issued, on the 25th anniversary of the game, with a new autobiographical essay in which Schwartz reflects on the Sox, his life, and destiny's various line-ups in the two decades since Dent. With an Introduction by Boston Globe sports columnist Bob Ryan.

Pride of the Bimbos: A Novel by John Sayles

The Pride of the Bimbos is John Sayles's outrageous, poignant and hilarious first novel, about a circus sideshow softball team—The Brooklyn Bimbos—who play in drag at scraggly small towns across the South. The heart of the team—and the novel—is a midget and former private eye named Pogo Burns, who is pursued by Dred, an evil super-pimp whom Pogo had earlier shot in order to rescue a woman he loved. The Pride of the Bimbos is about Pogo's rise, fall and eventual immortality, a man who refuses to admit he's a freak.

We Are the Ship: The Story of Negro League Baseball by Kadir Nelson

The story of Negro League baseball is the story of gifted athletes and determined owners; of racial discrimination and international sportsmanship; of fortunes won and lost; of triumphs and defeats on and off the field. It is a perfect mirror for the social and political history of black America in the first half of the twentieth century. But most of all, the story of the Negro Leagues is about hundreds of unsung heroes who overcame segregation, hatred, terrible conditions, and low pay to do the one thing they loved more than anything else in the world: play ball. Using an "Everyman" player as his narrator, Kadir Nelson tells the story of Negro League baseball from its beginnings in the 1920s through its decline after Jackie Robinson crossed over to the majors in 1947. The voice is so authentic, you will feel as if you are sitting on dusty bleachers listening intently to the memories of a man who has known the great ballplayers of that time and shared their experiences. But what makes this book so outstanding are the dozens of full-page and double-page oil paintings--breathtaking in their perspectives, rich in emotion, and created with understanding and affection for these lost heroes of our national game.

I Remember Ted Williams: Anecdotes and Memories of Baseball's Splendid Splinter by the Players and People Who Knew Him (I Remember Series) by David Cataneo

Baseball Hall of Famer Ted Williams is a true sports legend, a superstar who was his era’s greatest hitter. His lifetime .344 average remains one of the highest marks ever achieved. Known at various times as “the Splendid Splinter,” “Teddy Ballgame,” and simply as “the Kid,” Williams played his entire career with the Boston Red Sox. Although missing nearly five full seasons due to military service and two major injuries, Williams still managed to hit 521 home runs to go with his six batting titles, two Triple Crowns, two Most Valuable Player awards, eighteen All-Star selections, and a .406 batting average in 1941 that remains the last time any major-leaguer has topped the .400 mark for a season. In I Remember Ted Williams, the legendary Red Sox outfielder is remembered through dozens of anecdotes, stories, and insights offered in their own words by former teammates as well as friends, associates, media, baseball officials, and fishing buddies. Together these contributors offer a unique and unforgettable reminiscence of one of the greatest and most enigmatic performers in baseball history.

Little League Confidential: One Coach's Completely Unauthorized Tale of Survival by William Geist and Bill Geist

This Little League coach's account of his woes, travails and soul storms in the course of one season is side-splitting. Geist, a CBS News correspondent, lives in Ridgewood, N.J., where he has shepherded preadolescents on the diamond for nine years and, to his amazement, has survived. He describes the draft system for securing players and a shrewd angle-worker who rigged the system. He analyzes the four major types of coaches: "It's only a game, so let's just have fun" (the nerd, according to the kids); "Win or I'll kill you" (the asshole, according to the kids); "We're here to build character, to learn life's lessons" (the despicable preacher, according to Geist); "I pick the kids with the best-looking mothers" (attribution superfluous). He writes of the games, with pitchers flinging balls three feet over the batters' heads, outfielders aiming for third base but throwing to first and a few tyros who are actually good. For anyone in need of a good laugh.

The Life You Imagine: Life Lessons for Achieving Your Dreams by Derek Jeter

Player on the All-Star team and a shortstop for the New York Yankees, Jeter would seem to have the perfect life. His skills on the field are stellar, and he's already been compared to some of baseball's most legendary players. Teammates and fans respect and adore him. In this affable volume, Jeter, who says he hopes he can set a good example for young people, shares some of his personal history as he outlines the 10 principles that led to his success. Jeter's life was not always idyllic: his mother is white and his father African-American, and they, along with Jeter and his sister, Sharlee, endured slurs and taunts while growing up. Yet Jeter clearly found a bulwark of affection in his parents, who set high standards for him and refused to let him stint on his academic work even as they wholeheartedly supported his athletic pursuits. (In fact, Jeter and his sister had to sign contracts spelling out the daily chores and other work they were expected to do.) Among the lessons his parents helped Jeter learn: set high goals, don't be afraid to fail, find role models and think before you act. For example, in the chapter "Have a Strong Supporting Cast," Jeter discusses the importance of selecting friends who encourage your ambitions and provide frank criticism of your mistakes; he offers many anecdotes of his own friends, including manager Joe Torre and his high school sweetheart, Marisa Novara. Jeter and Curry, a sports reporter for the New York Times, clearly assume the audience for this book will be teenagers who are looking to emulate Jeter's success. In fact, Jeter's story and his genuine concern with "being the best" and "doing the right thing" should motivate readers of all ages.

Bang the Drum Slowly (Second Edition) by Mark Harris

Henry Wiggen, hero of The Southpaw and the best-known fictional baseball player in America, is back again, throwing a baseball “with his arm and his brain and his memory and his bluff for the sake of his pocket and his family.” More than a novel about baseball, Bang the Drum Slowly is about the friendship and the lives of a group of men as they each learn that a teammate is dying of cancer. Bang the Drum Slowly was chosen as one of the top one hundred sports books of all time by Sports Illustrated and appears on numerous other lists of best baseball fiction. In the introduction to this new Bison Books edition Mark Harris discusses the making of the classic 1973 film starring Robert DeNiro, based on his screen adaptation of the book.

Hank Aaron: A Biography (Baseball's All-Time Greatest Hitters) by Charlie Vascellaro

At the time of Hank Aaron's birth in 1934, Babe Ruth reigned as baseball's home run king, and the Negro Leagues were an African American's only hope of playing professional baseball. Latent hopes for a different future thrived on Carver Park in Alabama, however, where a young Hank Aaron was soon to be seen perfecting the powerful stroke that would later make him one of the greatest hitters and most revered players in the history of the game. The owner of over 3,000 career base hits, the winner of two batting titles and one world championship, and the all time RBI leader and home run king, Hank Aaron began his historic career integrating the South Atlantic League, and spent much of his professional tenure as a member of the only major league team in the South. Despite the animosity that thus surrounded him both at home and on the road, Aaron never ceased to excel, and even achieved his most enduring feat-breaking Babe Ruth's career home run record-under threats to his own life. This enlightening biography provides a stunning portrait of one of the great hitters and great men of major league baseball history. It has been said that hitting a baseball is the hardest thing in professional sports. Baseball's All-Time Greatest Hitters presents biographies on Greenwood's selection for the 12 best hitters in Major League history, written by some of today's best baseball authors. These books present straightforward stories in accessible language for the high school researcher and the general reader alike. Each volume includes a timeline, bibliography, and index. In addition, each volume includes a "Making of a Legend" chapter that analyses the evolution of the player's fame and (in some cases) infamy.

Barry Bonds: A Biography (Baseball's All-Time Greatest Hitters) by John Bloom

Barry Bonds has emerged, statistically, as the most feared hitter since Babe Ruth. Bonds, winner of a record six MVP awards, holds the single-season record for home-runs, slugging percentage, on-base percentage, and walks, and is the only player ever to have hit 500 home-runs and stolen 500 bases. His statistical performance is beyond reproach, but his public image remains controversial, and recent allegations of steroid use have cast a shadow over his unprecedented accomplishments. This timely book strips away the hype and takes an objective look and Bonds' life and career. It has been said that hitting a baseball is the hardest thing to do in professional sports. Baseball's All-Time Greatest Hitters presents biographies on Greenwood's selection for the 12 best hitters in Major League history, written by some of today's best baseball authors. These books present straightforward stories in accessible language for the high school researcher and the general reader alike. Each volume includes a timeline, bibliography, and index. In addition, each volume includes a "Making of a Legend" chapter that analyses the evolution of the player's fame and (in some cases) infamy.

My Turn at Bat: The Story of My Life by Ted Williams

Now available for the first time in years, My Turn at Bat is Ted Williams' own story of his spectacular life and baseball career. An acclaimed best-seller, My Turn at Bat now features new photographs and, for the first time, Ted's reflections on his managing career and the state of baseball as it is played in the 1980s. It's all here in this brilliant, honest and sometimes angry autobiography -- Williams' childhood days in San Diego, his military service, his unforgettable major league baseball debut and ensuing Hall of Fame career that included two Triple Crowns, two Most Valuable Player awards, six batting championships, five Sporting News awards as Major League Player of the Year, 521 lifetime homeruns and a .344 career batting average. And Williams tells his side of the controversies, from his battles with sportswriters and Boston fans to his single World Series performance and his career with the declining Red Sox of the 1950s. My Turn at Bat belongs in the library of everyone who loves Ted Williams, baseball, or great life stories well-told. Red Barber proclaimed My Turn at Bat to be: "One of the best baseball books I've ever read." John Leonard of The New York Times said My Turn at Bat was "unbuttoned and wholly engaging...the portrait of an original who is unrepentant about being better than anyone else."

You Gotta Have Wa (Vintage) by Robert Whiting

A hilarious, informative, and riveting account of Japanese baseball and the cultural clashes that ensued when Americans began playing there professionally. In Japan, baseball is a way of life. It is a philosophy. It is besuboru. Its most important element is wa—group harmony—embodied in the proverb "The nail that sticks up shall be hammered down." In this witty and incisive book, Robert Whiting gives us a close-up look at besuboru's teams, obsessive ritualism, and history, as seen through the eyes of American players who found the Japanese approach—rigorous pre-game practices, the tolerance for tie games, injured pitchers encouraged to “pitch through the pain”—completely baffling. With vivid accounts of East meeting West, involving Babe Ruth, Ichiro Suzuki, Bobby Valentine, Japanese home run king Sadaharu Oh, and many others, this lively and completely unique book is an utter gem and baseball classic.

Something to Write Home About: Great Baseball Memories in Letters to a Fan by Seth Swirsky

Something to Write Home About is a riveting collection of personal baseball memories told in handwritten letters to author and pop songwriter Seth Swirsky by the likes of President George W. Bush, Hall of Fame slugger Ernie Banks, Senator Edward Kennedy, Sir Paul McCartney, L.A. Dodgers all-star Shawn Green, Hall of Fame pitcher Tom Seaver, Meet the Press moderator Tim Russert, astronaut Buzz Aldrin, and many other well-known and passionate fans and players of the game. Jump inside this wonderfully original book and read these incredible stories, written by the people who were there as they happened. Filled with more than 170 rare photographs and amazing pieces of historic baseball memorabilia from the author’s own collection, Something to Write Home About truly has something for every lover of baseball’s unpredictable energy and drama. During the baseball strike of 1994, Seth Swirsky stayed in touch with the game by writing letters to baseball players young and old—the famous and the not-so-famous. Those letters were turned into his first two bestselling books, Baseball Letters (1996) and Every Pitcher Tells a Story (1999). Something to Write Home About, the third in this remarkable trilogy, confirms Swirsky’s status as baseball’s number one fan and aficionado. Visually stunning, historically compelling, and just plain fun, Something to Write Home About invites readers to come in, pull up a chair, and spend some time reading these amazing and revealing recollections about baseball and life.

Baseball as America : Seeing Ourselves Through Our National Game by National Baseball Hall Of Fame and National Geographic

In the spring of 2002, the National Baseball Hall of Fame will launch a landmark four-year traveling exhibition that will premier at the American Museum of Natural History in New York and tour to leading museums in nine major cities across the United States. The show will bring the Hall of Fame’s treasures, including rare baseball images and artifacts, to every American in a once-in-a-lifetime celebration of the game that has defined our nation. National Geographic is proud to offer the official companion book to this groundbreaking event. Featuring more than 30 essays by writers, players, scholars, and fans, including John Grisham, Tom Brokaw, Dave Barry, Roger Kahn, Paul Simon, George Plimpton, Penny Marshall, and others, Baseball As America will explore every rich facet of the national pastime. In examining such formative phenomena as immigration, industrialization, popular culture, and technology, it will reveal how baseball has served as both a public reflection of and a catalyst for the evolution of American culture and society. Baseball As America will also examine how the American landscape, our language, literature, entertainment, food, and summertime living all bear the mark of a 19th-century game that has become inextricably intertwined with our nation¼s values and aspirations. A handsome, hardbound volume, Baseball As America also features more than 200 original and archival photographs that bring the game to life on its pages. Perfect for every baseball fan, indeed every American, Baseball As America is a comprehensive panorama of the game America has grown up with. It will foster a new appreciation not only for the game, but also for the very character of our nation.

Spalding's World Tour: The Epic Adventure that Took Baseball Around the Globe - And Made it America's Game by Mark Lamster

In October 1888, Albert Goodwill Spalding--baseball star, sporting-goods magnate, promotional genius, serial fabulist--departed Chicago on a trip that would take him and two baseball teams on a journey clear around the globe. Their mission had two goals: to fix the game in the American consciousness as the purest expression of the national spirit, and to seed markets for Spalding's products near and far. In the process, these first cultural ambassadors played before kings and queens, visited the Coliseum and the Eiffel Tower, and took pot shots with their baseballs at the great Sphinx in Egypt. Their expedition is chronicled with dash and wit in Spalding's World Tour, "a riveting story of baseball and the man...who brought it into the 20th century." (Newsweek)

Diamonds Are Forever: Artists and Writers on Baseball by The Smithsonian Institution

This handsome reissue of a beloved baseball classic, sporting a new cover, collects the work of America’s finest writers and artists as they celebrate the passion and excitement of our national pastime. Published in cooperation with the Smithsonian Institution, Diamonds Are Forever collects paintings, drawings, photographs, and literary excerpts, illuminating every aspect of the game-the plays, the parks, the players, the fans. Work from John Updike, Andy Warhol, Stephen King, Edna Ferber, Neil Simon, Jacob Lawrence, Roger Angell, and dozens more make this volume an artistic tribute to the quintessentially American game.

The Last Night of the Yankee Dynasty New Edition: The Game, the Team, and the Cost of Greatness by Buster Olney

For six extraordinary years around the turn of the millennium, the Yankees were baseball's unstoppable force, with players such as Paul O'Neill, Derek Jeter, and Mariano Rivera. But for the players and the coaches, baseball Yankees-style was also an almost unbearable pressure cooker of anxiety, expectation, and infighting. With owner George Steinbrenner at the controls, the Yankees money machine spun out of control. In this new edition of The Last Night of the Yankee Dynasty, Buster Olney tracks the Yankees through these exciting and tumultuous seasons, updating his insightful portrait with a new introduction that walks readers through Steinbrenner's departure from power, Joe Torre's departure from the team, the continued failure of the Yankees to succeed in the postseason, and the rise of Hank Steinbrenner. With an insider's familiarity with the game, Olney reveals what may have been an inevitable fall that last night of the Yankee dynasty, and its powerful aftermath.

Haunted Baseball: Ghosts, Curses, Legends, and Eerie Events by Mickey Bradley and Dan Gordon

Baseball and ghost stories are as American as apple pie. Haunted Baseball combines both in this fun and freaky collection of otherworldly yarns.
Assembled from baseball players, stadium personnel, umpires, front-office folks, and fans, the tales told here explore the spooky connection between baseball and the paranormal. We learn of the Curse of the Billy Goat that still haunts the Chicago Cubs, of hidden passageways within the depths of Dodger Stadium, and of the spirits of legendary stars that inspire modern-day players at Yankee Stadium. We hear why Johnny Damon believes in ghosts and how the memories of a 9/11 hero inspired Ken Griffey Jr. to hit a home run against the Phillies—a team against which he’d never even gotten a hit! There are the stories of how Sam Rice settled a decades-old baseball controversy with a message from beyond the grave and how the late Roberto Clemente had premonitions of his own death in a plane crash. With a wealth of anecdotes that have never before been told, the authors present an entertaining and eerie look at our national pastime. 

Twilight of the Long-ball Gods: Dispatches from the Disappearing Heart of Baseball by John Schulian

A report from the true heart of baseball, this anthology leaves behind the bad boys and big names of the major leagues to take readers to the places where the spirit of America's game resides. These are a veteran sportswriter's dispatches from the bush leagues and the sandlot, his tributes to the Negro leaguers, mining-town dreamers, and certifiable eccentrics who give baseball its heart and soul, laughter and tears. John Schulian, a long-time Sports Illustrated contributor and former Chicago Sun-Times sports columnist, puts together a portrait of a disappearing America-a place inhabited by star-crossed Negro Leagues slugger Josh Gibson; by a vagabond player still toiling for the Durham Bulls at thirty-six; by the coach who created the Eskimo Pie League for kids in a Utah copper-mining town. When he does venture into the big leagues, Schulian gives us the underdogs and the human touches, from Bill Veeck peg-legging toward retirement as the game's last maverick team owner, to musings on Joe DiMaggio and Marilyn Monroe at Christmas, to Studs Terkel's reflections on baseball. In the end, though, this collection belongs to the kid at a tryout camp, the washed-out semipro following the game on his car radio, the players who were the toasts of outposts from Roswell to Wisconsin Rapids-and to the readers who keep the spirit of the game alive.

The Book: Playing the Percentages in Baseball by Tom M. Tango, Mitchel Lichtman, Andrew Dolphin, and Pete Palmer

Written by three esteemed baseball statisticians, The Book continues where the legendary Bill James's Baseball Abstracts and Palmer and Thorn's The Hidden Game of Baseball left off more than twenty years ago. Continuing in the grand tradition of sabermetrics, the authors provide a revolutionary way to think about baseball with principles that can be applied at every level, from high school to the major leagues. Tom Tango, Mitchel Lichtman, and Andrew Dolphin cover topics such as batting and pitching matchups, platooning, the benefits and risks of intentional walks and sacrifices, the legitimacy of alleged "clutch" hitters, and many of baseball's other theories on hitting, fielding, pitching, and even base running. They analyze when a strategy is a good idea and when it's a bad idea, and how to more closely watch the "inside" game of baseball. Whenever you hear an announcer talk about the "unwritten rule" or say that so-and-so is going "by the book" in bringing in a situational substitute, The Book reviews the facts and determines what the real case is. If you want to know what the folks in baseball should be doing, find out in The Book.

Win Shares by Bill James and Jim Henzler

Win Shares, a revolutionary system that allows for player evaluation across positions, teams and eras, measures the total sum of player contributions in one groundbreaking number. James' latest advancement in the world of statistical analysis is the next big stepping-stone in the "greatest players of all-time" debate. For as long as baseball has been played, fans have struggled to compare the legends of the game with today's stars. Win Shares by Decade is just one of the many sections you'll find inside to help you judge who ranks where among the pantheon of baseball greats.

Bill James Handbook 2009 by Bill James

Every year, thousands of avid baseball fans eagerly await The Bill James Handbook the best and most complete annual baseball guide available. Full of exclusive stats, this book is the most comprehensive resource of every hit, pitch and catch in Major League Baseball's 2008 season.

Baseball: A Literary Anthology by Nicholas Dawidoff

Robert Frost never felt more at home in America than when watching baseball "be it in park or sand lot." Full of heroism and heartbreak, the most beloved of American sports is also the most poetic, and writers have been drawn to this sport as to no other. With Baseball: A Literary Anthology, The Library of America presents the story of the national adventure as revealed through the fascinating lens of the great American game. Philip Roth considers the terrible thrill of the adolescent centerfielder; Richard Ford listens to minor-league baseball on the radio while driving cross-country; Amiri Baraka remembers the joy of watching the Newark Eagles play in the era before Jackie Robinson shattered the color line. Unforgettable portraits of legendary players who have become icons-Babe Ruth, Ty Cobb, and Hank Aaron-are joined by glimpses of lesser-known characters such as the erudite Moe Berg, who could speak a dozen languages "but couldn't hit in any of them." Poems in Baseball: A Literary Anthology include indispensable works whose phrases have entered the language-Ernest Thayer's "Casey at the Bat" and Franklin P. Adams's "Baseball's Sad Lexicon"-as well as more recent offerings from May Swenson, Yusef Komunyakaa, and Martin Espada. Testimonies from classic oral histories offer insights into the players who helped enshrine the sport in the American imagination. Spot reporting by Heywood Broun and Damon Runyon stands side by side with journalistic profiles that match baseball legends with some of our finest writers: John Updike on Ted Williams, Gay Talese on Joe DiMaggio, Red Smith on Lefty Grove.

Last Days of Summer by Steve Kluger

Through letters, notes, report cards, matchbook covers, and telegrams, a novel set in the 1940s follows the sometimes underhanded efforts of Joey Margolis, a fatherless twelve year old, to persuade New York Giants third baseman Charlie Banks to be his role model.

Sports Illustrated: The Baseball Book by Editors of Sports Illustrated

Continuing in the tradition of Sports Illustrated 50th Anniversary Book and The Football Book comes a spectacular celebration of baseball that will be treasured by fans of the National Pastime. With the same kind of unforgettable photographs and award-winning writing that propelled The Football Book to surpass the sales of The Anniversary Book, a New York Times best-seller, this lavish coffee-table volume brings to life the legendary players, the classic action and the great traditions of the Summer Game. In 294 oversized pages, The Baseball Book commemorates the epic teams and characters, the crucial plays and classic games, the personalities and performances and artifacts that have kept baseball at the heart of American sports for more than a century.

Bad Guys Won by Jeff Pearlman

Once upon a time, twenty-four grown men would play baseball together, eat together, carouse together, and brawl together. Alas, those hard-partying warriors have been replaced by GameBoy-obsessed, laptop-carrying, corporate soldiers who would rather punch a clock than a drinking buddy. But it wasn't always this way ...In The Bad Guys Won, award-winning former Sports Illustrated baseball writer Jeff Pearlman returns to an innocent time when a city worshipped a man named Mookie and the Yankees were the second-best team in New York. So it was in 1986, when the New York Mets -- the last of baseball's live-like-rock-star teams -- won the World Series and captured the hearts (and other select body parts) of fans everywhere .But their greatness on the field was nearly eclipsed by how bad they were off it. Led by the indomitable Keith Hernandez and the young dynamic duo of Dwight Gooden and Darryl Strawberry, along with the gallant Scum Bunch, the Amazin's won 108 regular-season games, while leaving a wide trail of wreckage in their wake -- hotel rooms, charter planes, a bar in Houston, and most famously Bill Buckner and the eternally cursed Boston Red Sox. With an unforgettable cast of characters -- Doc, Straw, the Kid, Nails, Mex, and manager Davey Johnson (as well as innumerable groupies) -- The Bad Guys Won immortalizes baseball's last great wild bunch of explores what could have been, what should have been, and thanks to a tragic dismantling of the club, what never was.

The Worst Team Money Could Buy by Bob Klapisch and John Harper

Even before the New York Mets began the 1992 season, they had set a critical record: the highest payroll ever for a major-league team, $45 million. With players Bobby Bonilla, Vince Coleman, Bret Saberhagen, and Howard Johnson, winning another championship seemed a mere formality. The 1992 New York Mets never made it to Cooperstown, however. Veteran newspapermen Bob Klapisch and John Harper reveal the extraordinary inside story of the Mets' decline and fall-with the sort of detail and uncensored quotes that never run in a family newspaper. From the sex scandals that plagued the club in Florida to the puritanical, no-booze rules of manager Jeff Torborg, from bad behavior on road trips to the downright ornery practical "jokes" that big boys play, The Worst Team Money Could Buy is a grand-slam classic. Bob Klapisch is a sports columnist covering major-league baseball for The Record. Klapisch has worked at the New York Post and the New York Daily News and is a regular contributor to ESPN.com. He is the author of five baseball books, including High and Tight: The Rise and Fall of Dwight Gooden and Darryl Strawberry. John Harper covered the Mets for the New York Post from 1988 to 1992 before joining the Daily News, where he is a sports columnist.

The Last Good Season: Brooklyn, the Dodgers, and Their Final Pennant Race Together by Michael Shapiro

In the bestselling tradition of The Boys of Summer and Wait ‘Til Next Year, The Last Good Season is the poignant and dramatic story of the Brooklyn Dodgers’ last pennant and the forces that led to their heartbreaking departure to Los Angeles.The 1956 Brooklyn Dodgers were one of baseball’s most storied teams, featuring such immortals as Jackie Robinson, Pee Wee Reese, Duke Snider, Gil Hodges, and Roy Campanella. The love between team and borough was equally storied, an iron bond of loyalty forged through years of adversity and sometimes legendary ineptitude. Coming off their first World Series triumph ever in 1955, against the hated Yankees, the Dodgers would defend their crown against the Milwaukee Braves and the Cincinnati Reds in a six-month neck-and-neck contest until the last day of the playoffs, one of the most thrilling pennant races in history. But as The Last Good Season so richly relates, all was not well under the surface. The Dodgers were an aging team at the tail end of its greatness, and Brooklyn was a place caught up in rapid and profound urban change. From a cradle of white ethnicity, it was being transformed into a racial patchwork, including Puerto Ricans and blacks from the South who flocked to Ebbets Field to watch the Dodgers’ black stars. The institutions that defined the borough – the Brooklyn Eagle, the Brooklyn Navy Yard – had vanished, and only the Dodgers remained. And when their shrewd, dollar-squeezing owner, Walter O’Malley, began casting his eyes elsewhere in the absence of any viable plan to replace the aging Ebbets Field and any support from the all-powerful urban czar Robert Moses, the days of the Dodgers in Brooklyn were clearly numbered. Michael Shapiro, a Brooklyn native, has interviewed many of the surviving participants and observers of the 1956 season, and undertaken immense archival research to bring its public and hidden drama to life. Like David Halberstam’s The Summer of ’49, The Last Good Season combines an exciting baseball story, a genuine sense of nostalgia, and hard-nosed reporting and social thinking to reveal, in a new light, a time and place we only thought we understood.

The Final Season: Fathers, Sons, and One Last Season in a Classic American Ballpark (Honoring a Detroit Legend) by Tom Stanton

Maybe your dad took you to ball games at Fenway, Wrigley, or Ebbets. Maybe the two of you watched broadcasts from Yankee Stadium or Candlestick Park, or listened as Red Barber or Vin Scully called the plays on radio. Or maybe he coached your team or just played catch with you in the yard. Chances are good that if you're a baseball fan, your dad had something to do with it--and your thoughts of the sport evoke thoughts of him. If so, you will treasure The Final Season, a poignant true story about baseball and heroes, family and forgiveness, doubts and dreams, and a place that brings them all together. Growing up in the 60s and 70s, Tom Stanton lived for his Detroit Tigers. When Tiger Stadium began its 88th and final season, he vowed to attend all 81 home games in order to explore his attachment to the place where four generations of his family have shared baseball. Join him as he encounters idols, conjures decades past, and discovers the mysteries of a park where Cobb and Ruth played. Come along and sit beside Al Kaline on the dugout bench, eat popcorn with Elmore Leonard, hear Alice Cooper's confessions, soak up the warmth of Ernie Harwell, see McGwire and Ripken up close, and meet Chicken Legs Rau, Bleacher Pete, Al the Usher, and a parade of fans that are anything but ordinary. By the autumn of his odyssey, Stanton comes to realize that his anguish isn't just about the loss of a beloved ballpark but about his dad's mortality, for at the heart of this story is the love between fathers and sons--a theme that resonates with baseball fans of all ages.

The Curse of Rocky Colavito: A Loving Look at a Thirty-Year Slump by Terry Pluto

Any team can have an off-decade. But three in a row? Only in Cleveland.
The Indians tempted fate when they traded away Rocky Colavito in 1960. Young, strong, popular, and coming off back-to-back 40 home run/100 RBI seasons, he was the type of player you just don't trade.
Then, for the next thirty-three years, the Indians slumped miserably, finishing above .500 just six times, never higher than third in their division.
Only pride and masochism brought fans back to drafty old Cleveland Stadium during those awful seasons, when even the most optimistic knew their hopes would be dashed by June. Veteran sportswriter Terry Pluto takes a witty look at the endless parade of strange events that afflicted the Tribe. Other teams lose players to injuries; the Indians lost them to alcoholism (Sam McDowell), a nervous breakdown (Tony Horton), and the pro golf tour (Ken Harrelson). They even had to trade young Dennis Eckersley (a future Hall-of-Famer) because his wife fell in love with his best friend and teammate. Pluto profiles the men who made the Indians what they were, for better or worse, including Gabe Paul, the under funded and overmatched general manager; Herb Score, the much-loved master of malapropos in the broadcast booth; Andre Thornton, who weathered personal tragedies and stood as one of the few hitting stalwarts on some terrible teams; Super Joe Charboneau, who blazed across the American League as a rookie but flamed out the following season; and Hank Peters, John Hart, and Mike Hargrove, who eventually pointed the team in the right direction. Long-suffering Indians fans survived the curse and finally got an exciting, star-studded, winning team in the second half of the 1990s. But The Curse of Rocky Colavito still stands as a classic look back at those years of futility and frustration that made the rare taste of success so much sweeter.

The Mick by Mickey Mantle and H. Gluck

Mickey Mantle tells all, from his childhood in Oklahoma to the bright lights of Yankee Stadium.

Mickey Mantle: Stories and Memorabilia from a Lifetime with The Mick by Mickey Herskowitz, Danny Mantle and David Mantle

Some say he was the greatest ever—a rare combination of power and speed who made acrobatic catches and never failed to get a hit when his team needed it most. The son of an Oklahoma miner, he was the anchor in center field for a Yankees team that won seven world championships. He was three times the league MVP, he won the Triple Crown in 1956, and in 1961 he dueled teammate Roger Maris in a thrilling race for the single-season home run record. He was so famous that to identify him people didn’t even bother to say his last name or even all of his first. He was known, simply, as The Mick. Mickey Mantle is the first-ever illustrated biography published with the support of the Mantle family. Covering his entire life from his impoverished youth to his glorious career to his poignant sunset years, it features rare photos and never-before-seen memorabilia, with 10 pull-out, removable facsimiles. It also includes intimate stories collected over the years by his sons and his friend, writer Mickey Herskowitz— stories that will be new even to the most avid Mantle enthusiasts. This book is an absolute must for Mantle fans of every stripe, Yankees fans, and baseball fans in general.

USA TODAY Baseball Scorebook: Includes 100 Scorecards by Rob McMahon

Take this out to the ball game! From USA TODAY comes a fun, one-stop shop for baseball lovers. Featuring 100 red-and-blue scorecards (more than enough for all the home games) and a section for autographs, it’s essential gear for a day at the ballpark. And there’s more, too, including a lavishly illustrated history of baseball, a long list of record holders, and instructions on how to keep score—including abbreviations.

Filling out scorecards, and saving them as precious souvenirs, has been a long-held tradition. This volume is the perfect way for parents to teach their children about America’s national sport and create memories that will last a lifetime.

Topps Baseball Cards: The Complete Picture Collection, a 40-Year History, 1951-1990 by Frank Slocum, Red Foley, Sy Berger, and Inc. Topps Chewing Gum

Excellent View of all Topps Baseball Cards Presented Yearly of each cards front face reduced to approx. 20% of the actual size on nice premium glossy thick paper. The next best thing to actually owning the entire collection which could cost approx. a half million dollars. Excellent gift for any baseball card fan of years gone by to re-live there childhood memories in this massive volume weighting more than 10-lbs.

Walter Johnson: Baseball's Big Train by Henry W. Thomas and Shirley Povich

"This lavishly illustrated narrative of Walter Johnson's life is the definitive work on the subject and is likely to remain so." - Lawrence S. Ritter, 'Oldtyme Baseball News'. "Henry Thomas's biography of Walter Johnson is carefully researched, thoroughly documented, and, best of all, a pleasure to read." - 'Spitball'. "Does justice to Johnson's extraordinary on-field accomplishments, and it also emphasizes his decency, humility, and self-effacing humor." - 'Booklist'. "Belongs in the very top ranks of sports biographies." - 'Washington Times'. "One of the most comprehensive biographies ever written about an athlete. Incredibly detailed, filled with fascinating stories about arguably the greatest pitcher of all time." - Tim Kurkjian, senior writer for 'Sports Illustrated'. "Delights the soul." - 'Sports Collectors Digest'. Henry W. Thomas, the grandson of Walter Johnson, lives in Arlington, Virginia. He is currently editing, for audio release, the interviews taped by Lawrence Ritter for his classic "The Glory of Their Times". Shirley Povich died in 1998 at the age of 92 after seventy-five years as an award-winning sportswriter for the 'Washington Post'.

Past Time: Baseball As History by Jules Tygiel

Few writers know more about baseball's role in American life than Jules Tygiel. In Baseball's Great Experiment: Jackie Robinson and His Legacy, Tygiel penned a classic work, a landmark book that towers above most writing about the sport. Now he ranges across the last century and a half in an intriguing look at baseball as history, and history as reflected in baseball. In Past Time, Tygiel gives us a seat behind home plate, where we catch the ongoing interplay of baseball and American society. We begin in New York in the 1850s, where pre-Civil War nationalism shaped the emergence of a "national pastime." We witness the true birth of modern baseball with the development of its elaborate statistics--the brainchild of English-born reformer, Henry Chadwick. Chadwick, Tygiel writes, created the sport's "historical essence" and even imparted a moral dimension to the game with his concepts of "errors" and "unearned" runs. Tygiel offers equally insightful looks at the role of rags-to-riches player-owners in the formation of the upstart American League and he describes the complex struggle to establish African-American baseball in a segregated world. He also examines baseball during the Great Depression (when Branch Rickey and Larry MacPhail saved the game by perfecting the farm system, night baseball, and radio broadcasts), the ironies of Bobby Thomson's immortal "shot heard 'round the world," the rapid relocation of franchises in the 1950s and 1960s, and the emergence of rotisserie leagues and fantasy camps in the 1980s. In Past Time, Jules Tygiel provides baseball history with a difference. Instead of a pitch-by-pitch account of great games, in this groundbreaking book, the field is American history and baseball itself is the star.

The Biographical Encyclopedia of the Negro Baseball Leagues by Monte Irvin and James A. Riley

Now available in a handsomely produced oversized paperback—with expanded information and 24 pages of black-and-white photographs—The Biographical Encyclopedia of the Negro Baseball Leagues documents more than four thousand players on Negro League teams from 1872 through 1950. Called "one of the best reference books of the year" by Library Journal and named an outstanding academic book of the year by the American Library Association, this is the first book to cover comprehensively the careers of all African Americans who played with a team of major-league quality or whose careers are featured in the history of America's Pastime. It delivers a wealth of information, from vital statistics and the standard baseball figures of batting averages and pitching records to career data, including years of active play, positions played, team affiliations, and even nicknames. To create this one-of-a-kind reference, baseball authority James A. Riley traveled the country to interview the surviving members of the Negro Leagues about their exploits and the careers of their now-deceased teammates. With this invaluable firsthand information, Riley brings to life the careers of such greats as Satchel Paige, Ray Dandridge, Josh Gibson, and Leon Day. Looking past Jackie Robinson's breaking of the color barrier in 1947, he profiles all Major League Hall of Fame players who also played in the Negro Leagues such as Hank Aaron, Willie Mays, Ernie Banks, and Roy Campanella. "A landmark publication in the fields of baseball history and African-American history … a one-of-a-kind work."

Image of Their Greatness: An Illustrated History of Baseball by Lawrence S. Ritter

A revised and updated edition of this illustrated classic, one of the most celebrated and informative books ever on the history of baseball, takes the reader decade by decade through the names and faces that have shaped America's favorite pastime. Illustrations.

Baseball in '41: A Celebration of the "Best Baseball Season Ever" by Robert W. Creamer

A thoroughly agreeable and digressive trip down memory lane with a lifelong fan of the national pastime. In 1941, Creamer (Stengel, 1984; Babe, 1974) turned 19 and entered college. Though aware that the war raging in Europe would inevitably affect his future, the young New Yorker paid appreciably more attention to major-league baseball's pennant races. Who can blame him? It was a genuinely wonderful year. Among other signal events, Joe DiMaggio hit in 56 straight games, Ted Williams batted .406, the Brooklyn Dodgers (under Leo Durocher) beat out the St. Louis Cardinals for the National League flag, and the New York Yankees returned to form, outdistancing their rivals by a double- digit margin to cop the junior-circuit crown. The Bronx Bombers went on to win a five-game World Series from the Bums, thanks in large measure to Mickey Owen's fabled muff of a ninth-inning pitch. Between opening day and the final out, Creamer recalls other of the season's highlights as well. Cases in point range from Stan Musial's debut and the dramatic three-run homer Williams hit in the last of the ninth to win the All Star game through the way a super patriotic press almost literally hounded Hank Greenberg (the American League's MVP in 1940) into the military. As a bonus, the author displays touches of real class in his blow-by-blow account of a glorious time. At one point, for instance, he likens the latter-day Yankees to Austria, ``an unimportant little country that has monuments to the days when it ruled half of Europe.'' An evocative delight for nostalgia buffs as well as devotees of the diamond game and its storied past.

Coaching Youth Baseball the Ripken Way by Cal, Jr. Ripken, Bill Ripken, Scott Lowe, and Jim Leyland

Coaching young players, developing their skills, and cultivating a love for the sport may be the most rewarding experience baseball can offer. Cal and Bill Ripken understand this like few others. From their father, Cal Sr., a legend in the Baltimore Orioles organization for 37 years, they learned to play the game the right way. Those lessons, paired with their combined 33 years of big league experience, helped develop the Ripken Way, a method of teaching the game through simple instruction, solid explanations, encouragement, and a positive atmosphere. In Coaching Youth Baseball the Ripken Way, Cal and Bill share this approach to coaching and development. Whether you’re teaching your children at home, managing the local travel team, or working with high school-level players, Coaching Youth Baseball the Ripken Way will help you make a difference both on and off the field.

The Baseball Drill Book by American Baseball Coaches Association and Bob Bennett

Get more out of each practice! The Baseball Drill Book presents 198 activities to sharpen every aspect of player and team performance. The American Baseball Coaches Association enlisted 17 top baseball coaches to create the best and most complete collection of baseball drills in print. Bob Bennett, Ed Cheff, Gordie Gillespie, Gene Stephenson, Ray Tanner, and a dozen more coaching greats cover all the bases.

Negro League Baseball by Ernest C. Withers

Long before blacks gained entrance into major league baseball, some of the greatest athletes ever to play the game were performing remarkable feats in the Negro Leagues. Fans today look back on the legendary Negro Leagues with reverence and awe, yet there has been woefully little visual documentation of the leagues' history. This treasure trove of images by Ernest Withers, the unofficial team photographer for the Memphis Red Sox, captures the peak of Negro League action through the years of groundbreaking integration, as well as the community in which black baseball was played. Satchel Paige, Jackie Robinson, and Hank Aaron are among the superstars portrayed in 150 photographs, reproduced in stunning duotone plates, introduced by baseball legend Willie Mays, and accompanied by an informative text by Daniel Wolff. From pictures of Indianapolis clown King Tut, the baseball equivalent of a Harlem Globetrotter, and pitcher Charley Pride, who went on to become a country/western singing star, to shots of visiting celebrities and ballplayers relaxing at local clubs, these astonishing photographs evoke a long-gone era and form an essential visual archive of a near-mythological aspect of baseball history. AUTHOR BIO: Ernest C. Withers has photographed the African-American community for more than 50 years, documenting the struggle for civil rights, the black social world, and the Negro Leagues. He lives and works in Memphis. Daniel Wolff has published poetry, short stories, and critical writing on photography, as well as a biography of Sam Cooke, You Send Me. He lives in Nyack, New York. Willie Mays, the baseball Hall of Famer, began his career in 1948 with the Negro Leagues and went on to play in 24 All-Star games and participate in four World Series.

A Noble Game: A History of the Negro Baseball Leagues by Will Pascoe

The Negro Baseball Leagues were one of the first and most successful black businesses in the United States during the first half of the twentieth-century. Combing great athletic skill, shrewd marketing, and a professional spirit that was the equal to its white major-league counterpart, black baseball was so successful in its efforts to show a competitive game to a larger section of America, that ultimately its own success led to its spectacular downfall. When Jackie Robinson broke Major League Baseball’s “color wall” in 1947, the game of baseball was changed forever, and for the Negro Baseball Leagues, it was the beginning of the end. A Noble Game looks at the rise and fall of the Negro Baseball Leagues, what they meant to America in an age of segregation, and how their success was a powerful influence during the early days of the American Civil Rights movement. Including interviews with former Negro League stars and exhaustive research, A Noble Game is a rich study of what baseball meant to Americans - both black and white - in the decades before Jackie Robinson changed history. A Noble Game is the little-known story of how the first popular civil rights battle - and victory - occurred not in the courts or in the legislature, but on the baseball diamond.

The Negro Baseball Leagues: A Photographic History by Phil Dixon

The Society for American Baseball Research (SABR) awarded Phil Dixon's first major work its Casey Award for the Best Baseball Book of 1993. It is a well-deserved honor. This book is an essential text for baseball and social historians. Anyone who has studied this area understands the dearth of information and the lack of photographic documentation of this important institution. Dixon unearthed a treasure trove of previously unpublished Negro Leagues photos, which are reason enough to recommend this book. But instead of falling back on well-worn research compiled in the 1970s to support these images, Dixon also casts light on subject areas overlooked by other researchers. His images from the late 19th and Early 20th centuries are particularly striking.

Complete Book of Baseball's Negro Leagues by John B. Holway, Lloyd Johnson, Rachel Borst, and Buck O'Neil

The Complete Book of Baseball's Negro Leagues is the most ambitious book ever undertaken "On the other half of baseball's history". For the first time, almost every man who ever batted or pitched from 1862 to 1948 is listed, along with his annual batting average or won-lost record. It will change forever the way American baseball history is perceived and written.

Tales From the Ballpark : More of the Greatest True Baseball Stories Ever Told by Mike Shannon

Now in paperback, Mike Shannon's newest collection of memorable anecdotes from the game's past and present will appeal to all generations of baseball fans. It includes priceless stories from such legends as Ted Williams and Bob Gibson as well as from modern-day stars such as Mo Vaughn and David Wells. These humorous and touching tales will delight fans for many years to come.

Baseball: The Biographical Encyclopedia by Matthew Silverman, Michael Gershman, and David Pietrusza

This compendium of 2000 baseball-related biographies, from Aaron to Zisk, comes from the editors of Total Baseball. It is no surprise that a multi-contributor work this huge has some problems, as when the Smoky Burgess article declares that Burgess erased Red Lucas! career pinch hit mark of 114 while the Lucas bio states that Lucas had a total of 114 lifetime pinch hits was broken by Jerry Lynch. Likewise, some will wonder why Ken Griffey Sr. gets more space than Ken Griffey Jr. and why Phil Linz, best known for playing his harmonica at an inopportune time, is included when over 13,000 other major leaguers are not. But baseball thrives on such arguments. This pleasingly presented and written reference might not supplant The Ballplayers with its 6000 entries, as the gold standard for baseball biographical encyclopedias, but with longer bios and an eye for the entertaining story, it belongs next to it on all comprehensive baseball reference shelves.

Dock Ellis in the Country of Baseball by Donald Hall

Outspoken and fiercely independent, black athlete Ellis refused to ingratiate himself with baseball's powers-that-be, a decision that hindered his career. While with the Pittsburgh Pirates, he achieved a certain notoriety for appearing on the field with his hair in curlers or wearing a gold earring. PW called this biography "nothing special."

Zim: A Baseball Life by Don Zimmer and Bill Madden

Zimmer is a "lifer," having been involved with professional baseball for half a century. A native of Cincinnati, he signed with the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1949; a powerful shortstop, he was the logical successor to Pee Wee Reese. Zimmer suffered several beanings that nearly cost him his life and never became the ballplayer he was projected to be. Still, "Popeye" so-called because of his bulging forearms did enjoy a successful major league career. A member of Brooklyn's only World Champion team in 1955, he then played on the Los Angeles Dodgers' first world championship team four years later. He tells riveting stories about the "Boys of Summer," like Billy Loes, Johnny Podres, Clem Labine and Duke Snider. Zimmer became a much-traveled utility infielder and spent his last year playing in Japan, where, he observed, the horses "ran backwards" at the racetrack. He recounts his stints as a manager in San Diego, Boston, Texas and Chicago, and as Joe Torres's bench coach during the 1996, 1998, 1999 and 2000 Yankee World Championships. Zimmer pulls no punches in his evaluations of baseball celebrities like Hall of Fame pitcher Ferguson Jenkins, managers Don Baylor, Billy Martin and Joe Torre, and owners Eddie Chiles and George Steinbrenner. Zimmer's book is bluntly honest and filled with amusing anecdotes, a cut above the average baseball autobiography.

A Game of Inches, Volume 1: The Stories Behind the Innovations That Shaped Baseball: The Game on the Field by Peter Morris

A fascinating and charming encyclopedic collection of baseball firsts, describing how the innovations in the game--in rules, equipment, styles of play, strategies, etc.--occurred and developed from its origins to the present day. The book relies heavily on quotations from contemporary sources.

A Game of Inches, Volume 2: The Stories Behind the Innovations That Shaped Baseball: The Game Behind the Scenes by Peter Morris

The Game Behind the Scenes continues and concludes Peter Morris's superb encyclopedia of the national pastime. Together, both volumes of A Game of Inches contain nearly a thousand entries that illuminate the origins of items ranging from catchers' masks to hook slides to intentional walks to cork-center baseballs to the reserve clause of baseball's Basic Agreement. This volume concentrates on ballparks, fans, marketing, statistics, the building of teams, and other related aspects of the game. This book will give any reader a deeper appreciation of why baseball matters so much to Americans.

Branch Rickey: Baseball's Ferocious Gentleman by Lee Lowenfish

He was not much of a player and not much more of a manager, but by the time Branch Rickey (1881–1965) finished with baseball, he had revolutionized the sport—not just once but three times. In this definitive biography of Rickey—the man sportswriters dubbed “The Brain,” “The Mahatma,” and, on occasion, “El Cheapo”—Lee Lowenfish tells the full, colorful story of a life that forever changed the face of America’s game.
From 1917 to 1942, Rickey was the mastermind behind the Saint Louis Cardinals who enabled small-market clubs to compete with the rich and powerful by creating the farm system . Under his direction in the 1940s, the Brooklyn Dodgers became the first true “America’s team.” By signing Jackie Robinson and other black players, he single-handedly thrust baseball into the forefront of the civil rights movement. Lowenfish evokes the peculiarly American complex of God, family, and baseball that informed Rickey’s actions and his accomplishments. His book offers an intriguing, richly detailed portrait of a man whose life is itself a crucial chapter in the history of American business, sport, and society.

Ladies and Gentlemen, the Bronx Is Burning: 1977, Baseball, Politics, and the Battle for the Soul of a City by Jonathan Mahler

A kaleidoscopic portrait of New York City in 1977, The Bronx Is Burning is the story of two epic battles: the fight between Yankee Reggie Jackson and team manager Billy Martin, and the battle between Mario Cuomo and Ed Koch for the city's mayor ship. Buried beneath these parallel conflicts--one for the soul of baseball, the other for the soul of the city--was the subtext of race. Deftly intertwined by journalist Jonathan Mahler, these braided Big Apple narratives reverberate to reveal a year that also saw the opening of Studio 54, the acquisition of the New York Post by Rupert Murdoch, a murderer dubbed the "Son of Sam," the infamous blackout, and the evolution of punk rock. As Koch defeated Cuomo, and as Reggie Jackson rescued a team racked with dissension, 1977 became a year of survival--and also of hope.

The Wrong Stuff by Bill Lee and Richard Lally

Finally back in print after many years, here is Bill Lee’s classic tale of his renegade life on and off the mound. Whether walking out on the Montreal Expos to protest the release of a valued teammate or telling sportswriters eager for candid and offbeat comments more about the game than his bosses wanted anyone to know, pitcher Bill “Spaceman” Lee became celebrated as much for his rebellious personality as for his remarkable talent. Add to the mix his affinity for Eastern religions and controversial causes, and you can see why Lee infuriated the establishment while entertaining his legion of fans. In this wildly funny memoir that became a massive bestseller in the United States and Canada when it was first published, Lee recounts the colorful story of his life—from the drugged-out antics of his college days at USC (where he learned that “marijuana never hammered me like a good Camel”) to his post–World Series travels with a group of liberal long-distance runners through Red China (where he discovered that conservatives don’t like marathons because “it’s much easier to climb into a Rolls-Royce”). Lee also describes his minor league days, joining the Reserves during the Vietnam War, his time with the Red Sox, and the 1975 World Series. He spares no detail while recalling his infamous falling-out with Red Sox management that led to his trade to Montreal.

Hang Tough, Paul Mather by Alfred Slote

Paul Mather's a pitcher -- a really good one. His off speed pitch is enough to bowl a kid backward, and his fast ball is pure smoke. There isn't anything he can't throw, from sliders, change-ups, and sinkers to a mean curve ball that breaks at just the right moment. He's pitched no-hitters and perfect games. To Paul, pitching is what you live for and why you live. Lately, though, Paul hasn't been allowed to do much of anything, much less play ball. He's got leukemia, and it's put him into the hospital several times already. His parents are so worried, they've forbidden him to play the game he loves so much. They're afraid that if Paul strains himself his illness may come back a final time...and maybe even take his life. But Paul is a winner. His team needs him, and he won't give up without a fight. Paul Mather is determined to pitch every inning...to keep playing baseball, and to keep hanging tough, no matter what the odds.

The Fifth Season: Tales of My Life in Baseball by Donald Honig

If you were much of a boy growing up in the Maspeth section of Queens in the late 1930s and 1940s, you had the baseball fever. It seemed contagious, but it struck mostly from within. . . . Often, in later years, when I was writing a long series of books on the game, some well-intended philistine would ask to have explained to him the fascination with baseball. I offered my stock answer: 'If you have to ask the question, you'll never understand the answer.' With this small confession Donald Honig begins his charming memoir of a life devoted to the charms of baseball, including the many great figures of the game he has known in the past half-century. Mr. Honig brings to these tales his characteristic intelligence and wit, a passion for the integrity of the game, and a gift for creating memorable images from little-known episodes as well as those never-to-be-forgotten moments in baseball history.

O Holy Cow!: The Selected Verse of Phil Rizzuto by Phil Rizzuto

Hall of Fame shortstop and Yankees broadcaster extraordinaire, the incomparable Phil Rizutto (1917-2007) waxed poetic on America's favorite pastime from the glorious days of Mantle and Maris well into the reign of Jeter and Rivera. For more than a quarter century the Bard of the Booth captured great moments in baseball—and effortlessly interwove them with essential and often hilarious insights into the human condition. In loving commemoration and celebration of the life and career of an exceptional Man of Baseball, this new edition of O Holy Cow! includes a new foreword by baseball legend Bobby Murcer, a new poem written by editors Tom Peyer and Hart Seely, and more than sixty additional never-before-published masterworks of short, impromptu verse that capture the unmistakable voice of the unforgettable Rizzuto.

Baseball Palace of the World: The Last Year of Comiskey Park by Douglas Bukowski

Baseball fans are hopeless romantics, not to say fantasists to them the game is, in many ways, emblematic of life itself. What makes Douglas Bukowski stand out among White Sox fans is the sensitivity of his recollections and the excellence of his prose.
Whether you're a fan of the Mets, the Cubs, the Tigers, or the Little League, you'll find a lot to interest you in this unique history of the park that was the home of the first All-Star game, where the color line in the American League was erased, where Shoeless Joe Jackson played and colorful Bill Veeck walked the aisles on his peg leg. It was also where, unexpectedly, Babe Ruth kissed Cardinal O'Donnells's ring, as well as the scene of a notorious disco-demolition riot. In short, you will learn how the park started, how it lived, and how it, regrettably, died. Comiskey Park was the soul of baseball not just South Side Chicago baseball, not just white Sox baseball but Baseball writ large. You'll also get an insight into the controversy and politicking that went on behind the scenes of the traumatic baseball drama that fascinated aficionados all over America.
The author gives the play-by-play details, based on contemporary accounts and on interviews with players and management; the fascinating narrative is told in journal form names, dates, events that lends it an immediacy and flavor that all baseball fans will cheer.
Included in this landmark memoir are fifty-four photographs most never published that illuminate Comiskey Park's glorious, never-to-be -forgotten past.

Ballpark: The Story of America's Baseball Fields by Lynn Curlee

If you love baseball, chances are you love one particular ballpark. Boston fans wax poetic about Fenway Park. Cubs fans are adamant that Wrigley Field is the classic ballfield. Busch Stadium is a hit with folks from Missouri, and Yankee fans are passionate about the House That Ruth Built.... Besides passionate fans, there's one other thing all ballparks -- from the Union Grounds in Brooklyn built in 1862 to the Baltimore Oriole's Camden Yards built in 1992 -- have in common: Each has its own vibrant and unique history. In Ballpark, Sibert Honor Award winner Lynn Curlee explores both the histories and the cultural significances of America's most famous ballparks. Grand in scope and illustrations, and filled with nifty anecdotes about these "green cathedrals," Ballpark also explores the changing social climate that accompanied baseball's rise from a minor sport to the national pastime. This is a baseball book like no other.

Take Me Out to the Ballpark: An Illustrated Tour of Baseball Parks Past and Present by Josh Leventhal

Featuring hundreds of full-color photographs and illustrations of every Major League ballpark, famous stadiums from the past, and dozens of Minor and Negro league parks, Take Me Out to the Ballpark has surely earned its place as one of the most beloved baseball books. New stadiums in this completely revised and updated edition include Citizens Bank Ballpark (Philadelphia), PETCO Park (San Diego), and the newly renovated RFK Stadium (Washington, D.C.) home to the Washington Nationals.

Ballparks: A Panoramic History by Jim Sutton Marc Sandalow

Take a picture-packed look at what makes Major League ballparks so special. This beautiful book details every Major League team’s home turf—both the National and American League ballparks are covered. You’ll discover: - The address - The capacity - Opening day statistics - Dimensions - Defining features - The venue’s most memorable moments - And more! With engaging, informative text, and breathtaking photographs including aerial views and historical snapshots to capture the ever-changing cityscapes and the sport itself, this remarkable compendium paints a fascinating portrait of the evolution of American baseball. An essential for every baseball fan!

Working at the Ballpark: The Fascinating Lives of Baseball People from Peanut Vendors and Broadcasters to Players and Managers by Tom Jones and Nolan Ryan

For everyone who ever dreamed of making their love of baseball into their vocation, Working at the Ballpark will provide a view at their lives that might have been, with interviews with more than 50 people who make a living in major league baseball. Each is asked the same questions: What is your job? How did you get into this line of work? What does this job mean to you? From peanut vendors and equipment managers to general managers and star players, from John Guilfoy, who sells sausages at Fenway, to Chris Hanson, who plays "Bernie Brewer" in Milwaukee, to Omar Vizquel, who anchors the infield at AT&T Park, this is an insider's perspective on the enormous scope of the game.

The Giants of the Polo Grounds: The Glorious Times of Baseball's New York Giants by Noel Hynd

Out of the welter of teams and leagues that characterized baseball in the late 19th century, the New York Giants emerged in 1883. They had some winning seasons and some losing ones as the century drew to a close, but they really came into their own when John McGraw arrived to take charge in 1902. He remained for 30 years and made the team the darling of the city with his aggressive, bunt-and-steal type of play, winning numerous pennants. But the death of his style of baseball was announced with the advent of Babe Ruth in 1921. McGraw surrendered the reins to Bill Terry, who was replaced by Mel Ott; later, manager Leo Durocher resurrected the McGravian style and led the Giants to the most exciting victory of all in 1951. The owners, stars like Mathewson and Mays, various eccentric players are all here in this vivid history by Sports Illustrated contributor Hynd.

The Big Bam: The Life and Times of Babe Ruth by Leigh Montville

He was the Sultan of Swat. The Caliph of Clout. The Wizard of Whack. The Bambino. And simply, to his teammates, the Big Bam. From the award-winning author of the New York Times bestseller Ted Williams comes the thoroughly original, definitively ambitious, and exhilaratingly colorful biography of the largest legend ever to loom in baseball—and in the history of organized sports. Babe Ruth was more than baseball’s original superstar. For eighty-five years, he has remained the sport’s reigning titan. He has been named Athlete of the Century . . . more than once. But who was this large, loud, enigmatic man? Why is so little known about his childhood, his private life, and his inner thoughts? In The Big Bam, Leigh Montville, whose recent New York Times bestselling biography of Ted Williams garnered glowing reviews and offered an exceptionally intimate look at Williams’s life, brings his trademark touch to this groundbreaking, revelatory portrait of the Babe. Based on newly discovered documents and interviews—including pages from Ruth’s personal scrapbooks —The Big Bam traces Ruth’s life from his bleak childhood in Baltimore to his brash entrance into professional baseball, from Boston to New York and into the record books as the world’s most explosive slugger and cultural luminary. Montville explores every aspect of the man, paying particular attention to the myths that have always surrounded him. Did he really hit the “called shot” homer in the 1932 World Series? Were his home runs really “the farthest balls ever hit” in countless ballparks around the country? Was he really part black—making him the first African American professional baseball superstar? And was Ruth the high-octane, womanizing, heavy-drinking “fatso” of legend . . . or just a boyish, rudderless quasi-orphan who did, in fact, take his training and personal conditioning quite seriously? At a time when modern baseball is grappling with hyper-inflated salaries, free agency, and assorted controversies, The Big Bam brings back the pure glory days of the game. Leigh Montville operates at the peak of his abilities, exploring Babe Ruth in a way that intimately, and poignantly, illuminates a most remarkable figure.

Paths to Glory: How Great Baseball Teams Got That Way by Daniel R. Levitt and Mark L. Armour

An essential experience of being a baseball fan is the hopeful anticipation of seeing the hometown nine make a run at winning the World Series. In PATHS TO GLORY, Mark L. Armour and Daniel R. Levitt review how teams build themselves up into winners. What makes a winning team like the 1900 Brooklyn Superbas or the 1917 White Sox or the 1997 Florida Marlins? And how are these teams different? What makes each championship team a unique product of its time? Armour and Levitt provide the historical context to show how the sport's business side has changed dramatically but its competitive environment remains the same. Utilizing new statistics to evaluate a player’s value and career patterns, Armour and Levitt explore the teams that took risks, created their own opportunities, and changed the game. How did the Washington Senators achieve the unthinkable and blow past Babe Ruth’s Yankees in 1924 and 1925? How did the 1965 Minnesota Twins quickly rise to the top and why did they just as suddenly fall? Did Charlie Finley assemble the last old-fashioned championship team before free agency, or was the Moustache Gang another example of winning by building from within? Why did the star-laden Red Sox of the 1930s keep falling short? In exploring these teams and more, Armour and Levitt analyze the players, the managers, and the executives who built teams to win and then lived with the consequences.

Did Babe Ruth Call His Shot? and Other Unsolved Mysteries of Baseball by Paul Aron

Baseball has its obvious mysteries, even if the curse of the Red Sox is no longer among them. (There's still the Cubs, however, without a World Series win since 1908 and believed to be cursed by a billy goat.) Aron, author of Unsolved Mysteries of American History (1998) and More Unsolved Mysteries of American History (2004), now homes in on baseball's unsolved mysteries, including whether Babe Ruth really called his homer in the 1932 Series versus the Cubs. Also examined: Did Shoeless Joe really throw the 1919 Series? Did Merkle touch second? Does a curveball curve? The jury will remain out on most of these questions, but Aron settles on a reasonable answer and supports it with solid research. His findings won't resolve definitively any of the mysteries he discusses, but it's fun to find the issues discussed all in one place. Carefully researched and entertainingly presented, this should give contrarian fans lots to argue about during spring training.

The Physics of Baseball (3rd Edition) by Robert K. Adair

Blending scientific fact and sports trivia, Robert Adair examines what a baseball or player in motion does-and why. How fast can a batted ball go? What effect do stitch patterns have on wind resistance? How far does a curve ball break? Who reaches first base faster after a bunt, a right- or left-handed batter? The answers are often surprising -- and always illuminating. This newly revised third edition considers recent developments in the science of sport such as the neurophysiology of batting, bat vibration, and the character of the "sweet spot." Faster pitchers, longer hitters, and enclosed stadiums also get a good, hard scientific look to determine their effects on the game. Filled with anecdotes about famous players and incidents, The Physics of Baseball provides fans with fascinating insights into America's favorite pastime.

Diamonds in the Rough: The Untold History of Baseball by Joel Zoss and John Bowman

Pairing their detailed, informative research with a sophisticated anecdotal approach, Joel Zoss and John Bowman have written a fascinating, original, literate, and concise compendium of the history and issues surrounding America's national pastime. Addressed are such diverse topics as the origins of the game, the contributions of minorities and women, the evolution of umpiring, baseball's influence on literature and music, substance abuse, on- and off-field tragedy, and the game's international presence. Diamonds in the Rough is an invaluable and stimulating resource both for those who already study the game and for those who would like to learn its revealing history.

Behind the Mask: My Double Life in Baseball by Dave Pallone

Pallone's "double life"--a gay working as an umpire in the macho world of professional baseball--led to his release in 1988 by the National League, which claimed he had exhibited "unprofessional behavior." Pallone talks honestly about his controversial career, including his confrontation with Pete Rose during a 1988 Mets game, which cost Rose a 30-day suspension and a $10,000 fine; unfortunately, it cost Pallone his job. Pallone provides interesting comments about calling the pitches of such great pitchers as Steve Carlton and Nolan Ryan and theories on different aspects of the game, as well as revealing anecdotes about his gay love life. The book captures Pallone's torment: he wanted to admit his homosexuality publicly, but feared the consequences because of baseball's ingrained homophobia.

Yankees Century: 100 Years of New York Yankees Baseball by Glenn Stout and Richard A. Johnson

The definitive narrative history of the world"s greatest sporting franchise, published to coincide with the centennial of the team. Pinstripes and pennants. Aprils and Octobers. The House That Ruth Built in the city that never sleeps. A century of greatness embodied in one city and its team. Over the past one hundred years, the New York Yankees have dominated baseball as no team has ever dominated another sport. They have won 38 pennants and 26 world championships. More often than not, they have shown just how the game is supposed to be played. Ruth, Gehrig, DiMaggio, Mantle, Mattingly, Jeter -- dozens of legendary players have worn the signature NY proudly. They have provided the very definition of a dynasty. But it hasn't always been that way, and it has never been easy. Yankees Century: 100 Years of New York Yankees Baseball chronicles the full history of this storied franchise, with the most compelling and authoritative narrative of the team ever written, more than 250 stunning photographs, and essays by some of the game's colorful scribes. Here you'll read about the unlikely scheme to build a ballpark in Manhattan atop solid rock, the magic of the Bambino rounding the bases, the stately DiMaggio taking the field, Lou Gehrig's poignant goodbye, Yogi Berra's hilarious verbal gaffes, Jack Chesbro's legendary spitball, Derek Jeter's mind-bending plays, and much more. Yankees Century takes you on an unforgettable journey through time and shows how the Bronx Bombers have managed to win again and again. More than a story of the New York Yankees, this is the saga of baseball in America. A must-have for any student of the sport, this indispensable volume is the guide to baseball greatness, a lasting record of a city and its team.

The Hidden Language of Baseball by Paul Dickson

Baseball is set apart from other sports by many things, but few are more distinctive than the intricate systems of coded language that govern action on the field and give baseball its unique appeal. During a nine-inning game, more than 1,000 silent instructions are given-from catcher to pitcher, coach to batter, fielder to fielder, umpire to umpire-and without this speechless communication the game would simply not be the same. Baseball historian Paul Dickson examines for the first time the rich legacy of baseball's hidden language, offering fans everywhere a smorgasbord of history and anecdote.  Baseball's tradition of signing grew out of the signal flags used by ships and soldiers' hand signals during battle. They were first used in games during the Civil War, and then professionally by the Cincinnati Red Stockings, in 1869. Seven years later, the Hartford Dark Blues appear to be the first team to steal signs, introducing a larcenous obsession that, as Dickson delightfully chronicles, has given the game some of its most historic-and outlandish-moments.  Whether detailing the origins of the hit-and-run, the true story behind the home run that gave "Home Run" Baker his nickname, Bob Feller's sign-stealing telescope, Casey Stengel's improbable method of signaling his bullpen, the impact of sign stealing on the Giants' miraculous comeback in 1951, or the pitches Andy Pettitte tipped off that altered the momentum of the 2001 World Series, Dickson's research is as thorough as his stories are entertaining. A roster of baseball's greatest names and games, past and present, echoes throughout, making The Hidden Language of Baseball a unique window on the history of our national pastime.

Science of Hitting by Ted Williams and John Underwood

As a boy, all Ted Williams wanted was to be the best hitter there ever was. Through his storied tenure with the Red Sox, he pretty much got his wish. He not only hit, he knew how to hit; there was no keener, more devoted, more articulate student of the art. The Science of Hitting is his comprehensive book of wisdom and anecdote, a baseball bible that offers clear, concise, well-illustrated, fundamental information on how to hit a baseball and, just as important, how to think about hitting a baseball. Williams's first commandment is "Get a good pitch to hit," and, in one of baseball's most dramatic teaching tools--a photograph that divides his strike zone into 77 baseballs, seven wide by 11 high--Williams projects what he would hit at each pitch location, from .230 on the low-outside strike to .400 in what he called his "happy zone," the heart of the plate belt high. In 1941, that happy zone was obviously ecstatic; Williams hit .406 that year, the last to break the magic .400 barrier.

The Louisville Slugger® Complete Book of Hitting Faults and Fixes : How to Detect and Correct the 50 Most Common Mistakes at the Plate by John Monteleone and Mark Gola

For a baseball player, there is nothing more frustrating than struggling at the plate. Hitters--no matter how accomplished--experience hitting slumps, for both mechanical and mental reasons. Their challenge--and yours--is to contain them for a short period of time. The Louisville Slugger Complete Book of Hitting Faults and Fixes identifies the sources of fifty distinct hitting faults that lead to problem swings and includes drills specifically designed to help you correct them.

The World Series: An Illustrated Encyclopedia of the Fall Classic by Josh Leventhal

Every October, at the end of a ling summer of baseball, the pennant winners from the National and American Leagues compete in a series of games to decide which one shall lay claim to the title of world s best. The World Series: An Illustrated Encyclopedia of the Fall Classic captures more than a century of such contests in wonderful archival photographs, vivid retellings of every match-up and detailed statistics for every World Series game that has ever been played. From the first series in 1903, when the American League s Boston Pilgrims (later known as the Red Sox) faced off against the Pittsburgh Pirates of the National League, to the 2005 series in which the Chicago White Sox, who had not won a World Series in 88 years, swept the Houston Astros, The World Series is and exhaustive collection of stories, statistics and much more. All of the epic moments are captured here in words and photographs, whether it is a slugger knocking a ball out of the park Bill Mazeroski, Carlton Fisk, Reggie Jackson and Babe Ruth made history for such deeds; a fielder depriving a batter of the hero s mantle with spectacular glove work we remember Willie Mays making a sensational over-the-shoulder catch in 1954 and Brooks Robinson turning dazzling play after dazzling play at the hot corner in 1970; or a pitcher at the top of his form Bob Gibson intimidating batters to the tune of 17 strikeouts, an aged Pete Alexander fanning Tony Lazzeri with the bases full, or the perfect afternoon in 1956 that belonged to Don Larsen. The World Series has also given lesser-known players names like Ehmke, Lavagetto and Tenace the opportunity to triumph, and has been the scene of bitter disappointments and personal anguish Mickey Owen dropping the third strike and Bill Buckner losing the ball between his legs. The World Series chronicles every victory and defeat in words and images that bring each moment to life. Every game is described to convey the feel and the flavor of the match-up, to highlight the moments and performances that stand out as the greatest in this or any other sport. Alongside the stories and images are statistics that detail every hit, every strikeout, every stolen base and much more. Special features examine topics like Great World Series Upsets, Unlikely October Heroes, Highlights from the Mound, Dramatic Series Endings and the All-Time Great World Series Performances. For more than 100 years, baseball s greatest stage has produced remarkable moments that have captivated fans and sealed the sport s place as America s national pastime. The World Series: An Illustrated Encyclopedia of the Fall Classic is a celebration of the men and the moments that have made each World Series since 1903 something to remember and cherish.

The Mental Game of Baseball: A Guide to Peak Performance by H A Dorfman

In this book, authors H.A. Dorfman and Karl Kuehl present their practical and proven strategy for developing the mental skills needed to achieve peak performance at every level of the game.

Me and Dimaggio by Christopher Lehmann-Haupt

Throughout Christopher Lehmann-Haupt's season of innings spent as a baseball reporter, he was haunted by the 1948 game that first made him a fan - a game in which Joe DiMaggio hit three home runs against the Cleveland Indians. Ultimately, he found himself confronting DiMaggio with a story that he did not want to believe, but that had brought him face-to-face with the fantasies of an entire generation of baseball fans. Me and DiMaggio narrates this remarkable series of adventures and misadventures that took New York Times book reviewer Christopher Lehmann-Haupt around the country on an unusual personal mission - to follow a year in baseball and all its rituals, from spring training through the World Series and to the winter executive meetings. The result is a behind-the-scenes look at the entire cast of a season: the players, the owners, the promoters, and, of course, the reporters. By turns funny, audacious, gossipy, and eloquent, Me and DiMaggio takes on a dramatic year and makes it into an experience for all seasons.

Cobb: A Biography by Al Stump

Drawing on the harrowing year he spent with Ty Cobb as ghostwriter of his autobiography, Stump pens an astounding portrait that leaves little doubt the Hall of Famer was ``psychotic throughout his baseball career.'' When they ``collaborated'' on My Life in Baseball in 1960, the Georgia Peach was a bitter, unreasonable, gun-toting, 73-year-old cancer-ridden drunk. Cobb's spectacular career (190528) was marked by ugliness and violence from the beginning. Just days before Cobb was called up to the big leagues, his father was shotgunned to death by his mother, apparently while trying to climb or spy through their bedroom window. She was acquitted of manslaughter, but rumors plagued her and her famous son the rest of their lives. As an 18-year-old rookie, Cobb faced such unbearable hazing from his Detroit Tigers teammates that he bought a gun to protect himself. He suffered a nervous breakdown in his second year and spent part of the season in a sanitarium. When he returned, his welcome was a hotel lobby brawl with his hated teammates that left a couple of them hospitalized--but Cobb led the team in hitting. The controversies, fights, and incidents so vividly recounted by Stump make today's ``troubled'' athletes look like choirboys. Cobb once beat up a black groundskeeper--and his wife--for touching him. Umpires, managers, teammates, opposing players, his wife and children--all who ``increased his tension''--were subject to fierce attack. But his baseball talent was such that many consider him the greatest ever to play the game. His records for hits and stolen bases stood until Pete Rose and Rickey Henderson, respectively, broke them. He won 12 batting titles. His most remarkable--and untouchable--feats were hitting over .300 for 23 consecutive seasons and his .367 lifetime batting average. Stump's wonderfully descriptive writing, yeoman historical research, and personal knowledge of Cobb make this an extraordinary achievement in sports biography.

Ty Cobb (Sport in American Life) by Charles C. Alexander

"Impressive. A fascinating analysis of Cobb's personality." - The New York Times "Alexander has performed that magical feat of creating Ty Cobb, warts and all. A wonderful, wonderful book." - Newsday "Ty Cobb is a sociology of a time as well as a biography of the greatest and nastiest player of them all." - Stephen Jay Gould, The New York Review of Books "Impeccably researched... reads like a novel. A fine book." - Lawrence Ritter, author of The Glory of Their Times "Alexander's Ty Cobb is a great biography." - Mike Shannon, editor of Spitball"

Wait Till Next Year: The Story of a Season When What Should've Happened Didn't, and What Could've Gone Wrong Did by William Goldman

Goldman ( Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid ; Marathon Man ) and New York Daily News sportswriter Lupica have written one of the oddest sports books in memory: a look at a completely bad year in New York City sports. Although they track every sports franchise in the city, except hockey, they concentrate heavily on the 1986 World Champion New York Mets as the team prepares for the title defense in the spring of 1987. The season begins to go bad as star pitcher "Doc" Gooden fails his drug test and goes into rehab for cocaine abuse. The authors give us glimpses of the famous Mets with special emphasis concentrated on their warts: there's captain Keith Hernandez, Machiavellian "Prince of Darkness"; moody slugger Darryl Strawberry; and Davey Johnson, the confused, lost manager. Also covered extensively are the Yankees and their petulant owner George Steinbrenner; the Giants and Jets and their strike-torn NFL seasons; and the revitalized Knicks. There are some good looks inside major league clubhouses and at how newspaper reporters do their jobs no matter whose feelings may be hurt. What stands out in this book is the constant, almost page-by-page, mean, holier-than-thou attacks on Gooden for his cocaine addiction. You may not like many of New York's star athletes, but the authors don't come off any better.

Forging Genius: The Making of Casey Stengel by Steven Goldman

When Casey Stengel was named the manager of the Yankees in 1949, baseball wags were stunned. What had Stengel ever done? His work managing the Brooklyn Dodgers and Boston Braves had been long on personality and remarkably short on success. They thought the Yankees would never be able to compete with the Red Sox or Indians with that broken-down old man in charge. At the All-Star break, the Yankees looked like a banged-up bunch of also-rans, not like a team about to embark on five straight championships. Yet Stengel seemed confident of success. As Steven Goldman explains, people had forgotten that Casey knew how to come back. How did he know? Goldman refutes claims that anyone could have won with the Yankees. Casey knew how to win because of the years of struggle and ignominy, because he’d learned how to manage by running two of the game’s worst sad-sack franchises, because he had learned through failure. To understand Stengel’s formative years, Goldman retraces Stengel’s baseball education in playing for the great John McGraw, from whom he also learned that success permits no room for nostalgia. Goldman follows Stengel through his years with the Dodgers and Braves, his return to the minors, a spat with Bill Veeck, and his success as a businessman away from the diamond. Forging Genius gives insights to Stengel’s irrepressible love of the game and his incorrigible desire to entertain. As Casey put it, “Because I can make people laugh, some of them think I’m a damn fool.” His humor camouflaged a relentless hunger for success, glory, and the respectability he desperately sought. Goldman gives readers an unprecedented vision of one man’s lifelong pursuit of genius on the baseball diamond.