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What are the best, or is your favorite, analytical books about Baseball?

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  • What are the best, or is your favorite, analytical books about Baseball?

    I'm looking for something new to order from Amazon or B&N or even MacFarland, to read about baseball. What I would like is an analytical book about baseball, something that delves into how winning teams are built, or the value of closers vs old style firemen type relievers, etc. I am not looking for an annual or a book confined to just one (typically the upcoming) season.

    What are some of the Bill James or Baseball Prospectus or Rob Neyer, etc type books that you have read and enjoyed in the past? It doesn't have to be confined to those specific 3 categories or authors. This is by no means a comprehensive list, but just some of those I liked in the past... I enjoyed "The Numbers Game" quite a bit, the story of statistics in baseball and how they have progressed from the Knickerbocker Baseball Club vs the New York Nine, right up to today's world of Sabermetrics and new stats and new forms of analysis of the game. I also enjoyed "Moneyball" when it was 1st published, a new way of looking at the game. Years ago, I enjoyed "Dollar Sign on the Muscle" a look at the traditional world of scouting for baseball talent as it was (actually, still is) practiced for decades pre-Computer era.

    Also enjoyed the story about Strat-O-Matic baseball and it's history, as well of that of it's founder. Hoping to get some new suggestions, and maybe find some hidden gems that I have previously missed. Thanx to anyone that participates/contributes!

  • #2
    My alltime favorite is Pete Palmer and John Thorn's book The Hidden Game of Baseball. This has been reprinted in the last few years. Two other books would be Tom Tango's The Book, and Craig Wright's The Diamond Appraised.
    Catfish Hunter, RIP. Mark Fidrych, RIP. Skip Caray, RIP. Tony Gwynn, #19, RIP

    A fanatic is someone who can't change his mind and won't change the subject. -- Winston Churchill. (Please take note that I've recently become aware of how this quote applies to a certain US president. This is a coincidence, and the quote was first added to this signature too far back to remember when).

    Experience is the hardest teacher. She gives the test first and the lesson later. -- Dan Quisenberry.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by abolishthedh View Post
      My alltime favorite is Pete Palmer and John Thorn's book The Hidden Game of Baseball. This has been reprinted in the last few years. Two other books would be Tom Tango's The Book, and Craig Wright's The Diamond Appraised.
      Tyvm for the suggestions...! As soon as I have more than a few minutes of leisure time I will sit down and try to read the descriptions and probably order these from Amazon or elsewhere.

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      • #4
        the book by tango is certainly a good way to start into sabermetrics
        I now have my own non commercial blog about training for batspeed and power using my training experience in baseball and track and field.

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        • #5
          The Bill James Historical Abstract, of which, BTW, we are quite well due for a revised and rewritten
          Third Edition.

          1977 was the first edition of the mimeograph paper Abstract; maybe a Golden Abstract in 2027?

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          • #6
            Originally posted by StarStar00 View Post
            The Bill James Historical Abstract, of which, BTW, we are quite well due for a revised and rewritten
            Third Edition.

            1977 was the first edition of the mimeograph paper Abstract; maybe a Golden Abstract in 2027?
            I have an early BJHA (not mimeographed but the one he had put out by a major publisher.) I'd love to see a new edition with enough substantial revisions to make it worth purchasing and not make me feel like I just bought a book that I "already have" when I am done reading it.

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            • #7
              The first edition of the BJHA came out in 1986 I believe, and the second edition, extensively revised, in 1998.

              The second edition does not really supersede the first, except in some technical and statistical passages where new info had been compiled. Most all of the text passages were all new.

              it would be interesting to see an edition for the 2020s. For one thing by then there may be some kind of near consensus on how to handle the legacy of the steroid era.

              We can't pretend it didn't happen but it has to be put in perspective.

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