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What is your favorite baseball book?

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  • #46
    Originally posted by dougw View Post
    Baseball Bonus Kid was good but, for my money, don't bet against The Kid Comes Back--Roy Tucker, aka The Kid, returns from W.W. II with a combat injury and a footlocker full of doubt. Can he lead the Dodgers back to the pennant or is his career over?
    The Kid Comes Back is the 5th in a series of 8 books, beginning with the seminal The Kid From Tompkinsville by John Tunis written in 1940. These books, especially the first Kid, were incredibly influential and important. They got a whole generation of kids to enjoy reading, and also helped spread the popularity of the Brooklyn Dodgers nationwide. They'll seem cheesy and dated 77 years after they were published, but I highly recommend you at least read the original Kid.
    “Well, I like to say I’m completely focused, right? I mean, the game’s on the line. It’s not like I’m thinking about what does barbecue Pop Chips and Cholula taste like. Because I already know that answer — it tastes friggin’ awesome!"--Brian Wilson


    • #47
      "The Last Boy" Mickey Mantle and the end of America's childhood. By Jane Leavy. A national bestseller and rightfully so. Hard to put down. It was a Time Magazine top ten book of the year. One of the best baseball books that I have ever read, and I have read a few. She spent a lot of time digging into his past and also interviewing him. It is brutally honest and is full of his buddies too, Billy Martin, Whitey Ford and others. It is as one review said, "heartbreaking." It would pay any Yankee fan or any fan of the game, for that matter, to see how much pain that he played in and read about his battle with alcoholism. It was Copyright in 2010.
      Last edited by Dutch; 04-17-2017, 06:21 PM.
      The saddest day of the year is the day that baseball season ends.

      On October 8, 1956, in game 5 of the 1956 World Series, Don Larsen of the New York Yankees, threw a perfect game against the Brooklyn Dodgers.


      • #48
        I agree that "The Last Boy" is very good, but be warned: If you read it, you may learn more about Mickey Mantle than you wanted to know.
        They call me Mr. Baseball. Not because of my love for the game; because of all the stitches in my head.


        • #49
          Samurai Shortstop

          Went on a trip once to Japan with my father and wanted to learn more about the country's culture/ mindset. They say that to understand the soul of a country, you have to look at its sport.

          The book describes a youngster's time in boarding school, which isn't very pleasant. He signs up for the baseball team and earns himself a place on it. More importantly, and this is the heart of the book, is the clash between him and his father. A clash of generations.

          Their family abides Bushido, the code of the samurai (warrior), held high by the father. However, Japan is modernizing, and the Emperor makes way with this tradition. Japan is now a country with steam technology and people in suits, leaving the father lamenting. He is not too happy with his son's occupation with baseball, which he sees as something modern from abroad. However, they discover that both baseball and Bushido are more alike than they thought, but only after the father and son engage in confrontation.


          • #50
            Baseball Before We Knew It by David Block is probably my favorite book on the subject. I'm not a huge history guy, but this book made me enjoy it.



            • #51
              Many, MANY years ago I read Bob Uecker's book "Catcher In The Wry" and it is still my favorite. I think what I remember and like the most is the fact that Uecker treats it like it is, a kid's game for crying out loud. Nothing stuffy or stat stuffed here, just good old free-style fun with the "game". After all that's all it is, nothing more nothing less. So, just relax and enjoy it, forget all that other overload. Thanks Bob, I'll never forget it.


              • #52
                Baseball Memories, 1900-1909 by Marc Okkonen,1992. Another one is Catcher by Peter Morris,2010. A third is Ty Cobb, a Terrible Beauty by Charles Leerhsen, a well searched bio that uncovers the false narratives we have always heard about Cobb.


                • #53
                  "Game of Shadows" (2006), "The Bill James Historical Baseball Abstract" (1985)

                  Next book up: "Fear Strikes Out:The Jim Piersall Story"


                  • #54
                    I've got several hundred baseball books, and only a handful I really hate.

                    Up at the top of my list is, of course, The Glory Of Their Times.

                    I'm really happy I read it in junior high, about 1970, when three of my grandparents, who had been born in the 1890s and thus were roughly the age of some of the players (slightly younger but only a decade or so), were still around.

                    My maternal grandmother had grown up in Detroit in the 1890s and 1900s-1910s. Her father took the whole family (8 kids) to Tigers games sometimes. They lived about 15 minutes walk from Bennett Park. Family lore had it that her father, a lumber tycoon in the 1880s-90s, owned a tiny piece of the team, enough so he could get in whenever he wanted.

                    (Actually they lived on a huge mansion on Woodward Avenue, about 5 minutes walk from today's Comerica Park.)

                    She remembered the park smelled very "tobacco-y," of cigars and peanuts, like a circus. When she was a little girl, baseball games were kind of shady places, kind of like pool halls. When she was about 16-18 in 1910-12 or so, she said she went on her own or with a couple friends or sisters and they thought they were really going on a forbidden trip.

                    She said Ty Cobb used to joke with fans in the outfield sometimes, but if somebody started ragging on him, he'd yell at them, "After the game I'm going to throw you in the river" (about a quarter mile away). "and he wasn't joking then, or at least he didn't act like it!"

                    She said Cobb was usually in a pretty good mood but if something happened to "set him off," he'd be barking at people all game long.

                    My paternal grandfather played college baseball in Canada in 1914-16 and he knew some guys who went on to play in the majors. They would come over and play teams in the Detroit area and there were always rumors some of the Tigers players or managers were at the game scouting guys out as possible prospects.

                    Anyway it was interesting talking to them because they had been around in those years and confirmed the stories sounded very familiar to them.
                    Last edited by StarStar00; 09-29-2017, 09:06 AM.


                    • #55
                      My favorite baseball book is, and probably always will be, The Glory of Their Times by Lawrence Ritter. He did such a great job gathering the emotions of how it was to play baseball back then, how players got to playing baseball, incredible.

                      Other really great books are Baseball in '41 by Robert Creamer and of course, Eight Men Out by Eliot Asinof

                      "I told Mr. Rickey that someday I was going to have to meet my maker
                      and if He asked me why I didn't let that boy play and I said it was because
                      he was black, that might not be a satisfactory answer."

                      Happy Chandler, Baseball Commissioner, 1947


                      • #56
                        The Sons of Summer... Anyone ever read this book? I just read it on a whim and I was hooked. It's a fiction but the author claims some of it is based on true events. Anyone read this??
                        cover image.jpg


                        • #57
                          count me in too.


                          • #58
                            The New York Yankees of the 1950s by David Fischer. Just came out April 1.

                            My review:

                            Best baseball book I have ever read and I have been reading them for fifty years. In addition to chronicling the achievements of these great teams and players, the author interweaves short accounts of important 1950s US social, political and cultural events that provide important perspective and context for those who did not experience the time first hand, which is of course, going to be most of the people who read this book. For those of us that were there, there are some pointed reminders of the good, the bad and the wacky and the irretrievably lost. But also there are the memories that will, at least temporarily, supplant the worst of today. Character portraits of the Yankee players, manager Casey Stengel and general manager George Weiss are detailed, warts and all, but Fischer is neither adoring nor muck racking in his portrayals of these personalities, some of them very controversial in their time, He relates the events as they occurred and I found myself drawing my own conclusions and never battling the presenter's bias as one must do with the chroniclers of today's culture. Fischer does not attempt to compare 1950s baseball to the current game and I think this is to his credit. His text is rich enough for a reader of any age to discern the basic similarities and the glaring differences between an era long gone and the giant marketing scam that the game has become today. 1950s Yankee great Mickey Mantle once said, "After I hit a home run, I had a habit of running with my head down. I figured the pitcher already felt bad enough without me showing him up rounding the bases." Filed under the arcane concept 'sportsmanship'. So I enjoyed reading about the Yogis, Caseys and Bauers and can easily wait for March when baseball talk turns to silly beards, hairdos and launch angles and the "action" consists of strikeouts, lazy pop flies and the occasional home run. Today, I eagerly anticipate telecasts of Curling - it is more of a team sport, more competitive and often more entertaining. But no nursery school dances or running around mouth open like a demented maniac. Hell, you'd slip on the ice. With clear, concise, non-pretentious prose, Fischer has not only created an important sports document, but an admirable work that any non-fiction author would be proud of. A marvelous read for all ages.


                            • #59
                              There are so many good baseball books. Since my retirement as an English teacher, I spend my time doing book reviews here.

                              This has become my newest passion in life as I read as many as I can. I currently have "When Big Data Was Small" by Richard D. Cramer in my cue.

                              It is scheduled to be published on May 1, 2019.


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