NOTE: I have been posting these things long enough now that a few have commented that the introductory section isn’t necessary anymore. But I’m leaving it in because, to paraphrase Joe DiMaggio when asked why he played so hard all the time, there may be people who’ve never read the best-seller entries before. So on with the show…
Caveat 1: Print editions only (at least for now); because I’m old school.
Caveat 2: Since the rankings are updated every hour, these lists might not longer be 100 percent accurate by the time you read them. But it’ll be close enough for government work.
Caveat 3: Sometimes they’ll try to pull one over on you and include a book within a category that doesn’t belong. I’m using my discretion to eliminate such titles from my list. For example, for some reason a recent listing included Tarnished Heels: How Unethical Actions and Deliberate Deceit at the University of North Carolina Ended the “The Carolina Way,” which, far as I can tell, is not at all about baseball, at least not in the main.
- The Cubs Way: The Zen of Building the Best Team in Baseball and Breaking the Curse, by Tom Verducci
- Teammate: My Journey in Baseball and a World Series for the Ages, by David Ross with Don Yeager
- Baseball Prospectus 2017
- The Phenomenon: Pressure, the Yips, and the Pitch that Changed My Life, by Rick Ankiel and Tom Brown (April 18)
- Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game, by Michael Lewis
- Ballplayer, by Chipper Jones with Carroll Rogers Walton
- Leo Durocher: Baseball’s Prodigal Son, by Paul Dickson*
- The Plan: Epstein, Maddon, and the Audacious Blueprint for a Cubs Dynasty, by David Kaplan*
- Baseball America 2017 Prospect Handbook: Rankings and Reports of the Best Young Talent in Baseball
- The Science of Hitting, by Ted Williams and John Underwood
* Making its “debut” on this list.
Honorable mention: I don’t include Kindle books here, but I failed to note the passing of the legendary newspaperman, Jimmy Breslin, who died on March 19 at the age of 88. Lest we forget, he wrote one of the first — and still the best — books about the New York Mets in Can’t Anybody Here Play This Game?: The Improbable Saga of the New York Met’s First Year, originally published in 1964. The Kindle version ranked #3 among baseball best-sellers as of this posting.
The Cubs are back in prominence with three books in the top 10, four if you include Dickson’s new bio on their skipper, Leo Durocher
MORE lists: Amazon has started a couple of new ones, including “Hot New Releases” and “Most Wished For.” A look at the top three in each, which have remained the same since last week:
Hot New Releases
- Cubs Way
Most Wished For
- Cubs Way
- Dynastic, Bombastic, Fantastic: Reggie, Rollie, Catfish, and Charlie Finley’s Swingin’ A’s, by Scott Turbow
NY Times monthly sports best-seller list: No baseball books in the March rolls.
Not on either the Amazon or Times‘ lists? 501 Baseball Books Fans Must Read before They Die. Today: 1,183,549; last time: 874,926. My forthcoming Hank Greenberg in 1938: Hatred and Home Runs in the Shadow of War currently ranks 876,844, up from the last check two weeks ago at 1,095,826.
If you have read 501, thanks, hope you enjoyed it, and please consider writing a review for the Amazon page; it’s never too late. There haven’t been any in awhile. Doesn’t have to be long (or even complimentary, if you didn’t like it), but anything would be appreciated. And thanks to those who have.