Note: Just like Chuck Lorre’s “vanity cards” at the end of The Big Bang Theory, you should read these list stories to their conclusion; the end is always changing, even though the theme is basically the same, finishing up with a self-promotional message.
On with the show…
Here are the top ten baseball books as per Amazon.com, as of this posting.
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. For the sake of brevity, I will be omitting the subtitles, which have become ridiculously long in in some cases in recent years, also at my discretion.
- Moneyball, by Michael Lewis
- Derek Jeter #2: Thanks for the Memories, by David Fischer
- The Extra 2 %, by Jonah Keri
- The Captain: The Journey of Derek Jeter, by Ian O’Connor (Bookreporter.com review)
- The Mental Game of Baseball, by H.A. Dorfman
- Rickey & Robinson, by Roger Kahn (Bookreporter.com review)
- The Life You Imagine: Life Lessons for Achieving Your Dreams, by Derek Jeter
- The Greatest Baseball Stories Ever Told, by Jeff Silverman
- The Bill James Handbook 2015
- The Closer, by Mariano Rivera with Wayne Coffey (Bookreporter.com review)
Now that the novelty has worn off and we’re well into the post season, the number of books in the top 10 about #2 has halved, from six to three. I wonder if the news that the Los Angeles Dodgers have hired Andrew Friedman away from the Tampa Bay rays is the reason for the renewed interest in the Keri book.
One of there things that has improved, publishing-wise, over the past several years is the ability to bring a title like The Bill James Handbook to market almost as soon as the regular season ends. When you think about it, the statistics are kept on an ongoing basis, replete with all the “splits,” so it’s not as difficult as it used to be, especially when all there is is the numbers. Unlike Hard Times’ and Baseball Prospectus’ annuals, the BJHB has little in the way of commentary, which still takes some time to produce. You have to decide how important it is to have such a publication available so quickly.
Not on this list? 501 Baseball Books Fans Must Read before They Die. Ya’ll are gonna do something about that, right? Only five (!) copies left on Amazon.
And if you have read it, thanks, hope you enjoyed it, and please consider writing a review for the Amazon page. 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 .