TWIBB: Dec 31, 2010

December 31, 2010

The top baseball books, according to Amazon.com as of Friday, Dec. 31,2010.

Title Rank

General

The Last Boy: Mickey Mantle and the End of America’s Childhood, by Jane Leavy 1
Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game, by Michael Lewis, by 2
Baseball Forecaster 2011, by Ron Shandler 3
Baseball Prospectus 2011
4
Beyond Belief: Finding the Strength to Come Back, by Josh Hamilton with Tim Keown 5

Essays and Writing

Moneyball, by 1
Beyond Belief, by 2
The Hardball Times Baseball Annual 2011 3
The Bullpen Gospels: Major League Dreams of a Minor League Veteran, by Dirk Hayhurst 4
The Game from Where I Stand: A Ballplayer’s Inside View, by Doug Glanville 5

History

Big Hair and Plastic Grass: A Funky Ride Through Baseball and America in the Swinging ’70s, by Dan Epstein 1
Rothstein: The Life, Times, and Murder of the Criminal Genius Who Fixed the 1919 World Series, by David Pietrusza 2
Willie Mays: The Life, The Legend, by James S. Hirsch 3
The Philadelphia Phillies: An Extraordinary Tradition, by Scott Gummer 4
Now I Can Die in Peace: How The Sports Guy Found Salvation Thanks to the World Champion (Twice!) Red Sox, by Bill Simmons 5

Statistics

The Baseball Forecaster 1
The Bill James Handbook 2011 2
Hardball Times 2011 3
Baseball America 2011 Almanac: A Comprehensive Review of the 2010 Season (Baseball America Almanac) 4
The Book: Playing the Percentages in Baseball, by Tom Tango, et al 5

(Note: The list includes print editions/baseball titles only, allowing for non-baseball titles and kindle editions that affected the rankings. Also, the rankings change hourly, so the result you get when you visit Amazon.com might not be the same.)


Analysis:

The Last Boy falls out of the top 100 Amazon bestsellers, but is ranked third in sports bestsellers. I also found it interesting that the top four books in the history category were Kindle editions (and therefore not included on this list).

It’s news to me:
I’m guessing the success of HBO’s Boardwalk Empire is responsible for the renewed interest in Pietrusza’s biography of Arnold Rothstein. There are several scenes in the miniseries in which Rothstein discusses the Black Sox Scandal with his attorneys. Michael Stuhlbarg, who plays the gambler, is a far cry from Michael Lerner, who had the role in the feature film, Eight Men Out.

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