TWIBB: March 18, 2011

March 18, 2011 · 2 comments

The top baseball books, according to as of Friday, March 18, at 4 p.m.

Title Rank
Baseball in the Garden of Eden: The Secret History of the Early Game, by John Thorn 1
The Extra 2%: How Wall Street Strategies Took a Major League Baseball Team from Worst to First, by Jonah Keri 2
The Extra 2%: How Wall Street Strategies Took a Major League Baseball Team from Worst to First First, (Kindle version) 3
Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game, by Michael Lewis (Kindle version) 4
Broken Laces, by Rodney Walther 5
Essays and Writing
Moneyball (Kindle) 1
Moneyball (Print) 2
Solid Fool’s Gold: Detours on the Way to Conventional Wisdom, by Bill James 3
The Bullpen Gospels, by Dirk Hayhurst (Kindle) 4
The Bullpen Gospels: Major League Dreams of a Minor League Veteran (print) 5
Baseball in the Garden of Eden 1
56: Joe DiMaggio and the Last Magic Number in Sports, by Kostya Kennedy (Print) 2
56: Joe DiMaggio and the Last Magic Number in Sports (Kindle) 3
A Band of Misfits, by Andrew Baggarly 4
Baseball in the Garden of Eden(Kindle) 5
Baseball Prospectus 2011 1
Baseball Forecaster 2011, by Ron Shandler 2
Baseball America 2011 Prospect Handbook 3
The Bill James Handbook 2011 4
Watching Baseball Smarter: A Professional Fan’s Guide for Beginners, Semi-experts, and Deeply Serious Geeks, by Zack Hample 5

Analysis: John Thorn is much in the news lately, but has he been appointed official historian for Major League Baseball because of his books, or is his new title selling well because of his appointment as official historian for MLB?  It’s the No. 2 title for all sports books. Kennedy’s new DiMaggio bio is No. 3; Keri’s Extra 2%, No. 6 (also in the top 20 are he Kindle editions of the latter two titles).

It’s news to me: Broken Laces? Hey, it’s on the list, so I put it on, no editorializing. According to the blurb, “Jack “The Cannon” Kennedy thinks he’s living the American Dream. A fancy house in the Houston suburbs. A promising career. And a loving wife who tolerates his long hours and selfish ways. In one horrific instant, he loses his wife. Then his job. Then his hope. And that just leaves Kellen, the young son Jack hardly knows or understands. Jack realizes he must reconnect with Kellen or they’ll never get past their shared grief. But Jack’s biggest obstacle is staring back from the mirror. Desperate to reach Kellen, he turns to baseball, the game he once loved. With Jack, a win-at-all-costs former star pitcher, coaching his son’s Little League team, what could possibly go wrong?” Cue the sappy music and pass the tissues (all right, one editorial comment.)

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  • Hey, Ron…

    I’m actually quite honored to have BROKEN LACES pop into Amazon’s Top-5 of baseball books. It’s consistently been in the top 3 of sports fiction (currently #2) and even hit #1 for Baseball Books earlier this week.

    “Cue the sappy music and pass the tissues” ~~ you’re probably right! 🙂 The award-winning BROKEN LACES is an emotional story that hits parents, especially those with kids in youth sports, right between the eyes. And for baseball fans, there’s a lot of familiar ground.

  • Anonymous

    Thanks for being a good sport, Rodney. I sometimes wonder how the algorithms Amazon uses to classify certain books. For example, why do books that would normally be considered statistical sometimes end up in the history category but not at others. Something inconsistent about it. Best of luck with the book.

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