NEW STUFF: 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…
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.
So without further ado, 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.
- Billy Martin: Baseball’s Flawed Genius, by Bill Pennington
- Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game, by Michael Lewis
- Trading Bases: How a Wall Street Trader Made a Fortune Betting on Baseball, by Joe Peta
- Jeter Unfiltered, by Derek Jeter. (Bookshelf review here).
- The Science of Hitting, by Ted Williams
- Championship Blood: The 2014 World Series Champion San Francisco Giants, by Brian Murphy
- Baseball Prospectus 2015
- Giant Splash: Bondsian Blasts, World Series Parades, and Other Thrilling Moments by the Bay, by Andrew Baggarly
- The Mental Game of Baseball: A Guide to Peak Performance, by H.A. Dorfman
- Baseball Maverick: How Sandy Alderson Revolutionized Baseball and Revived the Mets, by Steve Kettmann (Bookshelf conversation here)
Here’s the April list of New York Times sports best-seller list (10 plus 10 more). Jeter Unfiltered comes in at number six, while John Feinstein’s Where Nobody Knows Your Name: Life in the Minor Leagues of Baseball is 12.
Just one observation: Kettmann’s bio on Alderson refers to Dorfman’s book. I wonder if there’s a “coattail” effect?
Now that the season is under way, there are fewer books that would be used as research material for fantasy teams. Populating the list are bios and memoirs about Billy Martin and veteran sports scribe Hal McCoy. I’ve had a chance to read the Martin book and found it excellent (look for my review as part of a larger baseball book feature on Bookreporter.com in the next couple of weeks).
Not on either list? 501 Baseball Books Fans Must Read before They Die. As of this post, the ranking is 242,810, not bad but ya’ll are gonna do something about that, right? Just one or two purchases can move a book up a couple hundred thousand spots. If you have read it, thanks, hope you enjoyed it, and please consider writing a review for the Amazon page. 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.