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.
- This Old Man: All in Pieces, by Roger Angell
- Sports Illustrated Baseball’s Greatest, by SI
- If These Walls Could Talk: St. Louis Cardinals: Stories from the St. Louis Cardinals Dugout, Locker Room, and Press Box, by Stan McNeal
- The Greatest Baseball Stories Ever Told: Thirty Unforgettable Tales from the Diamond, by Jerry Silverman
- The Mental Game of Baseball: A Guide to Peak Performance, by H.A. Dorfman
- The Best Team Money Can Buy: The Los Angeles Dodgers’ Wild Struggle to Build a Baseball Powerhouse, by Molly Knight
- The Baseball Codes: Beanballs, Sign Stealing, and Bench-Clearing Brawls: The Unwritten Rules of America’s Pastime, by Jason Turow
- Where Nobody Knows Your Name: Life in the Minor Leagues of Baseball (Anchor Sports), by John Feinstein
- 100 Things Cubs Fans Should Know & Do Before They Die, by Jimmy Greenfield
- Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game, by Michael Lewis
Several old favorites return to the list, including titles by Feinstein, Dorfman, and Turow. I’m guesing the hot hand by the Cubs at the winter meetings has something to do with renewed interest in the team on a literary basis. Could there be new fans coming into the fold?
New York Times: Only one title appears in the top 20 and it’s a seemingly odd on: The Matheny Manifesto, by the St. Louis Cardinal’s manager (with Jerry B. Jenkins), which weighs in at #15. Not surprisingly, no baseball titles crack the Times‘ Top Ten list for the year (and none among the “100 Notable Books” of 2015 either). There is, however, one “sports” title include: H is for Hawk, by Helen Macdonald, which, I’m sorry, doesn’t strike me as belonging in this genre.
Not on either the Amazon or Times’ monthly list? 501 Baseball Books Fans Must Read before They Die. This week: 1,169,321. Last week: 1,019,341. What gives? Holiday time, folks.
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.