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.
- I’m Fascinated by Sacrifice Flies: Inside the Game We All Love, by Tim Kurkjian(Look for my review on Bookreporter.com beginning tonight and a “Bookshelf Conversation” with the author on Monday.)
- The Only Rule Is It Has to Work: Our Wild Experiment Building a New Kind of Baseball Team, by Ben Lindbergh and Sam Miller. (A review from The Hardball Times. Lindbergh will be the featured guest at the Bergino Baseball Clubhouse on Thursday, May 12, at 7 p.m.)
- The Arm: Inside the Billion-Dollar Mystery of the Most Valuable Commodity in Sports, by Jeff Passan
- Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game, by Michael Lewis
- The Matheny Manifesto: A Young Manager’s Old-School Views on Success in Sports and Life, by Matheny with Jerry Jenkins
- The Mental Game of Baseball: A Guide to Peak Performance, by H.A. Dorfman
- The Science of Hitting, by Ted Williams and John Underwood
- Ty Cobb: A Terrible Beauty, by Charles Leerhsen (paperback)
- Is This a Great Game, or What?: From A-Rod’s Heart to Zim’s Head–My 25 Years in Baseball, by Tim Kurkjian
- Ty Cobb: A Terrible Beauty, by Charles Leerhsen (hardcover)
Kurkjian’s latest tops the list this morning while his previous baseball title pops up again. He also did the text for America’s Game, one of those celebratory projects that came out at the turn of the century.
Three baseball titles are included in The New York Times‘ sports list for May. Two aren’t much of a surprise: The Arm (No. 4) and Ron Darling’s Mets memoir (No. 7). The other, however, is pretty stunning: I Never Had It Made: An Autobiography of Jackie Robinson, as told to Alfred Duckett. I can only surmise the increased/renewed interest stems from the recent Ken Burn’s documentary on the iconic ballplayer/civil rights hero. The book, ninth on the Times‘ list, was released shortly after Robinson died in 1972. The Grind: Inside Baseball’s Endless Season, by Barry Svrluga, comes in at number 19.
Not on either the Amazon or Times‘ lists? 501 Baseball Books Fans Must Read before They Die. Today: 1,111,362; last week: 1,095,555. Ugh, a million, again and sliding. The Mendoza Line of Amazon rankings.
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.