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.
- 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 was also the featured speaker at a recent author event at the Bergino Baseball Clubhouse. You can hear him on the store’s podcast here:
- The Arm: Inside the Billion-Dollar Mystery of the Most Valuable Commodity in Sports, by Jeff Passan
- I’m Fascinated by Sacrifice Flies: Inside the Game We All Love, by Tim Kurkjian (Here’s my review on Bookreporter.com and the “Bookshelf Conversation” with the author.)
- Jim Palmer: Nine Innings to Success: A Hall of Famer’s Approach to Achieving Excellence, by Jim Palmer with Alan Maimon *
- 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 Last Innocents: The Collision of the Turbulent Sixties and the Los Angeles Dodgers, by Michael Leahy
- If These Walls Could Talk: Milwaukee Brewers: Stories from the Milwaukee Brewers Dugout, Locker Room, and Press Box, by Bill Schroeder
- Ty Cobb: A Terrible Beauty, by Charles Leerhsen (paperback edition)
- The Science of Hitting, by Ted Williams and John Underwood
What the…? Dueling covers?
* Making debut on this list
I almost hesitate to include the Palmer book here. I have a thing against business/management/self-help books that use baseball as an marketing device. Otherwise, pretty static. Look for my review of Leahy’s book coming soon from Bookreporter.com, as well as a “Bookshelf Conversation” with the author.
NY Times: Once again, three baseball titles are included in the most recent Times‘ sports list: The Only Rule and Sacrifice Flies make the top 10 (four and six, respectively) with Bret Boone’s Home Games at #15. That one surprises me, all due respect to Mr. Boone and co-author Kevin Cook. While I find the story of the three generations of Boone players mildly interesting, it seems like a lightweight compared with something like Leahy’s Last Innocents. One man’s opinion.
In addition, the Times finally got around to a general sports roundup which includes two baseball titles: The Arm and, again, The Only Rule.
Not on either the Amazon or Times‘ lists? 501 Baseball Books Fans Must Read before They Die. Today: 987,870; last week: 448,704. The honeymoon is over. I didn’t expect it to last.
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.