Baseball Best-Sellers, June 23, 2017

June 23, 2017

As you may have notice, these entries have been falling off in the last several weeks. My apologies. A new full-time job — very different from what I had been doing as the sports and features editor of a weekly community newspaper in suburban New jersey — has put new and strange demands on my time. More about that at another time perhaps.

In the meantime…

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.

  1. Smart Baseball: The Story Behind the Old Stats That Are Ruining the Game, the New Ones That Are Running It, and the Right Way to Think About Baseball, by Keith Law
  2. The Cubs Way: The Zen of Building the Best Team in Baseball and Breaking the Curse, by Tom Verducci
  3. Teammate: My Journey in Baseball and a World Series for the Ages, by David Ross with Don Yeager
  4. Papi: My Story, by David Ortiz with Michael Holley
  5. The Phenomenon: Pressure, the Yips, and the Pitch that Changed My Life, by Rick Ankiel with Tim Brown
  6. Ballplayer, by Chipper Jones with Carroll Rogers Walton
  7. Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game, by Michael Lewis
  8. The Science of Hitting, by Ted Williams and John Underwood
  9. Catapult Loading System: How To Teach 100-Pound Hitters To Consistently Drive The Ball 300-Feet, by Joey Myers
  10. The Greatest Baseball Stories Ever Told: Thirty Unforgettable Tales from the Diamond, by Jeff Silverman

*New on this list.

Hot New Releases

  1. The Pride of the Yankees: Lou Gehrig, Gary Cooper, and the Making of a Classic, by Richard Sandomir
  2. The Cooperstown Casebook: Who’s in the Baseball Hall of Fame, Who Should Be In, and Who Should Pack Their Plaques, by Jay Jaffe
  3. The Only Rule Is It Has to Work: Our Wild Experiment Building a New Kind of Baseball Team

Most Wished For

  1. Smart Baseball
  2. The Cubs Way
  3. Teammate

NY Times: Papi is number one on the June monthly sports best-selling list with Teammate #4; Ballplayer, #7;and Cubs Way, #8.

Just finished reading the new book on the making of one of my favorite movies. I hope to have its author on for a Bookshelf Conversation soon and will post a review. Some people might not like to see “how the sausage is made,” as the saying goes, but for me, it was a fascinating behind-the-scenes look. It just missed making the top ten here by a few sports.

Every once in awhile there’s a new “controversial” project that seeks to deconstruct the Hall of Fame process. When I received my review copy, I opened it at random and the first thing I saw was the section about Hank Greenberg. How’s that for coincidence?

Not on either the Amazon or Times‘ lists? 501 Baseball Books Fans Must Read before They Die. Today: 1,297,901; last time: 1,148,852. Hank Greenberg in 1938: Hatred and Home Runs in the Shadow of War, which launched April 25, currently ranks 127,622, up from the last time I looked when it was 276,653.

If you have read either of those books, thanks, hope you enjoyed it, and please consider writing an Amazon review; it’s never too late. (And thanks to those who have.) Doesn’t have to be long or even complimentary, if you didn’t like it. Although I would warn you to understand what it is you’re reading. My editor tells me I shouldn’t worry over bad reviews and normally I don’t. But one Greenberg reviewer complained because apparently he felt it wasn’t long enough and that it wasn’t a full biography. Sorry, but caveat emptor: The title clearly states this book covers just one season in his career. If you’re disappointed for that reason, then that’s on you.


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