Baseball Best-Sellers, Oct. 27, 2017

October 27, 2017

By now, most of you are familiar with my caveats, so I’ll just mention it briefly: The list includes only print editions (no kindle or audio versions) because I’m old school.

Second, 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.

Third, sometimes the list-makers will try to pull a fast one by including a book in a category to which it should not be listed. 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. I’m using my discretion to eliminate such titles here.

Finally, adults only here. That is, no books for younger readers (although no erotic fiction that features baseball as a theme either. And goodness knows there are a bunch of those).

So, with all that being understood…

  1. Image result for beckett baseball guide 39The Chicago Cubs: Story of a Curse, by Rich Cohen
  2. The Cubs Way: The Zen of Building the Best Team in Baseball and Breaking the Curse, by Tom Verducci
  3. Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game, by Michael Lewis
  4. 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
  5. Beckett Baseball Card Price Guide #39
  6. The Year of the Pitcher: Bob Gibson, Denny McLain, and the End of Baseball’s Golden Age, by Sridhar Pappu (My review on
  7. Leo Durocher: Baseball’s Prodigal Son, by Paul Dickson
  8. Teammate: My Journey in Baseball and a World Series for the Ages, by David Ross with Don Yeager
  9. The Science of Hitting, by Ted Williams and John Underwood
  10. Bill James Handbook 2018

Two new titles for this list: the Bill James annual and the Beckett price guide. Don’t remember ever seeing one of those in the top 10 before.

Finished the Cohen book earlier in the week. Top notch stuff. Look for a review on tonight and a “Bookshelf Conversation” podcast in the next week or so.

Recently finished The Year of the Pitcher (here’s my review from Very reminiscent in the serious and dark tone of The Last Innocents: The Collision of the Turbulent Sixties and the Los Angeles Dodgers, by Michael Leahy, winner of Spitball Magazine‘s coveted Casey Award. I spoke with Pappu last week and will be posting that as a podcast very soon.

There are no baseball titles on the current New York Times monthly sports bestseller list.

Not on either the Amazon or Times‘ lists? 501 Baseball Books Fans Must Read before They DieToday: 1,405,004; last time: 1,364,205. Hank Greenberg in 1938: Hatred and Home Runs in the Shadow of War ranks 1,034,477, down from the last time I checked (348,522). I’ll be speaking at the St. Louis Jewish Book Festival next month at their Sports Night program with John Florio and Ouisie Shapiro, co-authors of One Nation Under Baseball: How the 1960s Collided with the National Pastime. Perhaps that’s where the bump came from.

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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