Baseball Best-Sellers, December 15, 2017

December 15, 2017

By now most of you are familiar with my caveats, so I’ll just mention them briefly: The list includes only print editions of books; calendars (even though Amazon includes them on their lists), no audiobooks (as much as I enjoy them), and no kindle (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 said…

  1. Image result for ultimate yankees book, frommerThe Greatest Baseball Stories Ever Told: Thirty Unforgettable Tales from the Diamond, by Jeff Silverman
  2. The Chicago Cubs: Story of a Curse, by Rich Cohen
  3. The Cubs Way: The Zen of Building the Best Team in Baseball and Breaking the Curse, by Tom Verducci
  4. The Ultimate Yankee Book: From the Beginning to Today: Trivia, Facts and Stats, Oral History, Marker Moments and Legendary Personalities―A History and … Book About Baseball’s Greatest Franchise, by Harvey Frommer
  5. 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
  6. Astros Strong: Houston’s Historic 2017 Championship SeasonHouston Chronicle
  7. Teammate: My Journey in Baseball and a World Series for the Ages, by David Ross with Don Yeager
  8. Red Sox Triviology: Fascinating Facts from the Bleacher Seats, by Christopher Walsh
  9. Incredible Baseball Stats: The Coolest, Strangest Stats and Facts in Baseball History, by Kevin Reavy and Ryan Spaeder
  10. Baseball: Great Records, Weird Happenings, Odd Facts, Amazing Moments & Other Cool Stuff, by Ron Martirano

Three new titles — for the Bookshelf, anyway. All seem to make for nice holiday gifts, including Frommer’s latest and the two trivia-type which make for great stocking-stuffers. And I’m sorry, and with all due respect, but how does an anecdotal volume like Greatest Baseball Stories wind up in first place? And a week without Moneyball? Unheard of.

No baseball titles on the New York Times‘ monthly sports list this time around.

Not on either the Amazon or Times‘ lists? 501 Baseball Books Fans Must Read before They DieToday: 1,547,824; last time: 918,245. Hank Greenberg in 1938: Hatred and Home Runs in the Shadow of War ranks 183,836, last week 501,398. Makes a nice Hanukka present. Both do, actually.

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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