Baseball Best-Sellers, January 12, 2018

January 12, 2018

A new year, a new look for the BBS list.

I’ve decided to bow to the times and include separate lists for e-books and audio books. Be aware that while many titles also appear in print versions, pretty much anyone can produce an e-book these days, so I’m not going to comment at all about the quality. As far as the audio goes, I’m a big fan of these, especially when the author is the reader, since who knows better how it should “sound” than the person who created it?

The other caveats remain the same, however: 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.

In addition, 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. Baseball Prospectus 2018
  2. Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game, by Michael Lewis
  3. Baseball America 2018 Prospect Handbook
  4. Ron Shandler’s 2018 Baseball Forecaster: & Encyclopedia of Fanalytics
  5. Heads-Up Baseball : Playing the Game One Pitch at a Time
  6. Bill James Handbook 2018
  7. The Greatest Baseball Stories Ever Told: Thirty Unforgettable Tales from the Diamond, by Michael Silverman
  8. The Science of Hitting, by Ted Williams and John Underwood
  9. 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
  10. The Glory of Their Times: The Story of the Early Days of Baseball Told by the Men Who Played It, by Lawrence Ritter


  1. Moneyball
  2. Saving Babe Ruth, by Tom Swyers
  3. The Bill James Handbook 2018
  4. Ty Cobb: A Terrible Beauty, by Charles Leerhsen
  5. Baseball Prospectus 2018
  6. Roger Maris: Baseball’s Reluctant Hero, by Tom Clavin and Danny Peary
  7. 2018 NFHS Baseball Rules Book
  8. 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
  9.  Doc: A Memoir, by Doc Gooden and Ellis Henican
  10. Billy Martin: Baseball’s Fl;awed Genius, by Bill Pennington

AUDIOBOOKS (out of the top 100 sports best-sellers. The links will take you to a sample of the book)

  1. Moneyball (Read by Scott Brick; the top baseball audiobook and #25 overall in sports)
  2. Smart Baseball (Read by Michael Chamberlain, #2/95)

Not much new since last time other than a couple of classics — The Art of Hitting and The Gory of Their Times — returning to the list.

Once again, no baseball titles on the NY Times‘ list either for weekly or monthly. Not on either the Amazon or Times‘ (duh) lists? 501 Baseball Books Fans Must Read before They DieToday: 864,770; last time: 1,480,414. Hank Greenberg in 1938: Hatred and Home Runs in the Shadow of War ranks 1,075,411 (last time, 578,820). By the way, this article from Sports Collectors Digest puts the Greenberg book at #10 on its list of best baseball books of 2017.

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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