A Primer On Baseball Reading

My wife and I are planning our seven-day trip to Florida for rest and relaxation, and I have been sorting through my meager collection of books to decide which ones to take with me to read, reread, or finish. She is an avid reader at the rate of three or four a week, so I have much to do to catch up with her. Of course, I will never catch her, but I am bound and determined to make it through the ones I select.

This task reminded me that not long ago I was asked for book suggestions for someone who was interested in learning more about the history of baseball. I compiled the list from my own inventory, and only from books I have read. I am no expert on book reviews, but I know what I have enjoyed. This is my offer, all from my own collection, books I have read and enjoyed over the years:

Baseball in the Garden of Eden: The Secret History of the Early Game by John Thorn (Simon & Schuster, 2012)

 

 

 

 

​The Glory of Their Times: The Story of the Early Days of Baseball Told by the Men Who Played It by Lawrence S. Ritter (Macmillan, 1966)

 

 

 

 

Boys of Summer by Roger Kahn (Harper & Row, 1972)

 

 

 

 

A Complete History of the Negro Leagues: 1884 to 1955 by Mark Ribowsky (Carol Publishing Group, 1995)

 

 

 

 

Joe DiMaggio: The Hero’s Life by Richard Ben Cramer (Simon & Schuster, 2000)

 

 

 

 

Branch Rickey: Baseball’s Ferocious Gentleman by Lee Lowenfish (University of Nebraska Press, 2007)

 

 

 

 

Willie’s Boys: The 1948 Birmingham Black Barons, The Last Negro League World Series, and the Making of a Baseball Legend by John Klima (Wiley, 2009)

 

 

 

The Echoing Green: The Untold Story of Bobby Thomson, Ralph Branca and the Shot Heard Round the World by Joshua Prager (Vintage Books, 2006)

 

 

 

October 1964 by David Halberstam (Ballantine, 1994)

 

 

 

 

Ball Four by Jim Bouton (World, 1970)

 

 

 

 

One book that I would like to have included but cannot since I have not read it, is Babe: The Legend Comes to Life by Robert Creamer (Simon & Schuster, 1974). It is one that seems to have eluded me, but if it makes delivery on time I will be carting it with me to the beach. I have purposely omitted Money Ball by Michael Lewis (W. W. Norton & Co., 2003), as that chapter of baseball history is ongoing; however, it is worth reading to learn the basis for statistical tools that have often overshadowed the game itself.

An additional note: these may be read in whatever order one wishes, but I have selected them in the order shown as a way of building up one’s knowledge of historical news, facts, and importance. Should one choose to deviate, be my guest. Baseball is the worthy subject no matter the order!

© 2018 by Skip Nipper. All Rights Reserved.

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Filed under Current, History, Opinion, Research

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