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Ltlabner
07-30-2006, 03:49 PM
What is your favorite book about baseball? Why?

Or, what book are you currently reading about baseball?

westofyou
07-30-2006, 03:57 PM
I collect them, have about 150 or so.

Currently my 10 faves are

Bill James Historical Abstract
Diamonds in the Rough
Creating the National Pastime
Past Time
The Cincinnati Reds - (Lee Allen)
Hot Stove League
Lords of the Realm
Ball Four
Men at Work
We Played the Game

PTI (pti)
07-30-2006, 04:06 PM
Men at Work - George Will



I actually felt myself getting smarter just by reading it. Will did a fantastic job in describing the meticulous details of baseball - in pitching, hitting, fielding and managing. A must-read for any baseball fan, imo.


Although, it was a tad nauseating - all the love for LaRussa. As Marty says "he's got more bestsellers than World Series rings." :laugh:

Team Clark
07-30-2006, 05:05 PM
Men at Work: Phenomenal book. 1st person point of view from some amazing players.

Scout's Honor: Tremendous insight into player evaluation. The Best Baseball Book I have EVER read.

Ball Four: What a scream!

BillyBall: Billy Martin's Autoboigraphy. Some behind the scenes looks and great stories.

If at First: Keith Hernandez autobiography. Read it when I was 12. I wanted to be a big leaguer the next day after reading the entire book.

3 Nights in August: LaRussa's insight into managing a series. Pretty sharp.

BenHayes
07-30-2006, 05:10 PM
The classic baseball conterculture Jim Bouton's Ball Four.

jmcclain19
07-30-2006, 05:13 PM
It may be cliche - but mine is Moneyball.

I'd been a casual baseball fan up until then, always scoffing at advanced baseball stats, always watching but not quite as "informed" about the game I loved. I actually read about the book on here, Brian recommended that I should most definitely read it, and decided to bite the bullet and it opened my eyes.
Now I'm a feverent Baseball Prospectus/Hardball Times reader(books and websites), so I've done a 180.

For someone who wants an excellent different type of baseball book, I would recommend the "Neyer/James Guide to Pitchers." Excellent essays in there about different pitches, how they are thrown and the history invovled in the pitch. If you're the type who likes reading about the argument of whether the forkball and the split finger fastball are the same pitch that book is right up your alley.

I also really enjoyed "The Knucklebook" by Dave Clark. A 360 degree look at the knuckleball, who's thrown it, how to throw it, how to catch it, how to coach it, everything you could possibly want to know.

westofyou
07-30-2006, 05:15 PM
For someone who wants an excellent different type of baseball book, I would recommend the "Neyer/James Guide to Pitchers."

Great book, invaluable piece on a part of the game that nevers gets into too much detail, but that one does.

Red in Chicago
07-30-2006, 05:21 PM
i tried to like moneyball, but felt there was too much filler in there and not enough meat and potatoes.

Scrap Irony
07-30-2006, 06:26 PM
The Natural, in fiction, is the all-time great. Two Kiniella books-- The Iowa Baseball Confederacy and Shoeless Joe are exemplary as well.

chicoruiz
07-30-2006, 06:39 PM
I'll add Veeck As In Wreck and A False Spring by Pat Jordan.

The funniest book about baseball ever is The Great American Baseball Card Book, by Brendan C. Boyd and Fred Harris, but you probably have to go to E-Bay to get it. Has anyone else here read it?

Ltlabner
07-30-2006, 09:27 PM
I'm currently reading the book, "Baseball, LEdgends and Lore" bu David Cataneo. It's a collection of short stores and anecdotes about baseball. So far it's a nice read.

Jim Schue
07-30-2006, 09:36 PM
I just got done with David Halberstam's "The Summer of '49" about a week or so ago and really enjoyed it.

Phhhl
07-30-2006, 09:44 PM
I just got done with David Halberstam's "The Summer of '49" about a week or so ago and really enjoyed it.

That was excellent, and so was October 1964 by Halberstam. I tried to follow up these two with Roger Kahn's "The Boys of Summer", but Halberstam's writing was superior and he probably wrote the two best baseball books I have ever read.

I couldn't get through "Men at Work" after about 100 pages. I tried to read Will's "Bunts" during bathroom breaks, but Baseball Weekly took it's place.

I read "Eight Men Out" before the movie came out, and enjoyed it.

Has anyone read "Pennant Race" by Jim Brosnan? It's a game by game chronicle of the Reds' 1961 season. I bought it one day and just haven't cracked it open yet.

marcshoe
07-30-2006, 09:55 PM
"The Glory of Their Times" by Lawrence Ritter

westofyou
07-30-2006, 09:56 PM
Has anyone read "Pennant Race" by Jim Brosnan? It's a game by game chronicle of the Reds' 1961 season. I bought it one day and just haven't cracked it open yet.Just finished it.

Redszone would eat Fred Hutchinson alive.

marcshoe
07-30-2006, 09:58 PM
The funniest book about baseball ever is The Great American Baseball Card Book, by Brendan C. Boyd and Fred Harris, but you probably have to go to E-Bay to get it. Has anyone else here read it?

Many, many years ago.

Phhhl
07-30-2006, 10:10 PM
Just finished it.

Redszone would eat Fred Hutchinson alive.

Now you have me interested! ;)

GoGoWhiteSox
07-31-2006, 02:11 AM
My favorite has to be You're Out and You're Ugly too by former Major League umpire, Durwood Merrill. That book is hilarious!

remdog
07-31-2006, 08:44 AM
Has anyone read "Pennant Race" by Jim Brosnan? It's a game by game chronicle of the Reds' 1961 season. I bought it one day and just haven't cracked it open yet.

I read it----back when it first came out. :laugh: I then re-read it years later and still enjoyed it. Brosnan also had another book by the name of "The Long Season". Somewhere in one of the two I learned one of the best tips I ever saw about 'how to play the game'. It involved ways to kill time in the Bull Pen. The tip: shoot stick match 'flares' at the fans in the stands during the game and watch them defend themselves. :evil: It was very simple really---take a stick match and wrap the head in the foil from gum wrappers. Stick the match, upright, in a little dirt and then use another match to heat the head of the first match until the exploding match head hurdles it off into the stands. :laugh:

Of course, it might be tough to do today since it's harder and harder to find stick matches and I don't think I've seen a stick of gum rapped in foil in years. ;)

Rem

RichRed
07-31-2006, 03:05 PM
Has anyone read "Pennant Race" by Jim Brosnan? It's a game by game chronicle of the Reds' 1961 season. I bought it one day and just haven't cracked it open yet.

I read it several times as a kid and loved it. It's kind of an earlier, tamer version of Ball Four, only with the Reds. You should open that book already! :)

Right now, I'm reading Robert Creamer's Baseball in '41- a book that came out around 1991 about what he calls the greatest baseball season of his lifetime (he was 18 during that season). Teddy hit .406, JoeD hit in 56 straight, the Brooklyn Dodgers finally made it to the World Series, etc. - all of this against the backdrop of the U.S.'s impending involvement in WWII. Fascinating stuff.

goreds2
07-31-2006, 03:21 PM
In the 1970's, I had an oversized hard cover black book simply called BASEBALL. Very good informative reading telling the greatest moments in baseball with lots of great pictures showing the only midget to bat, Bobby Thompson's homerun etc. It is still around the house somewhere as my son has also read through this book. :thumbup:

cumberlandreds
07-31-2006, 03:30 PM
In the 1970's, I had an oversized hard cover black book simply called BASEBALL. Very good informative reading telling the greatest moments in baseball with lots of great pictures showing the only midget to bat, Bobby Thompson's homerun etc. It is still around the house somewhere as my son has also read through this book. :thumbup:

I had that book too! It's a great book for younger fans to learn about the past.
The Boys of Summer by Roger Kahn was the best baseball book I have ever read. Truly fine written book! I think it may have won a Pullitzer Prize but not sure about that. Ball Four was great too. It was a real eye opener for a young teenager back in the 70's about ballplayers off the field. I guess before I read that I thought the players just went back to their hotel room and watched reruns of Gilligans Island.:p:
Glory of Their Times and Summer of '41 are highly reccomended too. Also both of Jim Brosnan's books too. I checked them out of the library many years ago and read them. I don't think I had ever heard of Jim Brosnan before then. Like someone else said a tamer version of Ball Four but very funny.

RichRed
07-31-2006, 03:39 PM
Roger Kahn has another, lesser known, book called Good Enough to Dream about his involvement with the independent Utica Blue Sox and the players on that team holding on to their dream of one day making it to the bigs. Very entertaining, came out in the 80s, I believe.

vaticanplum
01-14-2007, 04:49 PM
Bumping this for a question...

Has anybody read "Heart of the Order" by Tony Ardizzone?

Reds Nd2
01-14-2007, 11:31 PM
I also really enjoyed "The Knucklebook" by Dave Clark. A 360 degree look at the knuckleball, who's thrown it, how to throw it, how to catch it, how to coach it, everything you could possibly want to know.
"The way to catch a knuckleball is to wait until it stops rolling and then pick it up." - Bob Uecker :laugh:

I just received an autographed copy of Tales from the Reds Dugout for my birthday, so that's what I'm currently reading. I'd have to say that overall, my favorite book is MoneybaLL. I've read other books that I've enjoyed more, but that was the book that got me started learning more about this game we all love.

Chip R
01-15-2007, 12:53 AM
Roger Kahn has another, lesser known, book called Good Enough to Dream about his involvement with the independent Utica Blue Sox and the players on that team holding on to their dream of one day making it to the bigs. Very entertaining, came out in the 80s, I believe.


I picked up that book this summer. I always like reading about the minors and how things work down there.

Topcat
01-15-2007, 03:57 AM
Roger Kahn has another, lesser known, book called Good Enough to Dream about his involvement with the independent Utica Blue Sox and the players on that team holding on to their dream of one day making it to the bigs. Very entertaining, came out in the 80s, I believe.

I read it and loved it baseball books are something a person buys and keeps. If you get them from the library and like them you eventually buy them. Baseball books are a recyclable read in that they are something you can re-read every 10 years.:thumbup:

Rex Argos
01-15-2007, 01:47 PM
Lords of the Realm by John Helyar is an outstanding history of baseball's labor movement. It provides many examples of the stupidity of ownership, and the brilliance of Marvin Miller. It's a long book and not a quick read by any means--but it gives the reader a good perspective.

westofyou
01-15-2007, 01:56 PM
baseball books are something a person buys and keeps.

Yep, I currently have 173 of them, and I'm running out of shelf space.

One that I found very interesting is

http://press.princeton.edu/images/j5786.gif

http://www.amazon.com/Creating-National-Pastime-Edward-White/dp/0691034885

RichRed
01-15-2007, 02:31 PM
I'm re-reading Ball Four for the first time in 20-plus years. It's as entertaining today as it was back then.

Shaknb8k
01-21-2007, 10:29 PM
What do you all believe is the most accurate baseball prediction book? Like Baseball Prospectus or The Baseball Forcaster? or what?

Goten
01-22-2007, 02:39 AM
What do you all believe is the most accurate baseball prediction book? Like Baseball Prospectus or The Baseball Forcaster? or what?

None of them. Marcel by Tom Tango is the most accurate.

MrCinatit
01-22-2007, 03:01 AM
Going through The Cincinnati Game by Lonniew Wheeler and John Baskin.
Not a bad book, really - but not a great one. The biggest problem seems that
1) It seems a bit too chaotic. At first, they take us through the early history of baseball in Cincinnati - then begin jumping around literally everywhere.
2) It relies too much on inside jokes. There are many things which are probably supposed to be funny, but the combination of time, distance and ignorance have made the humor evade me.
3) The biggest folly is not a fault of the author's...sort of. It was printed after the '87 season, when the Reds were going through a third season in which they finished second. There is a whole lot of man-love shown in the book for one Pete Rose, and reading on it now, the overshadowing irony is overwhelming.
Overall, not a real bad book - it also gives us a look at some stories which do not seem to be told as much, such as the negro league presence in Cincy, and the formation of the AL with Reds reporter Ban Johnson and manager Charlie Comisky.

Not the best, by any stretch of the imagination. Ball Four, Veck as in Wreck and a few others far surpase it. But an interesting look into the local history of baseball.

RANDY IN INDY
01-22-2007, 04:32 AM
The Last Best League. Great book about the Cape Cod summer league.

dfs
01-22-2007, 11:31 AM
Second's to
James Historical abstract
(Baseball readers really miss Bill James the writer. If you can get your hands on any of the stuff he was writing 15-20 years ago, you will probably still find his written voice entertaining. Nobody writes with that kind of voice now.)
Lords of the Realm
Ball Four
and Good Enough to Dream( the only Kahn book I really like)

I would also add "you gotta have wa" about the japaneese leagues. It's a bit dated now, but it's a good read.

If you've not read Moneyball, you probably should. Too many people have opinions about it without having read it or thought about it.

RichRed
01-22-2007, 11:58 AM
Another one I'd recommend:

Baseball: An Illustrated History by Geoffrey C. Ward and Ken Burns

It's the companion book to Burns' miniseries, a big coffee table-type book with some great photos and an interesting look at the history of the game.

lollipopcurve
01-22-2007, 12:00 PM
Just read The Numbers Game by Alan Schwarz. History of statistical methods and the people who engineered them. I'm not a fan who sees the game primarily through a statistical lens, but I found this an easygoing and interesting overview of the compulsion to track and archive baseball stats and the quirky characters who, from Harry Chadwick to the folks at BP, have been in the vanguard.

Team Clark
01-22-2007, 12:03 PM
Scout's Honor is the best Baseball book I have read to date. The amount of info in that book is incredible.

Northern Dancer
01-22-2007, 12:05 PM
Here are the books I'm juggling right now:

The Long Ball
http://www.amazon.com/Long-Ball-Spaceman-Catfish-Greatest/dp/0316796441/ref=ed_oe_p/102-4045565-6171311

Birdie : Confessions of a Baseball Nomad
http://www.amazon.com/Birdie-Confessions-Baseball-Nomad-Tebbetts/dp/1572434554

Shades of Glory
http://www.amazon.com/Shades-Glory-Leagues-African-American-Baseball/dp/079225306X/sr=1-1/qid=1169481662/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1/102-4045565-6171311?ie=UTF8&s=books

And one about my Goldeyes in the Northern League:

Jackrabbits in the Outfield
http://www.jackrabbitsintheoutfield.com/

RANDY IN INDY
01-22-2007, 01:59 PM
Scout's Honor is the best Baseball book I have read to date. The amount of info in that book is incredible.

Bet that one is not a favorite of the "Moneyball" crowd. I've read Moneyball, and I owe myself to read this.

westofyou
01-22-2007, 02:08 PM
Bet that one is not a favorite of the "Moneyball" crowd. I've read Moneyball, and I owe myself to read this.

Mostly it's not because it takes on Moneyball as if it was Satan and Schueroltz was the Church. Even going out of its way to address it personally

http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=4216


That’s why I was so disappointed with Bill Shanks’ Scout’s Honor. It would have been enlightening to read about how the Braves scrutinize and solve baseball problems. Instead, we are left with a series of anti-Moneyball platitudes, most of which have very little to do with the way that the Braves actually do business. Here is a typical snippet:

Moneyball was just as insulting to me as it was to so many scouts around the game. As it was explained in the book, the A’s, and the ‘moneyballers,’ apparently care more about on-base percentage than the makeup of a player … I knew the Braves’ story, and the story of scouting vs. bean-counting, had to be told … Baseball operated long before computer wiz kids got involved. It’s about instincts, wisdom, and knowledge, not just a Microsoft spread sheet. (p. 8)

Mind you, these are Shanks’ words. The Braves’ personnel themselves, in Shanks’ interviews with them, are much more moderate, and much less venomous, in their statements. Their consensus, in fact, is that statistics are a tool, one of any number of tools useful to a baseball club … which is exactly what a lot of us computer wiz kids might say. Only Shanks pits the two philosophies against each other in this fashion.

flyer85
01-22-2007, 02:17 PM
Lords of the Realm by John Helyar is an outstanding history of baseball's labor movement. It provides many examples of the stupidity of ownership, and the brilliance of Marvin Miller. It's a long book and not a quick read by any means--but it gives the reader a good perspective.:thumbup: :thumbup:

flyer85
01-22-2007, 02:18 PM
The Last Best League. Great book about the Cape Cod summer league.

:thumbup: :thumbup:

George Anderson
01-22-2007, 02:41 PM
I just finished "Wicked Curve" about Grover Cleveland Alexander. Kinda mundane, goes into way to much play by play details of games. Im currently reading "Tris Speaker" so far a good book but I havent got to far into it.

The best baseball book I have read in quite a while is "Luckiest Man" about Lou Gehrig. It gave alot of insight about Gehrigs career and personnal life that was very interesting.

dsmith421
01-22-2007, 03:10 PM
The best baseball books I've read are:

* Summer of '49 by David Halberstam. Interesting cultural look at the late 1940s through the lens of the DiMaggio/Williams struggle for the batting title and the pennant race.
* The Glory of Their Times by Lawrence Ritter. Incredible collection of oral histories about baseball from the 1880s to the 1920s, in the words of the players themselves. Every baseball fan should read this book.
* The Pitch That Killed by Mike Sowell. An in-depth examination of Ray Chapman's 1920 death from a pitched ball. Explores the effects of the tragedy on Chapman, Carl Mays (who threw the pitch), the city of Cleveland and the Indians team. Sowell also has written books about the suicides of Angels' pitcher Donnie Moore (One Pitch Away) and Ed Delahanty (July 2, 1903).
* Eight Men Out by Eliot Asimov. I assume I don't have to describe this one.
* Moneyball by Michael Lewis. Likewise.

Obviously, my tastes run more toward "literary" baseball books and dealing with the early days of the game.

Baseball also lends itself to excellent short stories and magazine pieces. Two of my favorites:

* Head Down by Stephen King. A non-fiction story included in Nightmares and Dreamscapes, it tells the story of King's son's little league team and their attempts to make it to Williamsport. Great writing.
* The Razor's Edge by William Nack--1991 SI article about Reds catcher Willard Hershberger's in-season suicide. Thought-provoking and tragic, it explores Hershberger's depression and feelings of inadequacy despite being a fan favorite on an eventual World Champion club.

Cooper
01-23-2007, 04:47 PM
"Marvin Miller: A Whole Different Ballgame"

I liked the book because it was very informative about the histroy of baseball -much like "Lords of the Realm"

The book also had a good amount of business ideas about how the market works and where there are inefficencies in the market. If there's anyone in baseball who thinks like Billy Beane it's Marvin Miller. They are kindred spirits.

ochre
01-23-2007, 04:58 PM
dollar sign on the muscle was pretty good. I think woy, or someone mentioned it in another thread. The library had it, so I checked it out.

I had a book, it was sort of an anthology of interesting baseball (true'ish) stories. I used to love that book. The only individual story I remember from it is the Gabby Street catching a ball thrown from the top of the Washington Monument story. I loaned it to my HS baseball coach and never got it back :(

kbrake
02-03-2007, 06:48 PM
Anyone else out there read "Three Nights in August" the book about LaRussa? I am just about done with it. I kind of have mixed feelings about it, curious what others think?

jmcclain19
02-03-2007, 07:08 PM
Just read The Numbers Game by Alan Schwarz. History of statistical methods and the people who engineered them. I'm not a fan who sees the game primarily through a statistical lens, but I found this an easygoing and interesting overview of the compulsion to track and archive baseball stats and the quirky characters who, from Harry Chadwick to the folks at BP, have been in the vanguard.

I really enjoyed that book as well. Great baseball history. I pulled it out and read a good chunk of it last week and was reminded how much I enjoyed it.