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Thread: Books on baseball

  1. #31
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    Re: Books on baseball

    What do you all believe is the most accurate baseball prediction book? Like Baseball Prospectus or The Baseball Forcaster? or what?

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  3. #32
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    Re: Books on baseball

    Quote Originally Posted by Shaknb8k View Post
    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.

  4. #33
    Baseball card addict MrCinatit's Avatar
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    Re: Books on baseball

    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.

  5. #34
    Matt's Dad RANDY IN INDY's Avatar
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    Re: Books on baseball

    The Last Best League. Great book about the Cape Cod summer league.
    Talent is God Given: be humble.
    Fame is man given: be thankful.
    Conceit is self given: be careful.

    John Wooden

  6. #35
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    Re: Books on baseball

    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.
    Last edited by dfs; 01-22-2007 at 11:07 AM.
    "Even a bad day at the ballpark beats the snot out of most other good days. I'll take my scorecard and pencil and beer and hot dog and rage at the dips and cheer at the highs, but I'm not ever going to stop loving this game and this team and nobody will ever take that away from me." Roy Tucker October 2010

  7. #36
    My clutch is broken RichRed's Avatar
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    Re: Books on baseball

    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.
    "I can make all the stadiums rock."
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  8. #37
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    Re: Books on baseball

    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.
    "Baseball is a very, very complex business. It's more of a people business than most businesses." - Bob Castellini

  9. #38
    Passion for the game Team Clark's Avatar
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    Re: Books on baseball

    Scout's Honor is the best Baseball book I have read to date. The amount of info in that book is incredible.
    It's absolutely pathetic that people can't have an opinion from actually watching games and supplementing that with stats. If you voice an opinion that doesn't fit into a black/white box you will get completely misrepresented and basically called a tobacco chewing traditionalist...
    Cedric 3/24/08

  10. #39
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    Re: Books on baseball

    Here are the books I'm juggling right now:

    The Long Ball
    http://www.amazon.com/Long-Ball-Spac...045565-6171311

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

    Shades of Glory
    http://www.amazon.com/Shades-Glory-L...e=UTF8&s=books

    And one about my Goldeyes in the Northern League:

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

  11. #40
    Matt's Dad RANDY IN INDY's Avatar
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    Re: Books on baseball

    Quote Originally Posted by Team Clark View Post
    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.
    Talent is God Given: be humble.
    Fame is man given: be thankful.
    Conceit is self given: be careful.

    John Wooden

  12. #41
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    Re: Books on baseball

    Quote Originally Posted by RANDY IN CHAR NC View Post
    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/ar...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.

  13. #42
    He has the Evil Eye! flyer85's Avatar
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    Re: Books on baseball

    Quote Originally Posted by Rex Argos View Post
    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.
    What are you, people? On dope? - Mr Hand

  14. #43
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    Re: Books on baseball

    Quote Originally Posted by RANDY IN CHAR NC View Post
    The Last Best League. Great book about the Cape Cod summer league.
    What are you, people? On dope? - Mr Hand

  15. #44
    Beer is good!! George Anderson's Avatar
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    Re: Books on baseball

    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.
    "Boys, I'm one of those umpires that misses 'em every once in a while so if it's close, you'd better hit it." Cal Hubbard

  16. #45
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    Re: Books on baseball

    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.


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