on March 22, 2013
Bill James career as a baseball writer started with his annual "Baseball Abstract". At first (in 1979, I think) these were photocopies stapled together.
Each abstract is primarily an analysis of the previous season and a look ahead to the next season, with team-by-team and some player-by-player analysis. So, this book is great if you are about to draft your 1985 Fantasy Baseball team.
However, the book is also filled with a great many side articles and diversions. The article about the Red Sox, for example, veers off into an analysis of leadoff hitters, and driving in runners from 3rd base.
I bought this book for the section on minor league statistics, as research for this year's version of Baseball Mogul [...]. This is a great early analysis of how minor league stats can be used to predict major league stats -- the precursor to modern concepts such as Major League Equivalencies (MLEs).