My Favorite Baseball Books

A Listmania! list by Pugwash "Pugwash" (Pittsburgh)
The list author says: "I have read countless baseball books over the years. they have brought laughs, understanding of a great sport, and a greater familiarity with many of the athletes I have enjoyed watching, cheering for, and following.

I make no pretense that these are the ten best baseball books of all-time. They are simply ten of my favorite. I hope whoever reads some of these books enjoy them as much as I have."
Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game
1.  Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game by Michael Lewis
The list author says:
  "The story of Billy Beane, GM of the Oakland A's.  This book teaches economics in an unforgettable lesson.

Beane uses out of the box thinking and action to compete against baseball's behemoths in a small market with limited resources."
$9.01   Used & New from: $0.01
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1,089 customer reviews) | 1 customer discussion

Bo: pitching and wooing
2.  Bo: pitching and wooing by Maury Allen
The list author says:
  "This is the story of a journeyman pitcher whose off the field exploits were far more accomplished than his on-the-field achievements.

A rollicking, hilarious, 1960's story that probably would not get told today."
Out of stock
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

Seasons in Hell: With Billy Martin, Whitey Herzog and "The Worst Baseball Team in History"-The 1973-1975 Texas Rangers
3.  Seasons in Hell: With Billy Martin, Whitey Herzog and "The Worst Baseball Team in History"-The 1973-1975 Texas Rangers by Mike Shropshire
The list author says:
  "Possibly the funniest sports story of all-time.  The downtrodden Washington Senators move to Texas in the early 1970's.

Meet Whitey Herzog and Billy Martin as described in a loose jointed, boozy narrative of a beat writer for the daily newspaper."
$17.02   Used & New from: $7.98
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (79 customer reviews)

A False Spring
4.  A False Spring by Pat Jordan
The list author says:
  "I learned of this book from Sports Illustrated's list of the fifty greatest sports books of all-time.

A promising pitcher in the low minor leagues sees his dreams shattered when his skills mysteriously desert him.  A precursor to the "Steve Blass Syndrome".

He looks back on some of his life decisions along the way, and shares his angst."
$16.12   Used & New from: $2.05
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)

Joe, You Coulda Made Us Proud
5.  Joe, You Coulda Made Us Proud by Joe Pepitone
The list author says:
  "An obscure pick from the charismatic player of the Yankees, Cubs and Braves.

Brutally honest, he shares the pain caused by his sex addiction and depression.  He talks of his drug use, and many depraved choices as a man and a ballplayer.

You will laugh, feel sorry for him and cry for him."
Used & New from: $19.75
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)

See buying options
Ball Four: Twentieth Anniversary Edition
6.  Ball Four: Twentieth Anniversary Edition by Jim Bouton
The list author says:
  "For any sports fan over 50, this iconic book is a fixture in your memory banks.

Chronicles in diary form the final days of a one-time phenom who has completed the slide from prospect to suspect.

Was the first to reveal the intimacies of the locker room, and the quirks of his teammates."
Used & New from: $1.88
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (315 customer reviews)

See buying options
The Tumult and the Shouting: My Life in Sport: Memorial Edition
7.  The Tumult and the Shouting: My Life in Sport: Memorial Edition by Grantland Rice
The list author says:
  "Less a baseball book than a fond remembrance of all great athletes he covered in sports by one of the fixtures from the "Golden Age of Sportswriting".

Rice details many great athletes from a wide array of sports, but this is worth it for his depiction of Babe Ruth and Ty Cobb."
Used & New from: $9.04
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

See buying options
The Last Real Season: A Hilarious Look Back at 1975 - When Major Leaguers Made Peanuts, the Umpires Wore Red, and Billy Martin Terrorized Everyone
8.  The Last Real Season: A Hilarious Look Back at 1975 - When Major Leaguers Made Peanuts, the Umpires Wore Red, and Billy Martin Terrorized Everyone by Mike Shropshire
The list author says:
  "A Sequel to the hilarious story of the the 1972-74 Texas Rangers by then beat writer Mike Shropshire following the Rangers into the 1975 season and giving us an intimate look into the character of Billy Martin, combustible, meteoric and frequently incredibly funny.

A worthy sequel to perhaps one of the funnist sports books ever."
Used & New from: $2.19
3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)

See buying options
Nice Guys Finish Last
9.  Nice Guys Finish Last by Leo Durocher
The list author says:
  "Before Billy Martin, there was Leo Durocher.

This flamboyant and diminutive "Gas House Gang" shortstop later managed the Brooklyn Dodgers, Willie Mays and the Giants, and Ernie Banks, Billy Williams and Fergie Jenkins of the Cubs.

Through it all, his take no prisoners philosophy left him popular and cortroversial."
Used & New from: $0.35
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)

See buying options
Sandy Koufax: A Lefty's Legacy
10.  Sandy Koufax: A Lefty's Legacy by Jane Leavy
The list author says:
  "Sandy Koufax, for a short span of five years could do no wrong.  He was the greatest pitcher of that short era, and maybe any short era.

His shocking sudden retirement left Dodger nation cring for more and mourning his departure.

This book sheds some light on Koufax the man.  The high-strung perfectionist who retired at the apex of a brilliant career.

A needed entreaty of the great lefty."
Used & New from: $0.01
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (190 customer reviews)

See buying options
The Long Season
11.  The Long Season by Jim Brosnan
The list author says:
  "Before "Ball Four", Jim Brosnan wrote the first sports diary by a major leaguer.  Less bombastic and shocking than its successor, it nevertheless gives a realistic account of the struggles, pressures, and joys of a major leaguer.

Considered a sports classic."
$14.97   Used & New from: $7.99
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)

Veeck--As In Wreck: The Autobiography of Bill Veeck
12.  Veeck--As In Wreck: The Autobiography of Bill Veeck by Bill Veeck
The list author says:
  "Bill Veeck writes a precient look at baseball while he tells his remarkable story.  It is a story of passion, hard work, and a love of people.

Veeck spins a story that tells of his love of baseball.  An inspiring book!"
$15.12   Used & New from: $1.01
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (42 customer reviews)

Crash: The Life and Times of Dick Allen
13.  Crash: The Life and Times of Dick Allen by Dick Allen
The list author says:
  "Dick Allen was a trailblazing talent in the 1960's and 1970's, having his halcyon years during a brief stay with the Chicago White Sox.

He was also arguably baseball's first diva.

He looks back on his baseball years from retirement, and brings some enlightenment about what made him function the way he did."
Used & New from: $2.67
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)

See buying options
The Wrong Stuff
14.  The Wrong Stuff by Bill Lee
The list author says:
  "Not the greatest of baseball books, but Bill Lee was one of the most original, outrageous, and flaky player ever to don a uniform.

I once heard him interviewed after being traded to the lowly Expos.  He was totally excited, because he could now wear the flannel shirts in his closet.

He is a unique piece of baseball lore."
Used & New from: $0.01
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)

See buying options
Slugging It Out in Japan: An American Major Leaguer in the Tokyo Outfield
15.  Slugging It Out in Japan: An American Major Leaguer in the Tokyo Outfield by Warren Cromartie
The list author says:
  "An intimate look at Warren Cromartie's seven year journey into the heart of Japanese baseball.  He details how he was treated as an American ballplayer, and his experience in being a foreign celebrity.

This is an essential story in helping learn of the ballplayer psyche, and Cromartie speaks from the heart."
Used & New from: $0.01
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)

See buying options
Don't Look Back: Satchel Paige in the Shadows of Baseball
16.  Don't Look Back: Satchel Paige in the Shadows of Baseball by Mark Ribowsky
The list author says:
  "Satchel Paige was a trailblazing legend.  His story is a glimpse into another era.

This is a worthwhile learning experience and a wonderful baseball read.

There will never be another Satchel Paige.  He was a one of a kind craftsman."
Used & New from: $0.01
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)

See buying options
The Catcher Was a Spy: The Mysterious Life of Moe Berg
17.  The Catcher Was a Spy: The Mysterious Life of Moe Berg by Nicholas Dawidoff
The list author says:
  "The story of Moe Berg, the journeyman catcher in the 1930's and 1940's whose career paralleled Bob Uecker's.

Outside the lines, however, he was a spooky as they came.  He knew eleven languages, did not keep a residence, and participated in such sensitive assignments that they still have not been completely declassified."
$13.13   Used & New from: $0.01
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (80 customer reviews)

The Bronx Zoo: The Astonishing Inside Story of the 1978 World Champion New York Yankees
18.  The Bronx Zoo: The Astonishing Inside Story of the 1978 World Champion New York Yankees by Peter Golenbock
The list author says:
  "The late 1970's were an astonishing time for Yankee fans.  George Steinbrenner was the wild boss, and played musical chairs with the manager's seat.  Billy Martin was as tempestuous a manager as has ever piloted a team.

This is an insider's look, told by reliever Sparky Lyle, who at one time was the top reliever in baseball."
Used & New from: $8.99
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (40 customer reviews)

See buying options
The Education of a Baseball Player
19.  The Education of a Baseball Player by Mickey Mantle
The list author says:
  "I am typically not a sucker for an autobiography by an athlete when it is written before the subject turns 40, but Mantle was such a special athlete and celebrity, that I tuned into this one.

Of special note is the relationship to his father, who died at 38, and his own premonitions and fears of his early demise."
Used & New from: $2.45

See buying options
Casey and Mr. McGraw
20.  Casey and Mr. McGraw by Joseph Durso
The list author says:
  "For baseball historians, this story fills in some blanks on how baseball got to where it has.

A well-written, interesting and factual account of some baseball biggest players in the early part of the 20th century."
Used & New from: $0.29

See buying options
Boys Who Would Be Cubs: A Year in the Heart of Baseball's Minor League
21.  Boys Who Would Be Cubs: A Year in the Heart of Baseball's Minor League 
The list author says:
  "A ride through class A Peoria Chiefs, the Chicago Cubs affiliate.  Jim Tracy pilots this team before taking on Major League managing with Los Angeles and Pittsburgh.

The challenges of guiding a team of naive novices through a season of bus rides, small attendence and petty egos takes its toll on all."
Used & New from: $10.00

See buying options
Zim: A Baseball Life
22.  Zim: A Baseball Life by Don Zimmer
The list author says:
  "The autobiography of Don "Popeye" Zimmer, who has been in the eye of a few hurricanes.  The colorful ex-major league player, manager and coach has much to say, and most of it is highly enjoyable."
Used & New from: $0.01
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)

See buying options
Dollar Sign on the Muscle: The World of Baseball Scouting
23.  Dollar Sign on the Muscle: The World of Baseball Scouting by Kevin Kerrane
The list author says:
  "Highly interesting story of major league scouting and how old time bird-dogging has evolved into appraisal of potential major league talent.

This was once rated a top fifty sports book of all time by Sports Illustrated."
Used & New from: $5.56
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)

See buying options
Can't Anybody Here Play This Game?: The Improbable Saga of the New York Met's First Year
24.  Can't Anybody Here Play This Game?: The Improbable Saga of the New York Met's First Year by Jimmy Breslin
The list author says:
  "A raucous story told by one of the great writes of our time.  This is a story of futility and hilarity.  From the wizened Casey Stengel, the inaugural manager, who fell asleep in the dugout and couldn't remember the players names, to the has-beens, never weres and terminally frustrated players, this is agreat read."
$8.87   Used & New from: $3.99
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)

Men at Work
25.  Men at Work by George F. Will
The list author says:
  "George Will applies his scholarly passion for baseball to some of the craftsmen of the game of his era.  Orel Hershiser, Tony Gwynn, and Cal Ripken, among others are analyzed on their approaches to baseball, and and their systematic preparation to the day to day challenges of taking the field.

A very worthwhile read!"
Used & New from: $0.01
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (104 customer reviews)

See buying options
The Clown Prince of Baseball
26.  The Clown Prince of Baseball by Max Patkin
The list author says:
  "There is a scene in the movie "Bull Durham" where "meat" meets Max Patkin.  He says "your the only one who has played more ballparks than I have".

From a time when minor league ball was plain and simple entertainment, Patkin knew how to hold a crowd.  He was the master, and this is a unique story."
Used & New from: $0.01
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

See buying options
Catcher In The Wry: Outrageous but True Stories of Baseball
27.  Catcher In The Wry: Outrageous but True Stories of Baseball by Bob Uecker
The list author says:
  ""The Uke" is a classic American success story.  The proud owner of a career .202 batting average has laughed at himself all the way to the bank as the voice of the Brewers, actor in commercials, and all-around lovable, funny guy.

Here he is Uke being Uke.  Good enough for me."
Used & New from: $3.12
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)

See buying options
Umpire Strikes Back
28.  Umpire Strikes Back by David Fisher
The list author says:
  "Ron Luciano was a high profile major league umpire well known for his run-ins with Earl Weaver.  He was also an excellent man behind the plate, reconteur, and major league emissary.

He wrote several books prior to his suicide.  This was his best."
Used & New from: $0.01
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)

See buying options
Wild, High and Tight: The Life and Death of Billy Martin
29.  Wild, High and Tight: The Life and Death of Billy Martin by Peter Golenbock
The list author says:
  "Billy Martin was a baseball icon, and a man more than any other who could make a difference for a team for a season.

His story is compelling for his achievements on the field and in the dugout, but also for his conflict with George Steinbrenner."
Used & New from: $0.05
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (33 customer reviews)

See buying options
Charlie Finley: The Outrageous Story of Baseball's Super Showman
30.  Charlie Finley: The Outrageous Story of Baseball's Super Showman by Roger D. Launius
The list author says:
  "The story ofa self made man who challenged the blue bloods of the baseball world, and put together a dynasty of the 1970's.  Finley was an enigma, alternately crass and obnoxious, and big-hearted and charming.  A great baseball story."
$20.25   Used & New from: $1.97
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)

The Bullpen Gospels: A Non-Prospect's Pursuit of the Major Leagues and the Meaning of Life
31.  The Bullpen Gospels: A Non-Prospect's Pursuit of the Major Leagues and the Meaning of Life by Dirk Hayhurst
The list author says:
  "The best baseball book I have read.  This is a story that was begging to be told.  Its poignancy and hilarity carry the reader from cover to cover.  A player in the low minor leagues struggles to find both himself and his baseball mojo.  A man incapable of self-delusion tells his story."
$11.47   Used & New from: $0.01
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (164 customer reviews)

I Had a Hammer: The Hank Aaron Story
32.  I Had a Hammer: The Hank Aaron Story by Hank Aaron
The list author says:
  "Hank Aaron in his own words tells his story, from his youth in Mobile, Alabama to his quest to become the all-time home run champion. 

A worthwhile read, and look into the inner sanctum of a baseball icon."
$11.83   Used & New from: $0.01
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (45 customer reviews)

Big Hair and Plastic Grass: A Funky Ride Through Baseball and America in the Swinging '70s
33.  Big Hair and Plastic Grass: A Funky Ride Through Baseball and America in the Swinging '70s by Dan Epstein
The list author says:
  "A wonderful telling of the happenings, trends and influence of the 1970's on the history and direction of baseball.  This is a read that should not be missed for any boomer or near boomer baseball fan."
Used & New from: $4.33
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (64 customer reviews)

See buying options
Willie Mays: The Life, The Legend
34.  Willie Mays: The Life, The Legend by James S. Hirsch
The list author says:
  "There really is no serious understanding of what baseball is all about without learning about Willie Mays.  His influence and brilliance spanned 22 years on the playing field.

A wonderful biography of one of baseball's shining lights."
$14.16   Used & New from: $0.01
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (125 customer reviews)

Roger Maris: Baseball's Reluctant Hero
35.  Roger Maris: Baseball's Reluctant Hero by Danny Peary
The list author says:
  "Roger Maris lived a baseball nightmare as he aproached Babe Ruth's seemingly unassailable record.  But tere was more to the man and the player.

Relive the flavor of 1960's baseball, and the aura of Yankee Pinstripes and legends of Mantle, Ford, Berra and Howard in this excellent biography."
Used & New from: $0.42
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (51 customer reviews)

See buying options
Gibson's Last Stand: The Rise, Fall, and Near Misses of the St. Louis Cardinals, 1969-1975
36.  Gibson's Last Stand: The Rise, Fall, and Near Misses of the St. Louis Cardinals, 1969-1975 by Doug Feldmann
The list author says:
  "Bob Gibson exemplified the word competitive.  His fire breathed life into the Cardinal organization for over a decade and a half.  While the zentih of his career came in 1968, he soldiered on until the mid-1970's, often with wonderful success.  a great recounting of these times in major league baseball."
Used & New from: $19.99
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)

See buying options
Stan Musial: An American Life
37.  Stan Musial: An American Life by George Vecsey
The list author says:
  "Stan Musial was a study in sustained greatness and class, and came to exemplify the greatness of a proud franchise.

A wonderful life!"
$11.61   Used & New from: $1.51
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (136 customer reviews)

More Actions

Discover more about this author
 See all of their Listmania! lists
Make your own list
 Create a Listmania! list
View your page on Amazon.com
 Go to Your Profile page

Customer Discussions about products in this list  
   

About this Listmania!

 

Author

Pugwash "Pugwash" (Pittsburgh)
Qualifications: Long Time Baseball Fan
Last updated: 1/8/13
Report abuse
    

More Listmania!

 

Baseball Library Baseball Library

Baseball Library: A list of 26 items by W. Johnson

Top 10 Books on Analytics -- A Data to Dollars™ Starter Library Top 10 Books on Analytics -- A Data to Dollars™ Starter Library

Top 10 Books on Analytics -- A Data to Dollars™ Starter Library: A list of 10 items by Jaime Fitzgerald "Data to Dollars™ Specialist, Entrepreneur, Consultant"

My Most Influential Books My Most Influential Books

My Most Influential Books: A list of 35 items by Amazon Customer

Best Sports Novels of ALL TIME Best Sports Novels of ALL TIME

Best Sports Novels of ALL TIME: A list of 25 items by Peter Poblano

My Books - Completed and Upcoming My Books - Completed and Upcoming

My Books - Completed and Upcoming: A list of 12 items by Brad Weigle

   

More So You'd Like to...

 

Read the Greatest Sports Books out Today Read the Greatest Sports Books out Today

Read the Greatest Sports Books out Today: A guide of 49 items by Clay Hodgins

Read the Greatest Sports Novels Read the Greatest Sports Novels

Read the Greatest Sports Novels: A guide of 25 items by Peter Poblano