100 books like A Nice Little Place on the North Side

By George F. Will,

Here are 100 books that A Nice Little Place on the North Side fans have personally recommended if you like A Nice Little Place on the North Side. Shepherd is a community of 9,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of Ballpark: Baseball in the American City

Jerald Podair Author Of City of Dreams: Dodger Stadium and the Birth of Modern Los Angeles

From my list on American baseball stadiums.

Who am I?

Major league baseball stadiums have always enthralled me—their architectures, their atmospheres, their surroundings. Each has a unique story to tell. So I decided to tell the story of how perhaps the greatest of all American ballparks, Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles, came to be. As an urban historian, I also wished to tell a broader story of how the argument between 1957 and 1962 over whether, where, and how to build the stadium helped make Los Angeles into the modern city we know today. So writing City of Dreams allowed me to combine my passions for baseball, for stadiums, and for the history of American cities.

Jerald's book list on American baseball stadiums

Jerald Podair Why did Jerald love this book?

The most comprehensive history of the American baseball stadium ever produced, and one that could only have been written by Paul Goldberger, America’s preeminent architectural critic. Unlike many of his brethren, Goldberger’s writing has always been clean, clear, and blissfully jargon-free, and his historical tour of ballparks from their inauspicious 19th century beginnings to the retro pleasure-and-marketing palaces of our own time is authoritative and wonderfully readable. 

By Paul Goldberger,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Ballpark as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

An exhilarating, splendidly illustrated, entirely new look at the history of baseball: told through the stories of the vibrant and ever-changing ballparks where the game was and is staged, by the Pulitzer Prize-winning architectural critic.

From the earliest corrals of the mid-1800s (Union Grounds in Brooklyn was a "saloon in the open air"), to the much mourned parks of the early 1900s (Detroit's Tiger Stadium, Cincinnati's Palace of the Fans), to the stadiums we fill today, Paul Goldberger makes clear the inextricable bond between the American city and America's favorite pastime. In the changing locations and architecture of our ballparks,…


Book cover of To Every Thing a Season: Shibe Park and Urban Philadelphia, 1909-1976

Jerald Podair Author Of City of Dreams: Dodger Stadium and the Birth of Modern Los Angeles

From my list on American baseball stadiums.

Who am I?

Major league baseball stadiums have always enthralled me—their architectures, their atmospheres, their surroundings. Each has a unique story to tell. So I decided to tell the story of how perhaps the greatest of all American ballparks, Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles, came to be. As an urban historian, I also wished to tell a broader story of how the argument between 1957 and 1962 over whether, where, and how to build the stadium helped make Los Angeles into the modern city we know today. So writing City of Dreams allowed me to combine my passions for baseball, for stadiums, and for the history of American cities.

Jerald's book list on American baseball stadiums

Jerald Podair Why did Jerald love this book?

One of the models for my own book, this study of Shibe Park—later named Connie Mack Stadium—places it in the context of the growth and decline of its North Philadelphia neighborhood. Home first to the Philadelphia Athletics, then the Athletics and Phillies, and then, until 1970, the Phillies alone, the stadium went from a position as the centerpiece of a vibrant industrial and residential community to a decaying symbol of urban decline by the 1960s. Still, there are those who remember and love it, and Kuklick has written a fascinating and evocative book that tells the story of a twentieth-century American city through its signature baseball stadium.

By Bruce Kuklick,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked To Every Thing a Season as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Shibe Park was demolished in 1976, and today its site is surrounded by the devastation of North Philadelphia. Kuklick, however, vividly evokes the feelings people had about the home of the Philadelphia Athletics and later the Phillies.


Book cover of The Dodgers Move West

Jerald Podair Author Of City of Dreams: Dodger Stadium and the Birth of Modern Los Angeles

From my list on American baseball stadiums.

Who am I?

Major league baseball stadiums have always enthralled me—their architectures, their atmospheres, their surroundings. Each has a unique story to tell. So I decided to tell the story of how perhaps the greatest of all American ballparks, Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles, came to be. As an urban historian, I also wished to tell a broader story of how the argument between 1957 and 1962 over whether, where, and how to build the stadium helped make Los Angeles into the modern city we know today. So writing City of Dreams allowed me to combine my passions for baseball, for stadiums, and for the history of American cities.

Jerald's book list on American baseball stadiums

Jerald Podair Why did Jerald love this book?

This is actually a book about a baseball stadium that was not built—the Brooklyn Dodgers’ proposed new home in that borough’s downtown that fell victim to the shortsightedness of New York City elected officials and that of their master, building czar and power broker Robert Moses. This was the first systematic and objective examination of the emotionally-fraught subject of the team’s 1957 departure for Los Angeles and the promise of a new stadium there (the subject of my City of Dreams), and was instrumental in placing responsibility for the Dodgers’ move squarely on the shoulders of New York pols and the imperious Moses. Also highly recommended is Sullivan’s The Diamond in the Bronx: Yankee Stadium and the Politics of New York

By Neil Sullivan,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Dodgers Move West as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

For many New Yorkers, the removal of the Brooklyn Dodgers-perhaps the most popular baseball team of all time-to Los Angeles in 1957 remains one of the most traumatic events since World War II. Neil J. Sullivan's controversial reassessment of a story that has reached almost mythic proportions in its many retellings shifts responsibility for the move onto the local governmental maneuverings that occurred on both sides of the continent.
Conventional wisdom has it that Dodgers owner Walter O'Malley cold-heartedly abandoned the devoted Brooklyn fans for the easy money of Los Angeles. Sullivan argues that O'Malley had, in fact, wanted to…


Book cover of The Echoing Green: The Untold Story of Bobby Thomson, Ralph Branca and the Shot Heard Round the World

Jerald Podair Author Of City of Dreams: Dodger Stadium and the Birth of Modern Los Angeles

From my list on American baseball stadiums.

Who am I?

Major league baseball stadiums have always enthralled me—their architectures, their atmospheres, their surroundings. Each has a unique story to tell. So I decided to tell the story of how perhaps the greatest of all American ballparks, Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles, came to be. As an urban historian, I also wished to tell a broader story of how the argument between 1957 and 1962 over whether, where, and how to build the stadium helped make Los Angeles into the modern city we know today. So writing City of Dreams allowed me to combine my passions for baseball, for stadiums, and for the history of American cities.

Jerald's book list on American baseball stadiums

Jerald Podair Why did Jerald love this book?

A book about the most dramatic game in baseball history, ending with the home run hit by New York Giant Bobby Thomson off Brooklyn Dodger pitcher Ralph Branca to win the 1951 National League pennant, in which a major character was the Giants’ quirky stadium, the Polo Grounds. Years after the event, Prager uncovered a dark secret: the Giants had used the peculiar configuration of their ballpark, which included a clubhouse overlooking center field and home plate, to mount a telescope from which signs were stolen and passed on to Giant hitters. Thomson likely knew what was coming before Branca threw. One of the most beautifully written baseball books of all time, and a meditation on the unlikely stages upon which victory and defeat unfold.

By Joshua Prager,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Echoing Green as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This is the untold story of the secret scandal behind baseball's most legendary moment:The Shot Heard Round the World. A Washington Post Best Book of the Year.

At 3:58 p.m. on October 3, 1951, Bobby Thomson hit a home run off Ralph Branca. The ball sailed over the left field wall and into history. The Giants won the pennant. That moment—the Shot Heard Round the World—reverberated from the West Wing of the White House to the Sing Sing death house to the Polo Grounds clubhouse, where hitter and pitcher forever turned into hero and goat. It was also in that…


Book cover of The Chicago Cubs: Story of a Curse

Ryan Standley Author Of To the Top of Greenfield Street

From my list on stories that capture the reader in totally different ways.

Who am I?

I was a teen in the midwest in the 1990s, so my debut novel, To the Top of Greenfield Street, really hits home. There’s something so potent about where I grew up, and who I met at that formative age, that doesn’t leave me, no matter how hard I try. Professionally or non, I’ve always written, drawn, and acted on stage, and the theater background ensured every conflict in my book was soaked with in-the-moment urgency and discovery. Most of all, I wanted honesty to come through. Thoughts and decisions were as real as possible, and characters breathed with laughter and tears along the way.

Ryan's book list on stories that capture the reader in totally different ways

Ryan Standley Why did Ryan love this book?

My debut novel contains a scene at Wrigley Field, and why not? It’s the most beautiful stadium in professional sports and an unforgettable place to visit. Rich Cohen does a great job with his retelling of the bittersweet 2016 season when the Cubbies finally won it all. He also blends in some little-known historical trivia, without getting too dry, or stat-overloading, like many sportsbooks. Also, Cohen brings in himself, with his own first-person Cubs stories, which I love to see in narrative nonfiction.  

By Rich Cohen,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Chicago Cubs as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The New York Times bestselling author of Monsters: The 1985 Chicago Bears and the Wild Heart of Football “knocks it out of the park” (Vanity Fair) in this captivating blend of sports reportage and memoir, exploring the history of the 2016 World Series champions, the Chicago Cubs.

When Rich Cohen was eight years old, his father took him to see a Cubs game. On the way out of the park, his father asked him to make a promise. “Promise me you will never be a Cubs fan. The Cubs do not win,” he explained, “and because of that, a Cubs…


Book cover of Crazy '08: How a Cast of Cranks, Rogues, Boneheads, and Magnates Created the Greatest Year in Baseball History

Andrew Forbes Author Of The Only Way Is the Steady Way: Essays on Baseball, Ichiro, and How We Watch the Game

From my list on baseball in historical context.

Who am I?

I split my writing time between fiction and non-fiction, the latter usually baseball-themed, and I’ve published two books of baseball writing. My reading is similarly bifurcated; there’s always a baseball book on my nightstand. I’ve also got a background in history, and I genuinely enjoy deep research (it’s a great way to put off, you know, writing). Baseball is such fertile ground, so ripe for deep dives—the nexus of sport, culture, entertainment, economics, labour relations, etc. The best baseball books are more than boxscores and transactions, they place the game in its historical context. Books that manage to synthesize all of the above are some of my favourite reads.

Andrew's book list on baseball in historical context

Andrew Forbes Why did Andrew love this book?

We move into the twentieth century with Murphy’s book, a chronicle of a strange and thrilling season smack in the heart of the Deadball Era, when the two leagues we know today—the National and American—had solidified, their champions meeting each autumn in the still-new World Series. Crazy ’08 focuses on the pennant races that year, especially the National League race, between the Chicago Cubs, New York Giants, and Pittsburgh Pirates, which reached its fevered crescendo with a game that featured what’s known as “Merkle’s Boner.” But the book’s broader concern is the atmosphere of political corruption, racial strife, crime, and social upheaval which surrounded baseball. Murphy’s research is deep, but the book reads like journalism because she’s got a storyteller’s heart.

By Cait N. Murphy,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Crazy '08 as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

From the perspective of 2007, the unintentional irony of Chance's boast is manifest—these days, the question is when will the Cubs ever win a game they have to have. In October 1908, though, no one would have laughed: The Cubs were, without doubt, baseball's greatest team—the first dynasty of the 20th century.

Crazy '08 recounts the 1908 season—the year when Peerless Leader Frank Chance's men went toe to toe to toe with John McGraw and Christy Mathewson's New York Giants and Honus Wagner's Pittsburgh Pirates in the greatest pennant race the National League has ever seen. The American League has…


Book cover of Sandy Koufax: A Lefty's Legacy

Jeffrey S. Gurock Author Of Marty Glickman: The Life of an American Jewish Sports Legend

From my list on American Jews and sports.

Who am I?

I am a professor of American Jewish history who has written extensively on how sports have impacted the lives of American Jews. I have been especially interested in how the acceptance or rejection of Jews in the sports arena has underscored that group’s place within this country’s society. I have been likewise intrigued by how the call of athleticism has challenged their ethnic and religious identity. The saga of Marty Glickman, a story of adversity and triumph, speaks boldly to critical issues that this minority group has faced.

Jeffrey's book list on American Jews and sports

Jeffrey S. Gurock Why did Jeffrey love this book?

During the mid-1960s, Sandy Koufax was a dominant baseball pitcher and was destined to be the youngest player to be inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame.

For Jewish fans however, of my generation and beyond, he was an iconic Jewish hero most notably for his determination in 1965 to sit out a World Series game in deference to Yom Kippur, the holiest day on the Jewish calendar. Leavy, an extraordinarily talented writer, tells this sports and Jewish story with keen insights into Koufax’s personality.

By Jane Leavy,

Why should I read it?

4 authors picked Sandy Koufax as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

“The incomparable and mysterious Sandy Koufax is revealed…. This is an absorbing book, beautifully written.” —Wall Street Journal

“Leavy has hit it out of the park…A lot more than a biography. It’s a consideration of how we create our heroes, and how this hero’s self perception distinguishes him from nearly every other great athlete in living memory… a remarkably rich portrait.” — Time

The instant New York Times bestseller about the baseball legend and famously reclusive Dodgers’ pitcher Sandy Koufax, from award-winning former Washington Post sportswriter Jane Leavy. Sandy Koufax reveals, for the first time, what drove the three-time Cy…


Book cover of Contenders: Two Native Baseball Players, One World Series

Kelly Bennett Author Of The House That Ruth Built

From my list on baseball players of color for little sluggers.

Who am I?

No one really knows who invented baseball. Games involving balls hit with sticks, runners, and bases are as old as time. By the middle of the 1800s, everybody in America was playing baseball. And I mean everybody—girls, boys, women, and men from all walks of life and heritage.  While researching baseball history for The House That Ruth Built, I read stacks of baseball books about baseball legends—for the most part, White players like Babe Ruth or Black players like Jackie Robinson who broke the color barrier. I was surprised and delighted when I came across books about baseball players who represented the rest of everybody—hence this list.

Kelly's book list on baseball players of color for little sluggers

Kelly Bennett Why did Kelly love this book?

There are lots of books about famous White and Black baseball players, but there are few books about Native pro baseball players, and definitely not about two! 

This dual biography of NY Giants power hitter John Meyers and Charles “Al” Bender, pitcher for the Philadelphia Athletics, who faced off in the 1911 World Series features realistic illustrations bordered with traditional designs, bookended with the play-by-play of the game.

More than baseball, Sorell’s text addresses the adversity both players overcame, along with the prejudice and injustices they faced, for the love of the game. Injustices, Sorell points out, Native players still contend with today.

Tracie Sorell is a member of the Cherokee Nation; Arigon Starr is an enrolled member of the Kickapoo Tribe of Oklahoma. 

By Traci Sorell, Arigon Starr (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Contenders as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 6, 7, 8, and 9.

What is this book about?

The true story of John Meyers and Charles Bender, who in 1911 became the first two Native pro baseball players to face off in a World Series. This picture book teaches important lessons about resilience, doing what you love in the face of injustice, and the fight for Native American representation in sports.

Charles Bender grew up on the White Earth Reservation in Northwestern Minnesota. John Meyers was raised on the Cahuilla reservation in Southern California. Despite their mutual respect for each other's talents and their shared dedication to Native representation in baseball, the media was determined to pit them…


Book cover of Baseball: The Golden Age

Scott H. Longert Author Of Bad Boys, Bad Times: The Cleveland Indians and Baseball in the Prewar Years, 1937-1941

From my list on baseball history books.

Who am I?

Scott Longert has his M.A. in American History from Cleveland State University. He has written five books on baseball history with a sixth on the way. His most recent work was Cy Young: An American Baseball Hero designed specifically for children. The book was a selection of the Junior Library Guild. Scott has made numerous appearances on radio and television along with being interviewed for several baseball documentaries. Scott served nine years as a Park Ranger for the National Park Service, stationed at the James A. Garfield National Historic Site. Currently, he faithfully attends baseball games in Cleveland, waiting for the home team to capture their first World Series win since 1948.

Scott's book list on baseball history books

Scott H. Longert Why did Scott love this book?

The book is a scholarly interpretation of Major League Baseball from 1903-1930. Harold Seymour was regarded as one of the premier baseball scholars in America, concentrating on the business and social aspects of the game. His work is a tremendous source for aspiring writers and those interested in the fine points of baseball rather than an accumulation of box scores. Seymour devotes time to the 1919 World Series fix and how much gambling was a part of the game. The rise to power of Commissioner Landis and his quest to purify baseball is a compelling part of the narrative.

By Dorothy Seymour Mills, Harold Seymour,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Baseball as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Following the story begun in Baseball: The Early Years, Harold Seymour explores the glorious and grevious era when the game truly captured the American imagination with legendary figures like Ty Cobb and Babe Ruth, but also appalled fans with startling scandals. The Golden Age begins with the formation of the two major leagues in 1903, and describes how the organization of the professional game improved from an unwieldy three-man commission to the
strong rule of Judge Kenesaw Mountain Landis. Seymour depicts the ways in which play on the field developed from the low-scoring, pitcher-dominated game of the `dead ball' era…


Book cover of Babe: The Legend Comes to Life

Scott H. Longert Author Of Bad Boys, Bad Times: The Cleveland Indians and Baseball in the Prewar Years, 1937-1941

From my list on baseball history books.

Who am I?

Scott Longert has his M.A. in American History from Cleveland State University. He has written five books on baseball history with a sixth on the way. His most recent work was Cy Young: An American Baseball Hero designed specifically for children. The book was a selection of the Junior Library Guild. Scott has made numerous appearances on radio and television along with being interviewed for several baseball documentaries. Scott served nine years as a Park Ranger for the National Park Service, stationed at the James A. Garfield National Historic Site. Currently, he faithfully attends baseball games in Cleveland, waiting for the home team to capture their first World Series win since 1948.

Scott's book list on baseball history books

Scott H. Longert Why did Scott love this book?

There have been numerous biographies written about Babe Ruth, but Robert Creamer’s stands out. With excellent research, Creamer gives the reader an intimate portrait of the game’s greatest slugger. From Ruth’s time at St. Mary’s school for boys to his death from cancer, the author reveals a vivid account of Babe’s life and times. There were many highlights in the Babe’s career and Creamer covers them well, including the home run in the 1932 World Series where Ruth may or may not have called his shot. Babe Ruth was always up to the task on and off the field; this book relates his exploits in a most captivating style.

By Robert Creamer,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Babe as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Portrays the struggles and achievements of baseball's most colorful hero.


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