10 books like Babe

By Robert Creamer,

Here are 10 books that authors have personally recommended if you like Babe. Shepherd is a community of 7,000+ authors sharing their favorite books with the world.

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The Glory of Their Times

By Lawrence S. Ritter,

Book cover of The Glory of Their Times: The Story of the Early Days of Baseball Told by the Men Who Played It

In the 1960s, Ritter interviewed a bunch of guys who played major league ball in the early days, from the 1890s through the 1930s (or so), with lots of stuff from the Deadball Era. The result is this marvelous book filled with priceless tales told by the men who knew, played with (and occasionally fought with) Ty Cobb, Cy Young, Nap Lajoie, and the immortals from that era. Anyone who wants to understand what baseball was like in 1903, or there-and-then-about, must read this book. Reading this book is like sitting on a porch in a rocking chair next to grandpa while he tells stories that you actually want to hear.

The Glory of Their Times

By Lawrence S. Ritter,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked The Glory of Their Times as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

“Easily the best baseball book ever produced by anyone.” —Cleveland Plain Dealer

“This was the best baseball book published in 1966, it is the best baseball book of its kind now, and, if it is reissued in 10 years, it will be the best baseball book.” — People

From Lawrence Ritter (The Image of Their Greatness, The 100 Greatest Baseball Players of All Time), comes one of the bestselling, most acclaimed sports books of all time, The Glory of Their Times—now a Harper Perennial Modern Classic.

Baseball was different in earlier days—tougher, more raw, more intimate—when giants like Babe Ruth…


Baseball

By Dorothy Seymour Mills, Harold Seymour,

Book cover of Baseball: The Golden Age

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.

Baseball

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…


The Pitch That Killed

By Mike Sowell,

Book cover of The Pitch That Killed: The Story of Carl Mays, Ray Chapman, and the Pennant Race of 1920

The year 1920 marked the first pennant ever won by the Cleveland Indians. Author Mike Sowell recalls that time with his outstanding work, The Pitch That Killed. Sowell describes in great detail the tragic story of Ray Chapman and Carl Mays, the two participants in one of the most heartbreaking stories in baseball history. Sowell recounts in vivid detail an overcast day in New York when Mays threw an inside fastball that struck Chapman on the left temple. The Cleveland shortstop would pass away the next morning, leading to an unprecedented display of grief throughout the country. This book is a most compelling read.

The Pitch That Killed

By Mike Sowell,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Since major league baseball began in 1871, there have been roughly thirty million pitches thrown to batters. Only one of them killed a man. This is the story of Ray Chapman of the Cleveland Indians, a popular player struck in the head and killed in August 1920 by a pitch thrown by Carl Mays of the New York Yankees. Was it, as most baseball observers thought at the time, a tragic but unavoidable accident? Mike Sowell's brilliant book investigates the incident and probes deep into the backgrounds of the players involved and the events that led to one of baseball's…


American Baseball. Vol. 1

By David Quentin Voigt,

Book cover of American Baseball. Vol. 1: From Gentleman’s Sport to the Commissioner System

Author Voigt produced three volumes of work, detailing the history of the game from its roots in the early nineteenth century, through the latter part of the twentieth. Volume One begins with a debunking of the myth that Abner Doubleday created the game in the green fields of Cooperstown, New York. Voigt in using a tremendous amount of research material, traces the modernization of baseball from a gentleman’s game played for amusement and relaxation to a professional organization built to win.

Readers interested in learning how the game evolved from underhand pitching to a mound sixty feet six inches and three outs to a side would benefit from studying this work.

American Baseball. Vol. 1

By David Quentin Voigt,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

How did "America's National Game" evolve from a gentlemen's pastime in the 1850s to a national obsession in the Roaring Twenties? What really happened at Cooperstown in 1839, and why does the "Doubleday legend" persist? How did the commissioner system develop, and what was the impact of the "Black Sox" scandal? These questions and many others are answered in this book, with colorful details about early big league stars such as Mike "King" Kelly and pious Billy Sunday, Charles Comiskey and Ty Cobb, Napoleon Lajoie and "Cy" (Cyclone) Young.

The author explores historically the four major periods of transformation of…


Season Ticket

By Roger Angell,

Book cover of Season Ticket: A Baseball Companion

Anything by Hall of Fame baseball scribe Roger Angell could be on this list. The author saw Babe Ruth play and was still writing about baseball after turning 100 years old. Feel free to skip ahead and read "Not So Boston,'' the tale of the Red Sox's hideous loss to the Mets in the 1986 World Series.

Season Ticket

By Roger Angell,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Offering a unique perspective on the ins and out of baseball, the author examines in detail the job of the catcher, pitchers' strategies, and the intricate play of infielders, discussing the best players of the past five seasons and their greatest moments


Only the Ball Was White

By Robert Peterson,

Book cover of Only the Ball Was White: A History of Legendary Black Players and All-Black Professional Teams

Peterson was a magazine writer in the 1960s who became curious about those Black baseball teams he saw play in the Pennsylvania town where he grew up. He set out with his tape recorder to track down and interview many Negro League figures, and dove into library newspaper collections to find the facts to back up their reminiscences. First published in 1970 and still in print, this is the first comprehensive history of Black professional baseball, the history of which was in serious danger of being lost to modern memory when the Negro Leagues were put out of business in the 1950s following Major League integration. Many of us who write about Black ball read this book first.

Only the Ball Was White

By Robert Peterson,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Only the Ball Was White as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Early in the 1920s, the New York Giants sent a scout to watch a young Cuban play for Foster's American Giants, a baseball club in the Negro Leagues. During one at-bat this talented slugger lined a ball so hard that the rightfielder was able to play it off the top of the fence and throw Christobel Torrienti out at first base. The scout liked what he saw, but was disappointed in the player's appearance. "He was a light brown," recalled one of Torrienti's teammates,
"and would have gone up to the major leagues, but he had real rough hair." Such…


I Was Right on Time

By Buck O'Neil, Steve Wulf, David Conrads

Book cover of I Was Right on Time

This book is wonderful. While it isn’t your typical self-improvement book, reading it made me want to be a better person. Buck O’Neil’s attitude is amazing despite all of the hardships he endured. He is an inspiration to everyone. No matter where we are or when we are born, we are all  "right on time,” and hopefully striving to serve a purpose for a greater good. A good attitude and lots of gratitude are so important for our self-awareness journey and Buck had it in truckloads. Please read this book. 

I Was Right on Time

By Buck O'Neil, Steve Wulf, David Conrads

Why should I read it?

1 author picked I Was Right on Time as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

From Babe Ruth to Bo Jackson, from Cool Papa Bell to Lou Brock, Buck O'Neil has seen it all. As a first baseman and then manager of the legendary Kansas City Monarchs, O'Neil witnessed the heyday of the Negro leagues and their ultimate demise.
In I Was Right on Time, he charmingly recalls his days as a ballplayer and as an African-American in a racially divided country. Whether he's telling of his barnstorming days with the likes of Satchel Paige and Josh Gibson or the day in 1962 when he became the first African-American coach in the major leagues, O'Neil…


Oscar Charleston

By Jeremy Beer,

Book cover of Oscar Charleston: The Life and Legend of Baseball's Greatest Forgotten Player

Charleston is one of the very best to ever play in the Negro Leagues. He entered Black baseball even before the first Negro League was started and played 27 seasons up to World War II. He managed in the Negro Leagues for 15 seasons, his gigs including the Pittsburgh Crawfords of the early 1930s, one of the best professional teams of all time. Beer’s award-winning book tells the whole life of this Hall of Famer and straightens out historical misconceptions, for example showing that his reputation for dirty play and a terrible temper is ill-founded (“While he was happy to join fights in progress, he did not usually start them”).

Oscar Charleston

By Jeremy Beer,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Winner of the SABR Seymour Medal Casey Award for Best Baseball Book of the Year by Spitball Magazine Winner of SABR's Larry Ritter and Robert Peterson Awards Buck O'Neil once described him as "Ty Cobb, Babe Ruth, and Tris Speaker rolled into one." Among experts he is regarded as the best player in Negro Leagues history. During his prime he became a legend in Cuba and one of Black America's most popular figures. Yet even among serious sports fans, Oscar Charleston is virtually unknown today.

In a long career spanning from 1915 to 1954, Charleston played against, managed, befriended, and…


A Franchise on the Rise

By Dom Amore,

Book cover of A Franchise on the Rise: The First Twenty Years of the New York Yankees

If you want a close-up look at the players who made up the early Yankee teams, this is the book for you. In Amore’s book you’ll learn about some key Yankees’ players: Wee Willie Keeler, Frank Chance (of Tinkers-to-Evers-to-Chance fame), Hal Chase, Roger Peckinpaugh, Frank “Home Run” Baker, and, of course, George Herman “Babe” Ruth, among many others who populated the early New York Yankee teams. 

A Franchise on the Rise

By Dom Amore,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked A Franchise on the Rise as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

2018 marks 115 years since the inception of the New York Yankees--and what a 115-year period it's been! But how did the team that has since won a league-leading 27 world championships get started? In A Franchise on the Rise, veteran sportswriter Dom Amore takes readers back in time to the first twenty years of the team's existence, from 1903 to 1923, focusing on all the major players and events, including their first ten years as the Highlanders, their move to Yankee Stadium, and their subsequent first World Series in 1923. In doing so, Amore successfully finds the characters' own…


The Great American Novel

By Philip Roth,

Book cover of The Great American Novel

This is a minor work in Roth’s illustrious career, but it is pure Roth - hilarious and outrageous -  through and through. You can’t not love a novel that begins with an irreverent shot out to Moby Dick: Call me Smitty, is the novel’s first line, penned by a sportswriter and narrator Word Smith. Smitty’s story is the tragic career of the only Babylonian pitcher in major league history, a phenom named Gil Gamesh. (For those who are too far removed from your college classics courses, Gilgamesh is the great epic story of ancient Babylon.) Gil and his catcher concoct a plot to kill an umpire, Mike the Mouth, who never gives them an even break. The would-be murder weapon is a high fastball. Chaos ensues.

The Great American Novel

By Philip Roth,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

From the Pulitzer Prize–winning author of American Pastoral—a richly imagined novel featuring America’s only homeless big-league baseball team in history delivers “shameless comic extravagance…. Roth gleefully exploits our readiness to let baseball stand for America itself" (The New York Times).

Gil Gamesh, the only pitcher who ever literally tried to kill the umpire. The ex-con first baseman, John Baal, "The Babe Ruth of the Big House," who never hit a home run sober. If you've never heard of them—or of the homeless baseball team the Ruppert Mundys—it's because of the Communist plot, and the capitalist scandal, that expunged the entire…


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