100 books like Baseball

By Dorothy Seymour Mills, Harold Seymour,

Here are 100 books that Baseball fans have personally recommended if you like Baseball. Shepherd is a community of 10,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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

Jerry Grillo Author Of The Music and Mythocracy of Col. Bruce Hampton

From my list on stories for baseball omnivores.

Who am I?

I’m a baseball history fanatic who writes on a wide range of topics for work and pleasure, which I’m glad to say often are the same thing. I’ve been a journalist for many years, even covered a few World Series, and I’ve written stories for books published by the Society for American Baseball Research. I’ve also written a lot about music, science, business, and politics, for newspapers and magazines. I’ve been a playwright, fortunate to have seen my work staged in different venues. And I also wrote a book called, The Music and Mythocracy of Col. Bruce Hampton: A Basically True Biography, which I’m really excited to tell you about in the next section!

Jerry's book list on stories for baseball omnivores

Jerry Grillo Why did Jerry love this book?

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.

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…


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

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 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.

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…


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.


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

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?

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.

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…


Book cover of A Damn Near Perfect Game: Reclaiming America's Pastime

Jeff Fletcher Author Of Sho-time: The Inside Story of Shohei Ohtani and the Greatest Baseball Season Ever Played

From my list on for fans who want to see baseball from all sides.

Who am I?

Ever since I started playing Strat-O-Matic baseball as a 13-year-old and then realized that they actually pay people to write about Major League Baseball, it’s been my dream to be a baseball beat writer. I’ve been lucky enough to do it for 25 years. I’ve seen thousands of baseball games and I’ve spent thousands of hours talking to players, managers, coaches, and executives about the sport, but I still learn things from every baseball book I read. Hopefully these books teach you something and help you enjoy the game more.

Jeff's book list on for fans who want to see baseball from all sides

Jeff Fletcher Why did Jeff love this book?

I loved this book because Kelly gives his uncensored look behind the scenes at the way players view the game.

The other books in this list are told from the perspective of management, so this is the perfect complement to give you the full view at the state of baseball in the 2020s. Kelly tells you what he loves about the game, and what he thinks of the direction it has gone.

By Joe Kelly, Rob Bradford,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked A Damn Near Perfect Game as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Baseball’s most outspoken fireballer brings the high heat—calling out the hacks, cheats, and ridiculous rules that have tarnished the game—and pitches a-plus stuff on how to make baseball pure, fun, and damn near perfect.

Baseball has an image problem. The chorus of nonbelievers gets louder every year, and the Major Leagues have made an art of tuning them out. Enter Joe Kelly: a walking, talking, fast-ball-throwing embodiment of why baseball matters. He and his All-Star team of athletes and celebrities have some things to say about what’s gone wrong with our once great game and how to fix it.

A…


Book cover of Going the Other Way: Lessons from a Life In and Out of Major-league Baseball

Dale Scott Author Of The Umpire Is Out: Calling the Game and Living My True Self

From my list on inspirational stories from Major League Baseball.

Who am I?

With 37 years as a professional umpire, the last 32 with MLB, you can’t help but have a ton of stories. The umpire books I recommend have those and more. Funny, entertaining, revealing, and educational, hearing what happened from the person it was happening to give a unique look to America’s pastime. Being the first active male big 5 sports official (Baseball, Football, Basketball, Hockey, Soccer) to come out as gay in 2014, I also understand the added stress that brings and the courage it takes to live your true self on such a big stage.

Dale's book list on inspirational stories from Major League Baseball

Dale Scott Why did Dale love this book?

The day-to-day pressures as an MLB player are enormous. On the field, off the field, in the clubhouse, it’s nonstop.

Doing all of that while hiding who you are as a gay man, compounds everything. Billy Bean takes you with him, from the best player in little league to making it on a major league roster, all while hiding his true self.

Leaving baseball at his prime after the death of his partner, something he couldn’t tell a soul about, Billy’s story is heartbreaking yet triumphant and helped me when I publicly came out as an active MLB umpire.

By Billy Bean, Chris Bull,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Going the Other Way as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Billy Bean is the first major league baseball player to publicly discuss his homosexuality and the first athlete in a professional American team sport to do so since all-pro football player Dave Kopay came out in 1975. By 1996, when Bean retired at age thirty-two from the game he loved after ten years as a pro ballplayer for the Tigers, Dodgers, and Padres, he had become disillusioned by the sport that had defined his life. Bean found himself forced to choose between his love of baseball and the man he loved. It was an agonizing end to a career in…


Book cover of Girl at Heart

Janette Rallison Author Of Just One Wish

From my list on embarrassing moments that can lead to a hot guy.

Who am I?

Why do I have expertise on embarrassing moments? I wish I could say I just enjoy watching other people occasionally squirm and nothing humiliating has ever happened to me. That would be such a lie, though. I’m an embarrassing moment waiting to happen. I rode to the vet with a cat who wanted to cling to the top of my head. I got stuck in a gas station in the middle of nowhere. I (nearly) locked myself out of my house in my pajamas. The only good thing about having embarrassing moments is that you can use them in your novels. And I do.

Janette's book list on embarrassing moments that can lead to a hot guy

Janette Rallison Why did Janette love this book?

Kelly Oram writes great YA romances. You sort of feel like you’re back in high school, but without the pressure of finishing your homework and remembering your locker combination. Everything embarrasses teens, so of course, there are some embarrassing moments in her books too. 

I liked this one because the heroine loved sports but had a hard time getting her teammates to see her for who she was. Sometimes we all just want people to see who we are and not what we do.

By Kelly Oram,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

As the daughter of a successful Major League pitcher, Charlie Hastings has baseball in her blood. Unfortunately, being the only girl on her high school baseball team, Charlie has always been just one of the guys.When her best friend, and secret love of her life, asks another girl to the prom, Charlie is devastated. She’s tired of being overlooked by boys because she’s not like other girls. Suffering a massive identity crisis, she decides to hang up her cleats and finally learn how to be a girl.But with only two weeks until the state championships, the Roosevelt High Ravens can’t…


Book cover of The Soul of Baseball: A Road Trip Through Buck O'Neil's America

Ethan D. Bryan Author Of A Year of Playing Catch: What a Simple Daily Experiment Taught Me about Life

From my list on memoirs that inspire you to live a great story.

Who am I?

I’m a writer, a storyteller, and a dreamer of absurdly ridiculous dreams. I’m an empath who feels big feelings and trusts my intuition as I make my way in this world. I know full well the power and importance of encouraging words, of being a friend, of looking for hope when nothing seems to be going your way. These are the books I turn to when my soul, the truest part of what makes me “me,” needs a reminder of why I write, why I tell stories, and what it means to be human. These are the books that dance across my synapses whenever I sit down to write and tell my own stories.

Ethan's book list on memoirs that inspire you to live a great story

Ethan D. Bryan Why did Ethan love this book?

For one year, award-winning sportswriter Joe Posnanski traveled with baseball ambassador Buck O’Neil all over the country, sharing stories about those who played in the Negro Leagues. This is a book about baseball, yes, but this is a book about choosing hope time and time again, even when it doesn’t make sense.

This is a book full of stories of those who were denied a chance to play in the major leagues because of something beyond their control—the color of their skin. But this is also a book about how love is the strongest power in the universe, breaking down hate, and replacing it with hope. I read this book almost every spring, as MLB players are headed to Spring Training.

By Joe Posnanski,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

From the author of Baseball 100

“A fascinating account of a man who outlasted the ignorance of a nation and persevered to become a beloved figure...One of the best baseball books in years, filled with depth style and clarity." —Cleveland Plain Dealer

An award-winning sports columnist and a baseball legend tour the country to recapture the joys and wonders of two of America’s greatest pastimes

When legendary Negro League player Buck O’Neil asked sports columnist Joe Posnanski how he fell in love with baseball, that simple question eventually led the pair on a cross-country quest to recapture the love that…


Book cover of Baseball in the Garden of Eden: The Secret History of the Early Game

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?

John Thorn—the official historian of Major League Baseball—is a living encyclopedia, and this is his definitive tome on the game’s nineteenth-century beginnings, from the amateur era to the rise of the first professional leagues. This and Gilbert’s book might be viewed as companion pieces—indeed, Thorn wrote the introduction to How Baseball Happened—and both dispel the ridiculous myth that the game was invented in Cooperstown, New York by a young man who would grow up to be a Civil War hero, but Thorn goes deep on the fascinating story of who created that myth, and why, which is a tale so odd it’s nearly novelistic.

By John Thorn,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Now available in paperback, the “fresh and fascinating” (The Plain Dealer, Cleveland), “splendid and brilliant” (Philadelphia Daily News) history of the early game by the Official Historian of Major League Baseball.

Who really invented baseball? Forget Abner Doubleday at Cooperstown and Alexander Cartwright. Meet Daniel Lucius Adams, William Rufus Wheaton, and other fascinating figures buried beneath the falsehoods that have accrued around baseball’s origins. This is the true story of how organized baseball started, how gambling shaped the game from its earliest days, and how it became our national pastime and our national mirror.

Baseball in the Garden of Eden…


Book cover of Center Field on Fire: An Umpire's Life with Pine Tar Bats, Spitballs, and Corked Personalities

Dale Scott Author Of The Umpire Is Out: Calling the Game and Living My True Self

From my list on inspirational stories from Major League Baseball.

Who am I?

With 37 years as a professional umpire, the last 32 with MLB, you can’t help but have a ton of stories. The umpire books I recommend have those and more. Funny, entertaining, revealing, and educational, hearing what happened from the person it was happening to give a unique look to America’s pastime. Being the first active male big 5 sports official (Baseball, Football, Basketball, Hockey, Soccer) to come out as gay in 2014, I also understand the added stress that brings and the courage it takes to live your true self on such a big stage.

Dale's book list on inspirational stories from Major League Baseball

Dale Scott Why did Dale love this book?

Simply put, Dave Phillips has seen it all in his 32 years in Major League Baseball.

From Disco Demolition Night that resulted in a forfeit by the Chicago White Sox, catching famous spitballer Gaylord Perry in the act, to legendary arguments with the likes of Earl Weaver and Billy Martin, Dave was right there in the middle of it. It’s a funny, fascinating, and frank journey of one of the best to ever put on a uniform.

By Dave Phillips, Rob Rains,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Center Field on Fire as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A fascinating personal account of the author's thirty-two-year career as a major league umpire offers an anecdotal history of some of the most outrageous antics and controversial personalities in baseball, both on and off the field.


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