10 books like Baseball

By Dorothy Seymour Mills, Harold Seymour,

Here are 10 books that authors have personally recommended if you like Baseball. 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…


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…


Babe

By Robert Creamer,

Book cover of Babe: The Legend Comes to Life

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.

Babe

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.


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…


Girl at Heart

By Kelly Oram,

Book cover of Girl at Heart

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.

Girl at Heart

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…


Baseball in the Garden of Eden

By John Thorn,

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

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.

Baseball in the Garden of Eden

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…


Moneyball

By Michael Lewis,

Book cover of Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game

Anyone who saw the movie of the same name starring Brad Pitt knows the story here. So yes, this is a book about the advent of analytics into the game of baseball and how it has changed the way players are evaluated and teams assembled. But more than this the book tells the story of Oakland A’s general manager Billy Beane as it touches on themes of fairness (or lack thereof), humanity, fortitude, and the cruel realities of a game that is really just a bottom-line business.

Moneyball

By Michael Lewis,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Moneyball as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Moneyball is a quest for the secret of success in baseball. Following the low-budget Oakland Athletics, their larger-than-life general manger, Billy Beane, and the strange brotherhood of amateur baseball enthusiasts, Michael Lewis has written not only "the single most influential baseball book ever" (Rob Neyer, Slate) but also what "may be the best book ever written on business" (Weekly Standard).

I wrote this book because I fell in love with a story. The story concerned a small group of undervalued professional baseball players and executives, many of whom had been rejected as unfit for the big leagues, who had turned…


The Soul of Baseball

By Joe Posnanski,

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

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.

The Soul of Baseball

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…


Prophet of the Sandlots

By Mark Winegardner,

Book cover of Prophet of the Sandlots: Journeys With A Major League Scout

This non-fiction book tells the story of professional scout Tony Lucadello, who spent more than forty years traveling the country watching thousands of high school, college, semi-pro and even sandlot baseball games. Winegardner’s writing is superb as he tells of his travels with Tony on his scouting trips. Again, this book is more about human nature and what is now a bygone time than it is about baseballare you noticing a theme here in my recommendations?—though hardcore baseball fans will be enthralled by this book.

Prophet of the Sandlots

By Mark Winegardner,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Recalling half a century of shimmying up and ducking behind trees to locate talent, a major league scout reflects on his long and illustrious career with the Cubs and Phillies


Glory Days in Tribe Town

By Terry Pluto, Tom Hamilton,

Book cover of Glory Days in Tribe Town: The Cleveland Indians and Jacobs Field 1994-1997

My list could not be complete without a book about my beloved Tribe, and like most Clevelanders, watching the Indians of the mid-90’s was as good as it gets. Whether you are a Cleveland fan, or not, Glory Days in Tribe Town is a phenomenal book that chronicles one of the most intriguing Major League Baseball teams of the past 30 years. 

The Indians had 455 consecutive sold-out crowds home, many of whom stayed until the final out regardless of the score because they knew that the Tribe’s potent offensive could always overcome a deficit in the bottom of the 9th.  

The combination of two of Cleveland’s most iconic voices in Terry Pluto and Tom Hamilton makes this a must-read for any baseball fan.

Glory Days in Tribe Town

By Terry Pluto, Tom Hamilton,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Glory Days in Tribe Town as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Relive the most thrilling seasons of Cleveland Indians baseball in recent memory! Remember the excitement of those first years at Jacobs Field? When it seemed the Indians could find a way to win almost any game? When screaming fans rocked the jam-packed stands every night? When a brash young team snapped a forty-year slump and electrified the city? Those weren’t baseball seasons, they were year-long celebrations. Step back into the glory days with sportswriter Terry Pluto and broadcaster Tom Hamilton as they share behind-the-scenes stories about a team with all-stars at nearly every position . . . a sparkling new…


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