100 books like The Big Bam

By Leigh Montville,

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

Shepherd is reader supported. When you buy books, we may earn an affiliate commission.

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.

Why am I passionate about this?

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 Season Ticket: A Baseball Companion

Dan Shaughnessy Author Of Wish It Lasted Forever: Life with the Larry Bird Celtics

From my list on sports from a sports broadcaster.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have been privileged to cover sports for the Boston Globe for the last 40-plus years. It is the best place in the country to do what I do. New England has tradition, smart readers, historic teams, and a great deal of success, especially in this century. As an author of 14 books, it's nice to bring some sports to the conversation on this site.

Dan's book list on sports from a sports broadcaster

Dan Shaughnessy Why did Dan love this book?

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.

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


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.

Why am I passionate about this?

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 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.

Why am I passionate about this?

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

James Overmyer Author Of Queen of the Negro Leagues: Effa Manley and the Newark Eagles

From my list on Black baseball leagues before Jackie Robinson.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have long been fascinated by how Black players and team owners strove to put forward their best efforts in the decades before professional baseball was integrated in the late 1940s. I have been researching and writing about the Negro Leagues for more than 30 years, with three books and several contributions to Black baseball compilations to my credit. I was a member of the National Baseball Hall of Fame special committee that elected 17 Black baseball figures to the Hall in 2006. Black baseball’s efforts were finally acknowledged in 2020 when Major League Baseball, which once wanted nothing to do with the Negro Leagues (except to sign away their best players starting in 1946), finally acknowledged them as major leagues.

James' book list on Black baseball leagues before Jackie Robinson

James Overmyer Why did James love this book?

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.

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…


Book cover of I Was Right on Time

G. Brian Benson Author Of Habits for Success: Inspired Ideas to Help You Soar (Habits of Successful People)

From my list on to inspire personal growth and success.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have been motivated to be the best version of myself for as long as I can remember and that has included reading a ton of books, pushing my own limits on what I was capable of (Ironman triathlons and a cross-country bicycle ride), tapping into my own creativity as well as taking it to the next step and sharing what I have learned through my own books and TEDx presentation. I believe we have so much more inside of us than we realize and I love to share and see others reach their goals and dreams.  

G.'s book list on to inspire personal growth and success

G. Brian Benson Why did G. love this book?

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. 

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…


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

W. Nikola-Lisa Author Of The Men Who Made the Yankees: The Odyssey of the World's Greatest Baseball Team from Baltimore to the Bronx

From my list on the early years of the New York Yankees.

Why am I passionate about this?

I grew up a Yankee fan during the Mickey Mantle era, traveling to the Bronx in my uncle’s canary-yellow Chrysler Imperial. Those early experiences set me on a trajectory to want to play baseball every chance I got, starting with Little League and ending up on my high school’s varsity squad. Fortunately, my high school was in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, where my family had moved in 1962, the same year that the Yankees began playing their pre-season games in the city, which meant when I wasn’t playing baseball at school, I was hanging around Ft. Lauderdale Stadium watching the Yankees. Yes, the Pinstripe Nation was in my blood. 

W.'s book list on the early years of the New York Yankees

W. Nikola-Lisa Why did W. love this book?

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. 

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…


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

James Overmyer Author Of Queen of the Negro Leagues: Effa Manley and the Newark Eagles

From my list on Black baseball leagues before Jackie Robinson.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have long been fascinated by how Black players and team owners strove to put forward their best efforts in the decades before professional baseball was integrated in the late 1940s. I have been researching and writing about the Negro Leagues for more than 30 years, with three books and several contributions to Black baseball compilations to my credit. I was a member of the National Baseball Hall of Fame special committee that elected 17 Black baseball figures to the Hall in 2006. Black baseball’s efforts were finally acknowledged in 2020 when Major League Baseball, which once wanted nothing to do with the Negro Leagues (except to sign away their best players starting in 1946), finally acknowledged them as major leagues.

James' book list on Black baseball leagues before Jackie Robinson

James Overmyer Why did James love this book?

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”).

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…


Book cover of The Great American Novel

Terry McDermott Author Of Off Speed: Baseball, Pitching, and the Art of Deception

From my list on novels about baseball.

Why am I passionate about this?

I grew up in rural Iowa in the 1950s and 60s, a place far removed from most of the world. Our town had no movie theater, no library, no anything except for a truly excellent baseball field. So we played – day, night, with full teams or three brothers or all by yourself. We also were tasked by our father with caring for the diamond, which was the home park for the local semi-pro team, the Cascade Reds. When I left town – fled would be a better description – I took my love of baseball with me. I played baseball in Vietnam, watched games in Hiroshima, Japan, Seoul, Korea, LA, Chicago, Seattle, Kansas City, and St. Louis. I could go on like this for a long time, but I think you get the picture.

Terry's book list on novels about baseball

Terry McDermott Why did Terry love this book?

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.

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…


Book cover of The Teammates: A Portrait of Friendship

Dan Largent Author Of Before We Ever Spoke

From my list on baseball is part of the theme.

Why am I passionate about this?

Before he became a bestselling author with his debut novel, Before We Ever Spoke, Dan Largent spent the better part of two decades as a high school baseball coach. In 2010, he guided Olmsted Falls High School to its first-ever State Final Four and was subsequently named Greater Cleveland Division I Coach of the Year. Dan stepped away from his duties as a baseball coach in 2017 to spend more time with his wife, April, and their three children Brooke, Grace, and Luke. He has, however, remained close to the game he loves by turning doubles into singles as a member of Cleveland’s finest 35 and over baseball league.

Dan's book list on baseball is part of the theme

Dan Largent Why did Dan love this book?

Ted Williams is my favorite baseball player of all time, so naturally, I have read almost every book ever written about him. This book, however, isn’t just about the “Splendid Splinter”. 

The Teammates takes place in the fall of 2001, as Ted Williams is dying and right around one of the most challenging times our country has endured. It revolves around the life-long friendship of 4 aging Red Sox teammates: Ted Williams, Dom DiMaggio, Johnny Pesky, and Bobby Doerr.

This is a book about four friends and teammates at the end of their time on this planet, and well-aware of that fact, who demonstrate that they will be there for each other all the way to the end. This is a short book and a fast read at only 218 pages (with pictures), but it is impactful far beyond its word count.

By David Halberstam,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

More than 6 years after his death David Halberstam remains one of this country's most respected journalists and revered authorities on American life and history in the years since WWII. A Pulitzer Prize-winner for his ground-breaking reporting on the Vietnam War, Halberstam wrote more than 20 books, almost all of them bestsellers. His work has stood the test of time and has become the standard by which all journalists measure themselves.

The Teammates is the profoundly moving story of four great baseball players who have made the passage from sports icons--when they were young and seemingly indestructible--to men dealing with…


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in baseball, Babe Ruth, and presidential biography?

10,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about baseball, Babe Ruth, and presidential biography.

Baseball Explore 159 books about baseball
Babe Ruth Explore 15 books about Babe Ruth
Presidential Biography Explore 19 books about presidential biography