The most recommended Babe Ruth books

Who picked these books? Meet our 10 experts.

10 authors created a book list connected to Babe Ruth, and here are their favorite Babe Ruth books.
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Book cover of The 1923 New York Yankees: A History of Their First World Championship Season

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.

Who am I?

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?

After the Yankees emerged from their dismal days as the Hilltop Highlanders, officially becoming the New York Yankees in 1913, ten years after coming to the Washington Heights area in upper Manhattan, they made a run for the American League pennant, and, as such, for major league baseball’s largest prize—World Series Champs. But they had a very steep hill to climb: they had to claw their way over their arch-rival, the National League’s New York Giants, who defeated the Yankees in post-season play in 1921 and 1922 to claim major league baseball’s ultimate prize. Mayer tells the story of the Yankees’ third try in 1923 when they finally overcame their nemesis to stand atop the baseball world.

By Ronald A. Mayer,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The 1923 New York Yankees as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The 1923 Yankees started the dynasty - with stars like Babe Ruth, Wally Pipp, Joe Dugan and Bob Meusel, they won the pennant by 16 games before claiming the franchise's first World Series title. Five Yankees pitchers won 16 games that year, led by Sam Jones (21-8), and the team finally defeated McGraw's Giants after losing to them in the Series two years in a row. This book covers that first Yankees championship team in great detail, taking the reader through the entire season, game-by-game.


Book cover of Miracle Moments in New York Yankees History: The Turning Points, the Memorable Games, the Incredible Records

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.

Who am I?

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?

Fischer’s Miracle Moments in New York Yankees History is aptly divided into five parts, the first of which—“Birth of a Dynasty”—is the most relevant for the current topic. It covers the “Hilltop Highlander” years (1903-1913), the Yankees’ decade at the Polo Grounds as tenants of their arch-rival, the National League’s New York Giants (1913-1922), the sale of the Yankees to Ruppert and Huston (1914-1915), the acquisition of Babe Ruth (1919-1920), and their move to Yankee Stadium in the Bronx and their first World Series title (1923). But Fischer’s Miracle Moments has much more to offer than these early days as it provides a panoramic view of the entire Yankees’ franchise from 1903 to the present. 

By David Fischer,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Miracle Moments in New York Yankees History as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Throughout its illustrious history, the New York Yankees have produced some of the most memorable highlights in baseball annals. Babe Ruth's "called shot" home run, Joe DiMaggio's 56-game hitting streak, Derek Jeter's amazing "Flip Play." Most Yankees fans have seen newsreel footage of Lou Gehrig's farewell speech, watched highlights of a young Mickey Mantle, and have heard the story of Billy Martin's five managerial hirings and firings. But what makes the Yankees the world's most celebrated sports franchise goes beyond sheer headlines? it is the stories of the men behind the headlines who have thrilled and enchanted New York fans…


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.

Who am I?

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 The Beckoning World: A Novel

Kathleen Stone Author Of They Called Us Girls: Stories of Female Ambition from Suffrage to Mad Men

From Kathleen's 3 favorite reads in 2023.

Who am I?

Author Lawyer Mother

Kathleen's 3 favorite reads in 2023

Kathleen Stone Why did Kathleen love this book?

This is a novel about a young man who must decide between pursuing a career in baseball or marrying a woman he loves, the daughter of a midwestern farming family.

The author knows what it’s really like to live on a farm in Iowa, and it shows. His characters fully inhabit that world. Although the story is about one man’s ambition, love, and uncertainties, it’s capacious enough that we all can see ourselves in it.

The story encompasses heartbreak and hope and is written subtly and with insight. It’s the kind of book that keeps you thinking long after you finish it.

By Douglas Bauer,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The Beckoning World is set in the first quarter of the twentieth century and follows Earl Dunham. His weeks are comprised of six days mining coal, followed by Sundays playing baseball. Then one day a major-league scout happens on a game, signs Earl, and he begins a life he had no idea he could even dream.

But dreams sometimes suffer from a lovely abundance, and in Earl's case her name is Emily Marchand. They fall quickly and deeply in love, but with that love comes heartbreaking complications.

The Beckoning World gathers a cast of characters that include Babe Ruth and…


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.

Who am I?

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 The Big Bam: The Life and Times of Babe Ruth

David Kruh Author Of Inseparable: An Alcatraz Escape Adventure

From David's 3 favorite reads in 2023.

Who am I?

Author History lover Writer Geek Reader Gardner

David's 3 favorite reads in 2023

David Kruh Why did David love this book?

In The Big Bam Montville peels back the onion of legend and apocryphal stories to tell us the story – warts and booze and babes and all – of one of the most important figures of the 20th century... not just in sports, but in America.

This book is more than just the stories or the anecdotes. This book is a joy because of the way Montville writes. He is lyrical and poetic without being syrupy. Honest and probing without being cruel. When I grow up, I want to write like Leigh Montville.

By Leigh Montville,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

National Bestseller

He was the Sultan of Swat. The Caliph of Clout. The Wizard of Whack. The Bambino. And simply, to his teammates, the Big Bam. 

Babe Ruth was more than baseball’s original superstar. For eighty-five years, he has remained the sport’s reigning titan. He has been named Athlete of the Century . . . more than once. But who was this large, loud, enigmatic man? Why is so little known about his childhood, his private life, and his inner thoughts? In The Big Bam, Leigh Montville, whose recent New York Times bestselling biography of Ted Williams garnered glowing reviews…


Book cover of Young Woman and the Sea: How Trudy Ederle Conquered the English Channel and Inspired the World

Elise Hooper Author Of Fast Girls: A Novel of the 1936 Women's Olympic Team

From my list on inspirational women athletes.

Who am I?

My novels explore women whose contributions to culture have been relegated to the footnotes of mainstream history books, and in few areas have women been more overlooked than in sports. Because of the achievements of today’s female athletes, ranging from the many athletic opportunities available to our young daughters to the professional success of women like Serena Williams, it’s easy to think that progress for women’s sports has come a long way—and in many ways, it has, thanks to legislative protections like Title IX—but these achievements reflect over a century’s worth of sacrifice by many unheralded women athletes. Here are five books that highlight this journey.

Elise's book list on inspirational women athletes

Elise Hooper Why did Elise love this book?

These days Gertrude Ederle is unfamiliar to many of us, but a century ago she was an athletic champion whose celebrity rivaled Babe Ruth’s. In 1926, two years after winning three medals at the Paris Olympics, she became the first woman to swim the English Channel, an amazing feat of endurance and perseverance that took 14 hours and 37 minutes, a time almost two hours faster than the speediest of the five men who had gone before her. Along with recreating Ederle’s harrowing Channel journey in vivid detail, renowned sportswriter Glenn Stout infuses life back into Ederle and shows us why President Coolidge called her “America’s Best Girl.”

By Glenn Stout,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The exhilarating true story of Trudy Ederle, the first woman to swim the English Channel, and inspire a "wave of confidence and emancipation" for women in sports (Parade).

By age twenty, at the height of the Jazz Age, Trudy Ederle was the most accomplished swimmer in the world. She'd won Olympic gold and set a host of world records. But the greatest challenge remained: the English Channel. Only a few swimmers, none of them women, had ever made the treacherous twenty-one mile crossing. Trudy's failed first attempt seemed to confirm what many naysayers believed: No woman could possibly accomplish such…


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 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.

Who am I?

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 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.

Who am I?

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