The best baseball books 📚

Browse the best books on baseball as recommended by authors, experts, and creators. Along with notes on why they recommend those books.

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Book cover of Season Ticket: A Baseball Companion

Season Ticket: A Baseball Companion

By Roger Angell

Why 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.

From the list:

The best sports books from a sports broadcaster

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Book cover of Al Capone Does My Shirts

Al Capone Does My Shirts

By Gennifer Choldenko

Why this book?

A perfect example of baseball books not about baseball. Yes, Moose loves the game, and the prisoners at Alcatraz play it. But Choldenko packs so much story into her novels— backstory, asides, history, and humor. I’ve read every one of the Al Capone books and it’s hard to pick a favorite, but this is the one that started it all. I can still quote the first sentence and I still laugh out loud. I am in total awe of her writing.

From the list:

The best kids’ baseball books about more than baseball

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Book cover of Mexican WhiteBoy

Mexican WhiteBoy

By Matt de la Peña

Why this book?

Half Mexican baseball athlete, Danny is trying to find his place between cultural identities. The writing is straight forward and the relationships and slang are real. This book deals with friendships, family, cultural identity, and dreams. An identifiable story for readers trying to find their place in a diverse world. I loved it!

From the list:

The most realistic, edgy, multicultural young adult fiction books

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Book cover of How Georgie Radbourn Saved Baseball

How Georgie Radbourn Saved Baseball

By David Shannon

Why this book?

In Georgie Radbourn’s America, baseball (even the mention of it) is illegal, Winter is eternal and everyone over the age of eight must work in factories. All this because of dictator and embittered former baseball player Boss Swaggart. The people fear Swaggart and his Factory Police too much to resist. Georgie is born into this world, so he knows nothing else. Still, something in him rebels.

Shannon’s Orwellian tale is about baseball, yes, but it’s more than it appears (as is true of the best books). It’s about how we often don’t grasp how much we love something until it’s…

From the list:

The best children’s books about freedom

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Book cover of The Bad Guys Won

The Bad Guys Won

By Jeff Pearlman

Why this book?

While I am a Cleveland Indians fan, my favorite national league team to root for as a child was the New York Mets - especially the flamboyant and talented 1986 team that partied their way to a World Series trophy. 

In The Bad Guys Won, famed columnist and bestselling author Jeff Pearlman manages to weave all of the craziness of that ‘86 team into a wonderful memoir of a team that had the talent to have been a dynasty in Major League Baseball for years to come. Unfortunately for the Mets, and due to many of the behaviors of the…

From the list:

The best books where baseball is part of the theme

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Book cover of Painting the Black

Painting the Black

By Carl Deuker

Why this book?

There was no way that I could ever put a book list together and NOT recommend one of Carl Deuker’s books. This book is aimed at the Young Adult crowd, but I first read it as an adult because Carl was my favorite author as a kid and I also happen to teach students in the YA crowd. 

Carl is the master of weaving complex societal issues and internal conflicts into plots that revolve around athletics. In Painting the Black he does just that as the main character, Ryan Ward, is faced with a choice that I am sure many…

From the list:

The best books where baseball is part of the theme

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