501 Baseball Books Fans Must Read before They Die by Ron Kaplan

By Ron Kaplan

Propounding his “small ball concept” of activities literature, George Plimpton proposed that “the smaller the ball, the extra ambitious the literature.” in fact he had the quite small baseball in brain, simply because its literature is formidable—vast and sundry, instructive, frequently wildly pleasing, and sometimes amazing. From this bewildering array of baseball books, Ron Kaplan has selected 501 of the easiest, making it more straightforward for enthusiasts to discover simply the books to fit them (or to grasp what they’re missing).


From biography, historical past, fiction, and guide to books approximately ballparks, enterprise, and principles, an individual who likes to examine baseball will locate during this booklet a companionable consultant, way more enjoyable than a reference paintings has any correct to be.

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Instead he writes candidly about what it was like to pitch on that 1978 team with all its colorful characters, including the volatile manager, Billy Martin; the egomaniacal Reggie Jackson; the curmudgeonly Thurman Munson; and the rest of the Yankee lunatics. Lyle is also brutally honest when he complains about having to share bullpen responsibilities with the Yankees’ newest acquisition, fireballer Goose Gossage. Like Ball Four, The Bronx Zoo follows a diary format and it makes for compelling reading as the season rolls along, with its ebbs and flows, its tensions and releases.

Then why do they do it? Mendell tries to explain: “Time on the field took time away from in the library, which our professors didn’t understand. However, we played on, with prospects of becoming little league coaches and softball players after mit, not professional players. We just loved baseball” (137). Mendell was prescient when he decided to write about the 1993 season. The team posted a 22-11 record, the best in school history, and won the Eastern College Athletic Conference championship. And just fyi, two mit students went on to enjoy very brief Major League careers.

N. Abrams, 1996. Plugging in the name Jackie Robinson into abner, the catalog for the National Baseball Hall of Fame Library, reveals more than 230 entries, second only to Babe Ruth (who has more than 400). You could argue, however, about which man had more of an impact. Some would say it was Ruth, who practically single-handedly saved baseball’s bacon after the 1919 Black Sox scandal. But Robinson meant Autobiography, Biography, and Memoir 29 more to American society as a whole by breaking baseball’s nefarious color line (with all due respect to Moses Fleetwood Walker).

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