NotGraphs Baseball


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  1. Here is “Scout’s Honor?”

    Comment by Matt Klaassen — January 21, 2011 @ 1:27 pm

  2. Make that “where.”


    Comment by Matt Klaassen — January 21, 2011 @ 1:28 pm

  3. What, no Bullpen Gospels?

    Comment by Jason — January 21, 2011 @ 1:35 pm

  4. Two more suggestions:

    The Science of Hitting by Ted Williams
    Wrecking Crew by John Albert

    Comment by Scooter — January 21, 2011 @ 1:40 pm

  5. was this sarcasm? sorry if it went over my head.

    Comment by DWrek — January 21, 2011 @ 1:47 pm

  6. Personal fav… The Last Best League by Jim Collins

    Comment by DWrek — January 21, 2011 @ 1:49 pm

  7. Absolutely loved Baseball Confidential as a kid. Picked it up again a couple of years ago and it is still terrific: a bunch of behind-the-scenes stories, both about playing the game and about stuff that happens off the field.

    Comment by daiheide — January 21, 2011 @ 1:58 pm

  8. Baseball Between the Numbers is a wonderful primer on sabermetrics that’s much more accessible than The Book. I’m sure Jonah didn’t want to pimp the book he edited, though, so that’s why I’m doing it here.

    Comment by CajoleJuice — January 21, 2011 @ 2:03 pm

  9. I absolutely loved Lord of the Realms. I also liked Marvin Miller’s autobiography.

    Comment by Albert Lyu — January 21, 2011 @ 2:06 pm

  10. Suuurrreee it isn’t.

    Comment by Matt Klaassen — January 21, 2011 @ 2:46 pm

  11. Thanks for the recommendations – I’ll definitely pick up the Bill Veeck book.

    I’ll second your recommendation for Ball Four and Bill James Historic Almanac.

    Like, Albert Lyu, I read Marvin Miller’s autobiography and enjoyed it.

    Comment by Dan G — January 21, 2011 @ 3:02 pm

  12. A False Spring – a good book about the minors, growing up, and handling defeat

    Comment by Mims featuring Mims — January 21, 2011 @ 3:17 pm

  13. Moneyball? Or is that too obvious and/or not good enough?

    Comment by camisadelgolf — January 21, 2011 @ 4:45 pm

  14. Among other things, Halberstam was present at/reported on the self-immolation of the Vietnamese monk in 1963 – a good (if sad) read in and of itself. Interesting dude.

    Comment by Harvey Manfrenjensenden — January 21, 2011 @ 5:00 pm

  15. I can’t listen to or read anything by George Will as an adult, but when I was 16 I read Men at Work and it blew me away.

    Comment by bowie — January 21, 2011 @ 6:44 pm

  16. Veeck as in Wreck is phenomenal. I’m currently reading Bill Veeck’s “The Hustler’s Handbook” which is also quite good. His stories about players and general managers, many of whom I had never heard of prior, are hilarious.

    Comment by Krog — January 21, 2011 @ 6:49 pm

  17. Bang the Drum Slowly
    Mark Harris

    Comment by Michael — January 21, 2011 @ 9:01 pm

  18. That’s a great list. Since reading Lords of the Realm, I have sided with the players in every labor dispute – the owners were that stupid.

    I’d read a grocery list put together by Kinsella. His short stories about life on reservations in Canada are wonderful.

    Comment by drmagoo — January 21, 2011 @ 9:22 pm

  19. That’s my pick too.

    I also enjoyed Bang the Drum Slowly by Mark Harris and the Clemente biography by David Marriness.

    Comment by jirish — January 22, 2011 @ 12:37 am

  20. The Soul of Baseball, by Joe Posnanski, is a must read for baseball fans.

    Another great book: Brothers K.

    Comment by Bobby Mueller — January 22, 2011 @ 2:19 am

  21. No Boys of Summer? All of those are good books, but none match the poetry that is a Roger Kahn book.

    Comment by Ben — January 22, 2011 @ 5:17 pm

  22. No baseball book list is complete without Soul of Baseball. I cried so much during that book, I lost count. Posnanski is truly one of the best sportswriters, and probably one of the best writers in general, I’ve ever read.

    Comment by Daern — January 22, 2011 @ 10:10 pm

  23. “have glove, will travel”…fantastic book!!

    Comment by Justen — January 23, 2011 @ 2:44 am

  24. Amen. Big fan of a lot of things he wrote. Was really happy Summer of 49 made the list.

    Comment by Mike B. — January 23, 2011 @ 12:42 pm

  25. Amen on Moneyball, Camisadelgolf. Talk about a page-turner. It’s got to be on the list.

    Updike’s “Hub Fans Bid Kid Adieu” is not quite a book, but is as good as anything on the list. Details Ted Williams’ final game. It’ll knock you flat.

    Comment by Phil — January 23, 2011 @ 9:15 pm

  26. Can’t agree with you more. I need to read the updated version that goes over the 1994 strike. You read that book and you realize how much baseball just doesn’t get it and how the owners are addicted to less than skillful commissioners.

    Comment by souldrummer — January 24, 2011 @ 3:36 pm

  27. Two awesome rec’s. I need to consider rereading Brothers K. Duncan is such an awesome, awesome writer and I recommend “The River Why” without qualifications as well. Great writer and has a heart and soul as well.

    Comment by souldrummer — January 24, 2011 @ 3:37 pm

  28. Kudos for your for picking “The Summer Game”. I think I was directed to that book by the Bill James Historical Abstract you’ve got on your list. It’s a great book and totally makes you realize how the lack of how the hustle to get stuff out quickly these days has come at the expense of rich and expressive language. Also, I appreciate that book so much because it talks a lot about the fan experience. “The Go Shouters” that praise the early days of the Mets fans reminds you about how much that franchise has strayed from its roots.

    Anything Bill Veeck is classic as well. Didn’t realize how much a progressive he was in helping diversity in the game.

    I’d also recommend the Satchel Paige biography. [Can’t remember the author offhand] and The Big Bam which is a great biography of Babe Ruth.

    Comment by souldrummer — January 24, 2011 @ 3:41 pm

  29. Interesting. New Yorker just came out with a Best Sportswriting from the magazine and that article is in it.

    Comment by souldrummer — January 24, 2011 @ 4:45 pm

  30. The Celebrant by Eric Rolfe Greenberg

    Comment by rcbuss — January 25, 2011 @ 10:59 pm

  31. Pafko At The Wall By Don DeLillo
    It became the opening chapter of Underworld. Bobby Thompson’s home run and the launch of Sputnik. Brilliant writing.

    If I never Get Back by Daryl Brock
    A guy somehow gets sent back in time and travels with the 1875 Cincinatti Reds, the first pro baseball team. Mark Twain puts in an appearence as does the transcontinental railroad.

    Oldie but goodie:
    Boys of Summer by Roger Kahn
    tracking down the ’55 Dodgers years after the fact.
    Good Enough to Dream by Kahn
    Kahn owns an unaffilated team in short season single A NY-Penn league.

    Comment by Jon J. — January 26, 2011 @ 10:47 am

  32. Books I have acquired since this post:
    The Glory Of Their Times
    Veeck–As In Wreck
    The Bullpen Gospels

    I think I’m going to start with the Bullpen Gospels, which I think Jonah is only just starting. Scorecasting isn’t really a baseball book I suppose, but it’s all the rage with its homefield advantage study, so I thought I’d take a look too.

    Comment by Albert Lyu — January 30, 2011 @ 3:13 am

  33. A big second for If I Never Get Back! Love that book…

    Comment by Jay — February 28, 2011 @ 1:33 pm

  34. Only the Ball Was White — still the best and most accessible general look at the Negro Leagues. And I really loved the set of Baseball Stars of the Deadball Era put out by SABR. Fantastic research and incredibly readable.

    Also, it’s not really a book, but there’s a great play by Lee Blessing called Cobb. It features three actors playing Ty Cobb at different stages of his life, fighting to tell his story in their own way. This process is interrupted by a fourth character — Oscar Charleston.

    Comment by Aaron Whitehead — March 1, 2011 @ 7:03 pm

  35. What about Stephen Jay Gould’s stuff on baseball?

    Comment by yt — July 11, 2011 @ 10:51 pm

  36. If you like Bang the Drum, get The Southpaw, which is the prior Wiggen story and is a much better book

    Comment by Jim Haug — November 30, 2011 @ 6:51 pm

  37. Do Notgraphs readers really need to learn about Bullpen Gospels?

    Comment by AndrĂ© — December 1, 2011 @ 10:18 am

  38. The Universal Baseball League, Inc, J. Henry Waugh, Prop, by Robert Coover is pretty great.

    Comment by AndrĂ© — December 1, 2011 @ 10:28 am

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