Are you the ultimate baseball fanatic?
Then this list of 101 baseball books is for you.
Ranging from biographies and memoirs of legendary players and managers, to historical games in the World War II and segregation eras, to scandals, inspirational stories, and the science of sabermetrics...
...your library will be filled with baseball books of different topics.
Read about your favorite players, coaches, and managers with the books in this list.
Whether you're looking for something inspirational, funny, controversial, or technical, you'll find something that'll fit your mood.
1. “The Book: Playing the Percentages in Baseball” by Tom M. Tango, Mitchel Lichtman, and Andrew Dolphin
In this book, baseball statisticians discuss principles that can be applied to highschool-level baseball up to the major leagues--from theories on hitting and pitching to fielding and baserunning.
Backed up by statistical data and analysis, this book will help you have a solid understanding of the methods professional baseball players use.
It's essential reading for anyone who wants to learn more about baseball strategy.
2. “Sandy Koufax: A Lefty's Legacy” by Jane Leavy
To this day, Jewish parents hold Sandy Koufax as a standard their kids should follow.
Because of his refusal to pitch for the 1965 World Series opening game during a special Jewish holiday, he earned the respect of many, being a man who stayed true to his own faith over fame and success.
This book is a great biography of this down-to-earth athlete and even more--it's a social lens that sheds light on Jewish identity and American values.
3. “The Teammates: A Portrait of a Friendship” by David Halberstam
Renowned journalist David Halberstam writes this inspirational story about Red Sox players Dominic DiMaggio, Bobby Doerr, Johnny Pesky, and Ted Williams.
These four have been through thick and thin together and have remained best friends for over 6 decades. This book isn't just a story about baseball but a profound narrative about friendship.
Highly recommended to Red Sox fans and to everyone who loves the sport.
4. “Faithful: Two Diehard Boston Red Sox Fans Chronicle the Historic 2004 Season” by Stewart O'Nan, Stephen King
When writers Stephen King and Stewart O'Nan decided to write about the 2004 Red Sox season, they didn't expect to witness one of the greatest comebacks in baseball.
Because the Red Sox won that championship for the first time in 86 years.
This book details the Boston Red Sox's historical win, finally vanquishing the "Curse of the Bambino" that had plagued them for decades.
5. “Francona: The Red Sox Years” by Terry Francona, Dan Shaughnessy
The Boston Red Sox's incredible comeback in 2004 was the year Terry Francona became the team's manager.
In his memoir, he writes about his time as manager and how important it is to be just, understanding, and practical as a leader.
6. “Opening Day: The Story of Jackie Robinson's First Season” by Jonathan Eig
Jackie Robinson made history on April 15, 1947 by being the first black man to play major league baseball. He went through a lot--taunted and provoked all season long.
Due to segregation, he wasn't able to eat or sleep at the same places as his teammates. He had a reputation to lose his temper, but from the adversities he had to face during his time, it was perfectly understandable.
In "Opening Day," Jonathan Eig covers Robinson's first ever season playing baseball, featuring famous personalities like Babe Ruth and Branch Rickey.
If you're a crazed Red Sox fan, then you'll absolutely love this book.
Bill Simmons' recollections of the roller coaster ride that is Boston sports fandom will resonate with you like no other baseball book can.
Recommended for anyone who's in the mood for a simple yet funny read.
8. “Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game” by Michael Lewis
"Moneyball" is mostly focused on Billy Beane, the general manager of the Oakland A’s.
As a leader of a small-market baseball team, he had to think outside the box to build a competitive team every year. And despite financial constraints, he's able to manage it.
This book is a great source of hope for fans who root for the underdogs and if you're looking to watch a movie, the film adaptation of this book is amazing too.
9. “Summer of ‘49” by David Halberstam
It was 1949 when the legendary Yankees - Red Sox rivalry began.
This book will transport you back in time, with vivid recollections of famous baseball players like Joe DiMaggio, Mel Parnell, Phil Rizzuto, and Yogi Berra.
It chronicles these players' passion and prowess. Along the way, you'll also learn a lot about the history and evolution of baseball.
10. “The Boys of Summer” by Roger Kahn
In this book, you'll read about the story of the Brooklyn Dodgers and its amazing players--Billy Cox, Carl Furillo, Duke Snider, and Jackie Robinson to name a few.
From Roger Kahn's time covering the team, attending every game, and traveling with the coach, management, and players, this first-hand access will bring you back in time and experience what it was like being a Dodger.
11. “Luckiest Man: The Life and Death of Lou Gehrig” by Jonathan Eig
Lou Gehrig was one of the best first basemen in history and it devastated many when his career was ended by a tragic disease that now bears his name.
This book is an insightful glimpse of how ALS affected him, and despite that, he still kept going and didn't let his condition steal his hopes and happiness.
This biography chronicles his early life, childhood, and baseball career. It's a great read for sports fans of all levels.
12. “Clemente: The Passion and Grace of Baseball's Last Hero” by David Maraniss
Roberto Clemente, the famous Puerto Rican right fielder for the Pittsburgh Pirates, died tragically in a plane crash in 1972.
He wanted to help Nicaraguans after they were hit by a devastating earthquake, but sadly he wasn't able to deliver the goods and medicine because of the accident.
His heroic death touched and saddened many, and this book is a well-written account of his life and magnificent career.
Clemente was inducted into the Hall of Fame just a few months after his death, making him the first Latino player to become a hall-of-famer.
13. “The Last Boy: Mickey Mantle and the End of America's Childhood” by Jane Leavy
If you're a Yankees fan and you look up to Mickey Mantle, it's important to know before reading this book that "The Mick" doesn't always come out in a positive light.
But that's what makes this book so special. Mickey Mantle had a record-setting career and was even inducted to the Hall of Fame, but his later years were plagued by alcoholism and family problems.
Jane Leavy does an amazing job writing a well-researched and organized book that captures both the beauty and tragedy of this complex athlete's life.
14. “Eight Men Out: The Black Sox and the 1919 World Series” by Eliot Asinof, Stephen Jay Gould
During the 1919 World Series, eight Chicago White Sox players intentionally lost against their Cincinnati Reds rivals, all to gain money from the nation's leading gamblers--Aaron Nelson, Aiden Clayton, and Arnold Rothstein.
This will be known in history as the Black Sox Scandal. In this 1963 timeless classic, Eliot Asinof paints the full story of what happened.
He recounts the meetings between the players and the syndicate leaders, the games in the Series, what motivated the players to do what they did, and the trials.
15. “Ted Williams: The Biography of an American Hero” by Leigh Montville
This is the biography of American hero Ted Williams, and even if you're not a fan of him, you'll probably be joining his fan club in just a few chapters.
Leigh Montville does an incredible job of writing a nuanced portrait of this legendary athlete.
The author details insider stories of his life, from his competitiveness in his career, business, and even in fishing to his time serving in World War II and complex family relations that lasted even after his death.
16. “Three Nights in August: Strategy, Heartbreak, and Joy Inside the Mind of a Manager” by H.G. Bissinger
In "Three Nights in August," author H.G. Bissinger captures the three-game series between the St. Louis Cardinals and the Chicago Clubs from the viewpoint of the Cardinals' manager, Tony La Russa who has established himself as a legend after being named Manager of the Year five times and becoming the third-winningest manager of all time.
After reading this book, you'll gain a deeper appreciation for how complex and subtle baseball really is.
17. “The New Bill James Historical Baseball Abstract” by Bill James
Bill James was dubbed baseball's Sultan of Stats for a reason. In this hefty 1000-page book, he writes about baseball history and facts and figures on games and players. It's a great reference for coaches, players, and fans when analyzing the game.
The book is mainly divided into two parts. The first one is all about the game's history, told one decade at a time, and you'll really get a feel for what baseball was like during that decade.
The second one is an introduction to Win Shares, Bill James' new method of evaluating players which quantifies players' contributions like defense, hitting, and pitching, and how they ultimately led to a win for the team.
Lastly, this book's bibliography is a gold mine of baseball references which will surely help you learn more about the game.
18. “Men at Work” by George F. Will
In "Men at Work," George Will writes in-depth profiles of four exemplary figures in baseball: Cal Ripkin Jr., Orel Hershiser, Tony Gwynn, and Tony LaRussa. These men have been dominant in their teams and positions.
This book really reflects that to be extraordinary, athletic talent isn't enough--intellect and hard work play an important part too.
If you want to immerse yourself in baseball history, statistics, and technique, then this book is for you.
19. “The Glory of Their Times: The Story of the Early Days of Baseball Told by the Men Who Played It” by Lawrence S. Ritter
Geared with only a tape recorder, Lawrence Ritter took it upon himself to travel thousands of miles and track down baseball players of the early 20th century. It wasn't always easy to find them, but when he did, he was the perfect listener.
He refrained from asking too many questions and just let the athletes tell their stories. Among these players are Hank Greenberg, Bob O'Farrell, Paul Waner, Lefty O'Doul, and many more.
Their taped monologues, now kept in the Hall of Fame, are featured in the book's 26 chapters and even supported by photos.
20. “The Soul of Baseball: A Road Trip Through Buck O'Neil's America” by Joe Posnanski
In 2005, sports columnist Joe Posnanski toured the country with legendary baseball player Buck O'Neil who was already 94 at the time.
Posnanski hoped that the journey would help him rediscover why and how he fell in love with baseball in the first place. But despite the writer trying to find answers of his own, he put all ego aside writing this book, and shows us the world of baseball through Buck's eyes.
And this book isn't just about Buck O'Neil either but about baseball and love and life. If you want to read a book that'll teach you how to live a genuine, positive, and virtuous life, then this book is for you.
21. “October 1964” by David Halberstam
"October 1964" highlights the legendary World Series that pitted the St. Louis Cardinals against the New York Yankees.
It's not a pitch-by-pitch account of what happened that year as David Halberstam only covers that briefly, but it's more of a sociological comparison between the two teams.
The writer explores race and labor relations between the Cardinals and Yankees, portraying the lives of Bob Gibson and Lou Brock in fascinating detail. Other legends are mentioned too such as Roger Maris and Mickey Mantle.
This is a really great book for anyone who's interested in the dynamics of society and sports.
22. “Willie Mays: The Life, the Legend” by James S. Hirch
This biography of one of the greatest baseball players of all time really reveals what Willie May is like as a man, and you'd get to know him deeply--warts and all.
He was a blend of power and speed and baseball fans loved him for it. As a black teenager who started out in the Negro Leagues and played in such a racially charged era, this book does not only talk about May's baseball career but delves deep into the Civil Rights and Jim Crow Laws history too.
This is a great read for all baseball fans, even if you've never seen Willie Mays play.
23. “Ball Four” by Jim Bouton
When this book was first released, it caused quite a stir in the baseball community and got the author--baseball pitcher Jim Bouton--in a lot of trouble.
Because he wrote about the darker truths of what it's like as a baseball player, a lot of prominent figures in the game came at him, saying his book was detrimental to the game.
Jim Bouton talked about the insecurities and paranoias baseball players have as well as the drug use, the infidelity, and rampant alcoholism.
This book is so controversial and honest that it deserves a place in your baseball library.
24. “The Bullpen Gospels: A Non-Prospect's Pursuit of the Major Leagues and the Meaning of Life” by Dirk Hayhurst
Dirk Hayhurst was a pitcher for the San Diego Padres and Toronto Blue Jays. He spent a significant part of his career playing for minor league teams until he eventually made it to the major league.
Written by Dirk, this funny book details a bullpen pitcher's journey grinding through minor league baseball in order to make it to the big leagues.
It's a book about self-discovery and overcoming obstacles until you reach your goals.
25. “The Yankee Years” by Joe Torre and Tom Verducci
The New York Yankees weren't doing so well before Joe Torre became their manager and during his tenure, the famous baseball team dominated each series for 12 consecutive years.
"The Yankee Years" is one of the best baseball books on leadership you'll ever read.
It's filled with insights on Joe Torre's management style--how he values dignity, honesty, and openness--as well as stories on how he dealt with players like Derek Jeter, Jason Giambi, and Mariano Rivera.
26. “The Last Night of the Yankee Dynasty: The Game, the Team, and the Cost of Greatness” by Buster Olney
In this book, Buster Olney follows the New York Yankees' journey from the 1996 World Series to the 2001 game against the Diamondbacks of Arizona.
There are brief insightful portraits for each of the players, the manager, the coaches, and George Steinbrenner--their terrifying but successful owner.
It's an extraordinary account of the rise and fall of a baseball dynasty.
27. “Baseball Between the Numbers: Why Everything You Know About the Game Is Wrong” by Jonah Keri
The study of advanced statistics in baseball scientifically proves that a lot of what's been valued in baseball throughout history has been wrong.
Baseball statistics has changed the way coaches, players, and fans watch the game.
Broken down in chapters of case studies and analysis, this book is your go-to guide in understanding baseball statistics and how they're applied to each aspect of the game.
It's a definitive settlement to some of baseball's hottest debates.
28. “Fantasyland: True Tales from America's Most Compulsive Fantasy Baseball League” by Sam Walker
Every year, millions of baseball fans take part in Rotisserie baseball or fantasy baseball--a game where people build teams of baseball players and pit them against other fantasy teams using the players' real-life statistics.
In this book, Wall Street Journal columnist Sam Walker explores this armchair phenomenon and the result is a very entertaining look at the heart of America's national pastime.
29. “Babe: The Legend Comes to Life” by Robert W. Creamer and Dick Schaap
Another extraordinary sports biography, this time about the legendary baseball icon that is Babe Ruth.
It's a fun read that details the complex life of the man behind the powerful baseball figure. Robert Creamer writes about Babe's life from his early days at an orphanage, to the prime years of his career, and the latter years of his life.
Be sure to read this beautiful account of the life of a beloved athlete.
30. “The Big Bam: The Life and Times of Babe Ruth” by Leigh Montville
Award-winning author Leigh Montville writes another colorful and exhilarating biography of perhaps baseball's greatest giant.
Babe Ruth has been a household name for decades and he was named Athlete of the Century more than once.
Featuring pages from Babe Ruth's personal scrapbooks and countless interviews, this book tells the story of the Big Bam from his early childhood to his explosive baseball career.
Cait Murphy makes a case for 1908 being the best season in the history of MLB.
This book tells the important things that happened that year, centralized on the New York Giants and Chicago Cubs rivalry.
The author talks about the players and other key figures, but she also goes into detail of other societal happenings in the country during that time such as racial issues, anarchism, and urbanization.
32. “Satchel: The Life and Times of an American Legend” by Larry Tye
Satchel Paige was both an enigma and a phenomenon. Joe DiMaggio even said he was the fastest and best pitcher he's ever faced.
For this book, author Larry Tye interviewed over 200 veteran players from the Negro League and other teams.
If you're a fan who loves baseball history, you'll very much enjoy this fantastic biography of a legendary player who revolutionized the game forever.
33. “The Last Hero: A Life of Henry Aaron” by Howard Bryant
Adding to the collection of exquisite biographies of famous athletes like Babe Ruth, Ted Williams, and Lou Gehrig comes another amazing book that details the life of Henry Aaron, a truly iconic athlete during his time.
As an African-American baseball player back in the day, he had to navigate his entire career fighting racism and social injustice.
He had a hard time doing it, but he had a goal to obtain equality for black people not just in sports but in all of society.
When an unlikely friendship formed between pitcher Christy Mathewson and manager John McGraw, the Giants became legends and the popularity of baseball bloomed.
In this twin biography, the author tells the fascinating story of the bond these two men had and how baseball changed from 1891 to 1932--the period where McGraw started playing until his last year as a baseball team manager.
You only need to be a fan to love this book.
35. “Game of Shadows: Barry Bonds, BALCO, and the Steroids Scandal that Rocked Professional Sports” by Mark Fainaru-Wada and Lance Williams
In this book, investigative journalists Lance Williams and Mark Fainaru-Wada cover the controversial story of San Francisco Giants player Barry Bonds' use of steroids and the founder of BALCO laboratory who gave undetectable performance-enhancing drugs to more than 20 elite athletes.
The authors drew from hundreds of interviews, court testimonies, and confidential documents to chronicle all that happened surrounding the shocking scandal.
36. “K: A History of Baseball in Ten Pitches” by Tyler Kepner
Many consider this book to be the definitive guide to baseball pitches.
Drawn from dozens of interviews with pitchers and coaches, the author was able to write an in-depth examination of 10 pitches--the changeup, curveball, cutter, fastball, knuckleball, screwball, sinker, slider, spitball, and splitter. He talks about their history, the people behind them and how they're being used in modern baseball.
Even if you're a hardcore baseball fan, you'll learn a lot reading this book.
37. “Ten Innings at Wrigley: The Wildest Ballgame Ever, with Baseball on the Brink” by Kevin Cook
"Ten Innings at Wrigley" is the historical account of the National League baseball teams of Chicago and Philadelphia and how an inconsequential game during May 1978 ended up the highest-scoring ballgame in a century.
With characters like Bill Buckner, Garry Maddox, and Pete Rose, this book will tell you about what happened on Wrigley Field and how baseball has changed through the years.
38. “The Last Innocents: The Collision of the Turbulent Sixties and the Los Angeles Dodgers” by Michael Leahy
The 1960s was a turbulent decade. America was still weary from World War II and news of civil rights issues and tensions in Vietnam are adding to the people's worries.
In "The Last Innocents," author Michael Leahy follows the story of seven Los Angeles Dodgers members: Dick Tracewski, Jeff Torborg, Lou Johnson, Maury Wills, Sandy Koufax, Tommy Davis, and Wes Parker.
In this book, you'll read about this diverse group of baseball legends--their backgrounds, relationships, and pivotal games--and how baseball was a part of the lives of a society and country in transition.
39. “The Only Rule Is It Has to Work: Our Wild Experiment Building a New Kind of Baseball Team” by Ben Lindbergh and Sam Miller
When baseball stat geeks Ben Lindbergh and Sam Miller were hired by the minor-league team Sonoma Stompers, they had the opportunity to run the operations of a professional baseball team using only sabermetrics as their tool.
This book details their adventure and it will most definitely speak to baseball fans who are always obsessing over the numbers.
And it's proof you don't need to be a great pitcher or batter to help your team win.
40. “Big Data Baseball: Math, Miracles, and the End of a 20-Year Losing Streak” by Travis Sawchik
This book centers around the 2013 Pittsburgh Pirates with a primary message on how "big data" can help bring insights to win more games.
It also shows that these analytic findings aren't enough to transform games though--that communication and leadership play an important role too.
"Big Data Baseball" is a great read for baseball fans who love underdog stories and are addicted to crunching numbers.
41. “The Arm: Inside the Billion-Dollar Mystery of the Most Valuable Commodity in Sports” by Jeff Passan
For three years, Jeff Passan researched one of the biggest issues in baseball--why pitchers are so vulnerable to arm injuries. This is a problem that affects the little leagues as much as the major ones.
For this book, the author interviewed Sandy Koufax who was injured at thirty thus ending his career and talked to Todd Coffey and Daniel Hudson about what it was like after their arm surgeries.
This is a very informative book for all players, coaches, and parents who want to keep their kids healthy.
42. “The Best Team Money Can Buy” by Molly Knight
In this juicy and exciting book, Molly Knight tells the story of the 2013 Los Angeles Dodgers.
Two years prior, the team was bankrupt because of mismanagement. That was when Magic Johnson sought investors with the Guggenheim group and used the money to build the team back up from the ground.
The result was a roller coaster of a season with many interesting stories of figures like Clayton Kershaw, Yasiel Puig, and others.
Great read if you want to read an insider account of the modern day Dodgers.
Since the early 2000s, sabermetrics has been embraced by baseball analysts to be the more accurate measurement of baseball game performances.
To this day, some traditionalists still think that the game shouldn't be run by numbers but by people.
In this book, baseball analyst Keith Law demystifies sabermetrics, using supporting documents and examples from different eras of the game's history.
Highly recommended for anyone who wants to understand the sport better.
44. “Ahead of the Curve: Inside the Baseball Revolution” by Brian Kenny
This is another book about sabermetrics with the main message to embrace the changes and the effects of statistics to the evolution of baseball.
Using accounts from the sport's history as well as present occurrences, Brian Kenny examines the sabermetric era and where the sport is going.
If you're a traditionalist, prepare to have your assumptions challenged in this book.
45. “The Shift: The Next Evolution in Baseball Thinking” by Russell A. Carleton and Jeff Passan
Another book about sabermetrics. But even if you're not a baseball statistics junkie, you can still learn a lot about this book.
Using the revolution of analytics in recent times, the author uses these new concepts to help you understand what makes baseball tick in a way that will make you see the sport in a new light.
46. “The Cubs Way: The Zen of Building the Best Team in Baseball and Breaking the Curse” by Tom Verducci
For decades, the Chicago Cubs have been plagued by the Curse of the Billy Goat, placed on them by then owner William Sianis in 1945. He'd said the Cubs won't ever win again.
But after 108 years of never winning, the Chicago Cubs finally won the World Series.
In this book, Tom Verducci followed Theo Epstein, Joe Maddon, and the players in order to chronicle this team's epic journey.
47. “Teammate: My Journey in Baseball and a World Series for the Ages” by David Ross and Don Yaeger
If you loved the previous book, then you'll enjoy this one even more. Where better to read about the unforgettable Chicago Cubs win in the 2016 World Series than from David Ross himself?
David Ross, a.k.a. Grandpa Rossy held the Chicago Cubs team together.
The players looked up to him as a mentor and motivator, and this book details everything that happened in that wonderful season through the eyes of the team's amazing catcher.
48. “The Chicago Cubs: Story of a Curse” by Rich Cohen
If you want to read about that legendary Chicago Cubs win in the 2016 World Series through the eyes of a die-hard fan, then this book is perfect for you.
As a kid, Rich Cohen's dad made him vow never to be a Cubs fan because they do not win. But he disobeyed those orders and became one of the biggest Cubs fans that had ever lived.
He was so devoted that he had to capture what happened during that historic season. After all the time he spent rooting for the team that never won, he just had to write this book.
49. “The Closer: My Story” by Mariano Rivera
Mariano Rivera never even dreamed he'd ever be one of the most iconic baseball players in his time and become one of the most feared pitchers in the league.
Written by Mariano, this is his memoir of how he flourished in his career and his struggles as a Latino athlete in America.
It's a story about love, family, and faith.
50. “The Captain: The Journey of Derek Jeter” by Ian O’Connor
Based on over 200 interviews, Ian O'Connor wrote an amazing book revealing the life and career of former baseball player Derek Jeter.
This biography contains behind-the-scenes recollections of the athlete's baseball journey, from his time playing in minor leagues to the highlights of his adventures as a Yankee.
If you're interested in reading about Derek Jeter's career, then this book is for you.
51. “I’m Keith Hernandez” by Keith Hernandez
Raised by a father who was an ex-ball player, Keith Hernandez knew he wanted to play baseball since he was 9 years old.
As fate would have it, he'd be one of the best first basemen in the game with five All-Star titles and eleven Gold Gloves.
In this memoir, he talks about his life and illustrious career, touching briefly on vulnerable topics such as his failed marriages, drug use, and strained relationship with his dad.
52. “The Bad Guys Won!” by Jeff Pearlman
If you want to revisit the season when the New York Mets won the 1986 World Series, then this is a great book for you.
The players of the team were household names for everyone who grew up in New York during that time, and with thorough research, Jeff Pearlman really captures who those men were and the interpersonal dynamics between them that created such a phenomenal team.
53. “Casey Stengel: Baseball's Greatest Character” by Mary Appel
Casey Stengel lived and breathed baseball for over five decades. He was the only player to play for all the New York baseball teams.
The author of this book does a great job in recounting the life of Stengel, from his years as an athlete to his time as a coach.
This book contains a collection of beautiful quotes from the baseball icon as well as narratives featuring other famous figures like Babe Ruth, Joe DiMaggio, Yogi Berra, and Mickey Mantle.
They called him The Iron Horse because his teammates could always rely on him for his strength.
Though there are a lot of books written about the legendary Lou Gehrig, the author chose to focus on his 1938 season--the year that would be his last in the New York Yankees lineup.
Backed up by interviews, newspaper articles, and even video footage, this book tells the story of Gehrig's struggles during that season not just with slumps and diminishing strength but with having to deal with people criticizing him for an illness he didn't even know he had.
55. “The Legendary Harry Caray: Baseball's Greatest Salesman” by Don Zminda
Harry Caray is one of the most respected broadcasters in the history of baseball, with significant time spent announcing for the Chicago Cubs, Chicago White Sox, and the St. Louis Cardinals.
In this biography, Don Zminda chronicles Caray's life from his early childhood as an orphan to his entire broadcasting career.
The author was lucky enough to interview people close to Caray (such as his widow, grandson, and fellow broadcasters) and it made for an amazing full-length account of the life of this broadcasting legend.
56. “Play Hungry: The Making of a Baseball Player” by Pete Rose
Get a behind-the-scenes look at one of the most legendary baseball players in history.
Written by none other than Peter Rose himself, he talks about the victories and controversies of his life and career. He talks about the 1970 All-Star Game, what it was like hitting famous pitchers' signature pitches, and the records he was able to break.
Finally, he talks about gambling on baseball and how he let everyone down when he broke the rules of a game he truly loved.
57. “The MVP Machine: How Baseball's New Nonconformists Are Using Data to Build Better Players” by Ben Lindbergh and Travis Sawchik
One of the authors actually wrote another book in the same genre--The Only Rules Is It Has To Work--although this one is a bit more technical.
Baseball today is taking more and more of a technical and statistics-driven approach, and whether you like it or not, it's here to stay.
So, if you want to understand what's going on, this book is a must-read. "The MVP Machine" will give you insights on the groundbreaking changes in the baseball industry today.
58. “Ballpark: Baseball in the American City” by Paul Goldberger
Architecture writer Paul Goldberger creates a fascinating take on the history of baseball, telling the story through the evolution of the ballparks where the games were staged through the ages.
This book shows how the ballparks changed with urbanization and development of new designs and engineering.
It's a well-illustrated book that doesn't just detail baseball park history (such as the establishment of the diamond, outfields, walls, and grandstands) but it also adds cultural, design, and political history.
When the New York Mets were first formed in 1962, they were a laughingstock and had a terrible record. But in 1969, they became champions for the first time.
This book details that journey.
While their society was in tumult around them--from the space race, to tensions in Vietnam, to antiwar protests--this book features the amazing stories of the players of that season such as Jerry Koosman, Ed Charles, Gary Gentry, and Cleon Jones and their compelling journey to victory.
60. “Homegrown: How the Red Sox Built a Champion from the Ground Up” by Alex Speier
If you're a Boston Red Sox fan, then this book will take you to a fun ride down memory lane.
This book documents the Red Sox's 2018 season. Drawn from hundreds of interviews, this book talks about the careful planning and decision-making the Boston management had to go through to create the most talented team they could.
Covering key players like Andrew Benintendi, Jackie Bradley Jr, Mookie Betts, and many others, this is the ultimate story of the construction of a team worthy of any championship.
This is Bud Selig's thoughts on the changes that need to be made in professional baseball for it to remain relevant and be able to compete with other sports.
Featuring his interactions with other owners, players, and managers, he talks about how he helped transform baseball to what it is today and that it should only be the beginning.
62. “Chumps to Champs: How the Worst Yankee Teams in History Became the Torre-Era Dynasty” by Bill Pennington
This is the story of how the New York Yankees came to be world champions when during the late 80s to early 90s, they were considered to be a laughing stock.
Now they have multiple championships, pennants, and members inducted into the Hall of Fame.
Featuring accounts from famous baseball figures like Gene Michael, Don Mattingly, and George Steinbrenner, this book details the amazing adventure of the Yankees from chumps to champs.
63. “The Big Fella: Babe Ruth and the World He Created” by Jane Leavy
Bestselling author Jane Leavy yet again writes an amazing biography of one of the greatest baseball players of all time. Babe Ruth ended his career with over 700 home runs and died from cancer in August 1948.
This is a true rags to riches story of an orphan who became his nation's hero at a time when the people absolutely needed one.
Based on hundreds of interviews and documents, this book recounts the life and career of Babe Ruth.
This book is all about the Los Angeles Dodgers' crazy 1981 season.
Featuring characters like Tommy Lasorda, Steve Garvey, Davey Lopes, and Fernando Valenzuela, you'll read about an amazing season of which some people say contains some of the greatest games in all of Major League baseball.
65. “Inside the Empire: The True Power Behind the New York Yankees” by Bob Klapisch and Paul Solotaroff
The authors, Bob Kaplisch and Paul Solotaroff, were given the green light to observe the New York Yankees from behind the scenes to write a book that will show readers what it's like as a Yankee.
Although it's mostly focused on the 2018 season with accounts from Aaron Boone, Brian Cashman, C.C. Sabathia and others, it also goes back to their history from the 80s.
This is a book that any serious Yankee fan will devour.
66. “Power Ball: Anatomy of a Modern Baseball Game” by Rob Neyer
This book is the recreation of a 2017 baseball game between the Houston Astros and the Oakland A's.
The main thing most readers will take away from this is an understanding of how Major League Baseball has evolved through the years.
The author analyzes subjects like length of ball games, the prevalence of strikeouts and home runs, and others, all the while keeping the book breezy and funny.
67. “Full Count: The Education of a Pitcher” by David Cone and Jack Curry
David Cone is one of the smartest pitchers to ever play the game.
In this book, David shares insights that he learned throughout his career--lessons from playing in the World Series, mistakes he made when he was still a young athlete, and how he was able to outwit some of the world's best hitters.
This book is also filled with untold stories from his years playing for both the Mets and the Yankees.
68. “Let's Play Two: The Legend of Mr. Cub, the Life of Ernie Banks” by Ron Rapoport
Ernie Banks was publicly known to be this cheerful guy who never uttered a complaint, but what you see from the outside might not always reflect what goes on in a person's head.
This book delves deep into who this man really is, exploring his life as an athlete during a time when segregation was still plaguing African-American’s lives and for playing in a team that never won a pennant in his entire career.
69. “Astroball: The New Way to Win It All” by Ben Reiter
When the general manager of the Houston Astros, Jeff Luhnow, partnered with Sig Mejdal who was a former rocket scientist, they studied hard on what factors make a winning team.
For over five years, they devoted their time to this and it'll eventually lead to a lineup including Alex Bregman, Carlos Correa, Dallas Keuchel, George Springer, and others.
Going beyond statistics, Luhnow and Mejdal formed a team that'd end up winning the 2017 World Series.
70. “Infinite Baseball: Notes from a Philosopher at the Ballpark” by Alva Noë
This is a deeply intellectual book that explores how philosophical baseball games really are.
The author discusses existential and ethical aspects of baseball such as credit, fandom, blame, and linguistics.
It might not be everyone's cup of tea, but if you find yourself wanting to contemplate baseball's meaning in the world, then this will surely spark your imagination.
71. “Nine Innings: The Anatomy of a Baseball Game” by Daniel Okrent and Wilfrid Sheed
If you love reading about recollections of previous baseball games, then you'd enjoy this one.
This is a dissection of a 1982 match between the Baltimore Orioles and the Milwaukee Brewers.
Using the game, author Daniel Okrent goes deep into the core of baseball and talks about catchers' signals, pitching physiology, players' gaits, and other important concepts that will change the way you watch games forever.
This book is a bit different from the others in this list.
When Joe Peta lost his job because the company he worked for went through a financial crisis, he decided to apply his risk-analysis skills to sabermetrics and spend his time betting on baseball. After the first year, his hedge fund resulted in a 41% return.
This is his memoir detailing what happened and how he did it.
73. “The Baseball Economist: The Real Game Exposed” by J.C. Bradbury
This is another book that baseball statheads would love. Using sabernomics, the writer talks about topics like the effects of steroids in homerun records, baseball players that are overvalued, and many others.
This is recommended for coaches, players, and fans who want to learn more about what really goes on in the field.
74. “The Hidden Game of Baseball” by John Thorn, Pete Palmer
You might have noticed the term "sabermetrics" being thrown around every now and then.
If you're looking for a great introduction to this particular science, then this is a great book for you. It's filled with informative concepts, discussion, and analysis.
Maybe you'll enjoy how the authors came up with an overall value for each player's career and they used this to come up with their own Hall of Fame.
You'll definitely have fun comparing the sabermetrics Hall of Fame from this book with the baseball Hall of Fame in real life.
This book was first published in 1994 and it's about the history of the Hall of Fame for baseball.
Using his own statistical methods, the author discusses the evolution of Hall of Fame standards as well as the arguments by fans and sportswriters for each baseball player.
Some of the methods discussed in this book are The Black Ink Test, The Hall of Fame Standards List, and Fibonacci Win Scores.
76. “The Numbers Game: Baseball's Lifelong Fascination with Statistics” by Alan Schwarz and Peter Gammons
This book by Alan Schwarz discusses the history of baseball statistics.
Schwarz makes a case that numbers in baseball have been important since 1845 and not just a temporary fad of the recent years. He tells this story through characters like Allan Roth, Earnshaw Cook, Henry Chadwick, and others.
If you want to learn more about baseball numbers, then this would be an invaluable addition to your baseball library.
77. “Safe at Home: Confessions of a Baseball Fanatic” by Alyssa Milano
Actress and blogger Alyssa Milano loved baseball so much that she wrote a book about it.
And the result is a wildly entertaining and funny take on America's pastime with discourse on baseball's history to criticisms about baseball and steroids.
The author's fresh female take on the game is what makes it unique and if you're a baseball fanatic like her, then you'll easily connect with this book.
"The Machine" is all about the Cincinnati Reds' 1975 season.
Author Joe Posnanski chronicles the team's adventures from training up to the last game of the World Series that year. The book has stories of legendary players like Pete Rose, Cesar Geronimo, Joe Morgan, and others.
If you love reading about historical seasons in baseball, then you'll enjoy this one.
79. “The Baseball Codes: Beanballs, Sign Stealing, and Bench-Clearing Brawls: The Unwritten Rules of America's Pastime” by Jason Turbow and Michael Duca
This book gets into baseball's unwritten rules and how they influence the batters, fielders, managers, and pitchers.
It talks about doctored balls/bats/gloves, practical jokes, trick plays, and many others.
Even if you're a veteran baseball fanatic, you still might find this book illuminating and the game more complex than you thought it was.
80. “Steinbrenner: The Last Lion of Baseball” by Bill Madden
Bill Madden covered the New York Yankees for most of his career (over 30 years covering MLB).
He uses all that experience to write this biography of the Yankees owner: George Steinbrenner.
If you want to learn more about this complex figure, read this book.
81. “Late Innings: A Baseball Companion” by Roger Angell
Recommended for baseball fans who remember or would love to learn about the 1977 to 1981 seasons.
This book covers all the historical games and occurrences that happened between those five years, from team trainings to the St. John's vs Yale game in 1981, and more.
82. “Wait Till Next Year” by Doris Kearns Goodwin
In this book, award-winning author Doris Kearns Goodwin writes a memoir about what baseball was like in the 1950s, when the world was still reeling from the second World War.
Set in New York, you'll read about how Doris's parents influenced her growing up as well as the baseball teams and events that have been a huge part of her childhood.
This book revolves around game six between the Cincinnati Reds and the Boston Red Sox during the 1975 World Series.
Featuring eight Hall of Famers including Pete Rose, Sparky Anderson, and others, this book will take you on a behind-the-scenes journey on one of the greatest games ever played in baseball.
In this book, sportswriter Jonah Keri tells the story of how Matthew Silverman and Stuart Sternberg turned the Tampa Bay
Rays from unachievers to contenders for the 2008 World Series.
Armed with only their Wall Street skills, they helped cause one of the best turnarounds in the history of baseball.
85. “The Wrong Stuff” by Bill Lee and Richard Lally
In addition to being a great pitcher, Bill Lee was known for his rebelliousness and love for controversy.
This book is his memoir, and he held nothing back. He talks about his college antics, being a part of the Vietnam war, and playing for the Red Sox and the World Series in 1975.
This book is full of fun and wit, and any baseball fan will enjoy it.
86. “The Last Best League: One Summer, One Season, One Dream” by Jim Collins and James Maddison Collins
If you want to read a book about college football, then you'll love this one.
To write this book, the author spent a season with the Chatham A's of the Cape Cod Baseball League.
This is a coming-of-age book about dreams and what it's like playing for the best amateur league in baseball.
87. “Bottom of the 33rd: Hope, Redemption, and Baseball's Longest Game” by Dan Barry
This book is about one of the longest games in baseball that happened--a match of 33 innings between 2 minor league teams during April 1981.
You might assume that because it's only minor league, it'll be about nobodies, but Hall of Famers Cal Ripken Jr and Wade Boggs actually took part in this historical baseball moment.
88. “Where Nobody Knows Your Name: Life In the Minor Leagues of Baseball” by John Feinstein
This book is an insightful and informative look at one year in minor league baseball's highest level--Triple A baseball.
It's centered on 9 people that were a part of Triple-A baseball during 2012 and these nine include Chris Schwinden, Jon Lindsey, and Scott Podsedik. It's also got stories about other aspects of Triple-A such as recalls, travel, and salaries.
All-in-all an interesting book about the minors.
89. “The Bird: The Life and Legacy of Mark Fidrych” by Doug Wilson
This is another great book you can add to your library of baseball biographies.
Author Doug Wilson brings you a meticulously-researched recollection about the life of former pitcher Mark Fidrych. This athlete was known for his lightheartedness and the ease of which he could make anyone smile.
In this book, you'll read about the baseball player's life from his beginnings in Massachusetts, to his baseball career, to his roles in society, and finally to his death in 2009.
If you want to read about an athlete's glorious life that transcends baseball itself, then you'll enjoy this book.
90. “Odd Man Out: A Year on the Mound with a Minor League Misfit” by Matt McCarthy
Matt McCarty was a Yale college student majoring in molecular biophysics, and he never expected to be drafted by the Anaheim Angels.
Knowing it was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, he accepted the offer and kept a journal of all his experiences.
That journal is the basis of his book "Odd Man Out" and it talks about a lot of things you might find interesting such as tales about his teammates, the ever-present temptation to use drugs in order to get ahead, and many more.
91. “Dizzy and the Gas House Gang: The 1934 St. Louis Cardinals and Depression-Era Baseball” by Doug Feldmann
This is recommended for all fans of baseball history.
This book tells the story of the St. Louis Cardinals during 1934, the era of the Great Depression. Because the economy was suffering, the players were barely paid and they didn't even have proper uniforms to represent themselves.
Despite that, the Cardinals won a pennant that year and became the 1934 World Series champions.
Centered around Dizzy Dean, this tells the incredible story of what baseball lore now calls the Gas House Gang.
92. “Curse of Rocky Colavito: A Loving Look at a Thirty-Year Slump” by Terry Pluto
For most of the 60s, 70s, and 80s, the Cleveland Indians suffered a terrible slump ever since Rocky Colavito was traded.
And that was how the Rocky Colavito Curse came to be known.
With profiles of baseball figures like Andre Thornton, Gabe Paul, and Herb Score, this excellent book will take you on a journey to how heartbreaking it was as an Indians fan during those 30 years.
93. “The Victory Season: The End of World War II and the Birth of Baseball's Golden Age” by Robert Weintraub
This well-researched book by Robert Weintraub tells the vivid story of 1946 in Major League Baseball, when World War II was finally over and the entire nation was trying its best to return to normalcy.
With stories from some of the sport's greatest figures like Joe DiMaggio, Stan Musial, and Ted Williams, this book is the story of baseball in its golden era and how the sport played a tremendous role in helping the country heal.
1964 was a milestone for racial justice in the US.
The Civil Rights Act of 1964 was established and in Birmingham, Alabama--a boiling pot of race riots and brutality--the local baseball team had integrated, bringing in black players like Johnny Odom and Tommie Reynolds.
This book is about that pivotal season and if you love reading about historical moments in baseball, then this book is for you.
95. “Stars and Strikes: Baseball and America in the Bicentennial Summer of ‘76” by Dan Epstein
This book tells the story of baseball in 1976. It's got stories from famous figures like Bill Veeck, Dave Kingman, Mark Fidrych, Joe Morgan, and so many others. With portrayals of colorful and complex events that happened that season, you'll definitely enjoy this book.
96. “Veeck As In Wreck: The Autobiography of Bill Veeck” by Bill Veeck and Ed Linn
Written with sportswriter Ed Linn, Bill Veeck shows you his fun-loving side and love of baseball in this classic autobiography.
It's filled with entertaining stories that feature famous players, coaches, and owners, and if you enjoy reading sports biographies, this book is highly recommended.
97. “The Betrayal: How the 1919 Black Sox Scandal Changed Baseball” by Charles Fountain
There's another book in this list that talks about the 1919 World Series scandal when eight White Sox players threw the game in exchange for money.
If you want to read more about what happened, then this book is perfect. It talks about the full story of what happened as well as how the scandal affected and changed modern baseball.
98. “Ty Cobb: A Terrible Beauty” by Charles Leerhsen
Ty Cobb was the first player to be voted in baseball's Hall of Fame. He broke records, intimidated opponents, and endeared himself to fans. But as much as his career was filled with accolades, it was also riddled with controversy.
Ty Cobb was known for his aggressive temper, and after his death he was labeled a racist, sexist, and child-hater. He went from someone people adored and admired to someone people hated.
In this biography, Charles Leerhsen went on a journey to research this truly complex man and unroots who Ty Cobb truly was as a person.
Major League Baseball in the 70s wasn't like any other time in history.
This book will take you on a technicolor journey back through time, with drama and controversies of that decade and stories featuring characters like Ted Turner, Mark Fidrych, Charlie Finley, Carlton Fisk, and Bill Veeck.
This book is going to be a wonderful treat, especially if you grew up during this colorful time.
100. “The Yogi Book : I Really Didn't Say Everything I Said” by Yogi Berra
This book takes only a few minutes to read, but it's so fun and delightful.
It's a pocket manual for Yogi Berra quotes with the stories behind them. He talks about where the sayings originated and the circumstances that led to him saying them.
The backgrounds of the quotes are also accompanied with pictures of the famous Yankees catcher and anecdotes about well-known players in his era.
101. “As They See 'Em: A Fan's Travels in the Land of Umpires” by Bruce Weber
Umpires officiate the games, arbitrate when issues arise, and handle disciplinary actions.
In order to write this book, journalist Bruce Weber trained to become a professional umpire and spent a season working as one.
He then wrote about his experiences--how the world of umpires have their own culture, vocabulary, and customs.
Taking a break from baseball books centered around the players, owners, and managers, this is a fresh take on the world of baseball through the eyes of an umpire.