I hope you’ve all had a nice holiday season, celebrating whatever it is you celebrate or not. Perhaps you got a new baseball book or a gift card you’re itching to spend on a book, if that’s the case, you’re in luck. Below are a few options, check them out, cast your vote, and let’s go reading.
K: A History of Baseball in Ten Pitches by Tyler Kepner
Each chapter of this book is devoted to a different pitch and features years or research and hundreds of interviews to tell the story of pitch development and how it has affected the game. This book seems like an excellent historical companion to books like The MVP Machine, detailing the ways players have pushed the boundaries of the game throughout its existence.
Filled with priceless insights from many of the best pitchers in baseball history--from Bob Gibson, Steve Carlton, and Nolan Ryan to Greg Maddux, Mariano Rivera, and Clayton Kershaw—K will be the definitive book on pitching and join such works as The Glory of Their Times and Moneyball as a classic of the genre.
The Soul of Baseball: A Road Trip Through Buck O’Neil’s America by Joe Posnanski
I picked this one up this summer at the Negro League Museum in Kansas City and I’ve been itching to get into it since. An exploration of how a person falls in love with baseball by taking a trip with one of the game’s greatest ambassadors of all time.
When Legendary Negro League player Buck O’Neil asked sports columnist Joe Posnanski how he fell in love with baseball, Posnanski had to think about it. From that question was born the idea behind BASEBALL AND JAZZ. Posnanski and the 94 year old O’Neil decided to spend the 2005 baseball season touring the country in hopes of stirring up the love that first drew them to the game. This book is just as much the story of Buck O’Neil as it is the story of baseball.
The Big Fella: Babe Ruth and the World He Created by Jane Leavy
More than 100 years since he rose to fame, the name Babe Ruth is still synonymous with baseball. What he was and is to the game is indelible, his personality as well as his outrageous statistics, but what Leavy does is separate man and myth in her acclaimed biography.
After hitting his 60th home run in September 1927—a total that would not be exceeded until 1961, when Roger Maris did it with the aid of the extended modern season—he embarked on the mother of all barnstorming tours, a three-week victory lap across America, accompanied by Yankee teammate Lou Gehrig. Walsh called the tour a “Symphony of Swat.” The Omaha World Herald called it “the biggest show since Ringling Brothers, Barnum and Bailey, and seven other associated circuses offered their entire performance under one tent.” In The Big Fella, acclaimed biographer Jane Leavy recreates that 21-day circus and in so doing captures the romp and the pathos that defined Ruth’s life and times.
108 Stitches: Loose Threads, Ripping Yarns, and the Darndest Characters From My Time in the Game by Ron Darling
A memoir from the accomplished player and broadcaster that weaves together stories from his life around the game (like the 108 stitches on the ball, get it?). Darling never played for the Tribe, but he’s been just about everywhere done just about everything in the game and his insights tell his baseball story and the story of baseball writ large.
In 108 Stitches, New York Times bestselling author and Emmy Award-winning broadcaster Ron Darling offers his own take on the “six degrees of separation” game and knits together wild, wise, and wistful stories reflecting the full arc of a life in and around our national pastime.
Cast your vote below. I’ll post the winner next week and we’ll get to reading, with some recap content and hopefully more later in January. As always, thanks for being a part of our great community.
What should we read?
This poll is closed
K: A History of Baseball in Ten Pitches
The Soul of Baseball
The Big Fella