Baseball's Best Books

Some fiction, some non, but all favorite books about America's favorite past time.
Updated September 19, 2022
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The Natural
Bernard Malamud
The classical novel (and basis for the acclaimed film starring Robert Redford) now in a new edition Introduction by Kevin Baker The Natural, Bernard Malamud's first novel, published in 1952, is also the first--and some would say still the best-...
Shoeless Joe
W. P. Kinsella
"Wild...Romantic...Unconventional...A triumph of hope." THE BOSTON GLOBE The voice of a baseball announcer tells the Iowa farmer Ray Kinsella: "If you build it, he will come." "He" is Shoeless Joe Jackson, Ray's hero. "It" is a baseball stadium which Ray carves out of his cornfield. Like the movie...
You know Me Al: A Busher's Letters
Ring Lardner
This classic piece of baseball fiction takes readers on the witty and exciting journey of big leagues as they join player Jack Keefe on his journey as a pitcher for the Chicago White Sox. First published in 1914, You Know Me Al is an all-time classical baseball tale that...
If I Never Get Back
Darryl Brock
Time travel meets baseball in this "grand adventure" about a modern-day reporter who witnesses the birth of America's favorite pastime (The Washington Times) Contemporary reporter Sam Fowler is stuck in a dull job and a failing marriage when he is suddenly transported back...
The Celebrant: A Novel
Eric Rolfe Greenberg
The first two decades of the twentieth century were a time of promise and innocence in America. Hardworking immigrants could achieve the American dream; heroes were truly heroic. Eric Rolfe Greenberg brilliantly and authentically chronicles the real-life saga of the first national baseball hero...
The Brothers K
David James Duncan
Bang the Drum Slowly
Mark Harris
A new dramatization of one of the greatest baseball stories of all time. A poignant, touching, and often comic tale of a baseball team's friendship and loyalty to a dying teammate. Adapted from the novel by Mark Harris.An L.A. Theatre Works full-cast performance featuring Ed Begley Jr., John...
Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game
Michael Lewis
"One of the best baseball--and management--books out.... Deserves a place in the Baseball Hall of Fame."--Forbes Moneyball is a quest for the secret of success in baseball. Following the low-budget Oakland Athletics, their larger-than-life general manger, Billy...
The Art of Fielding
Chad Harbach
A disastrous error on the field sends five lives into a tailspin in this widely acclaimed tale about love, life, and baseball, praised by the New York Times as "wonderful...a novel that is every bit as entertaining as it is affecting." 
The Boys of Summer
Roger Kahn
"A moving elegy . . . [to] the best team the majors ever saw . . . the Brooklyn Dodgers of the 1950s."  -- New York Times The classic narrative of growing up within shouting distance of Ebbets Field, covering the Jackie Robinson Dodgers, and what's happened to everybody since.<...
We Are the Ship: The Story of Negro League Baseball
Kadir Nelson
In this New York Times bestselling classic, Caldecott Medal-winning artist Kadir Nelson tells the incredible story of baseball's unsung heroes -- perfect for celebrating the centennial anniversary of the Negro Leagues! Winner of the Coretta Scott King Author ...
The Universal Baseball Association, Inc., J. Henry Waugh, Prop.
Robert Coover
As owner of every team in the league, Henry is flush with pride in a young rookie who is pitching a perfect game. When the pitcher completes the miracle game, Henry's life lights up. But then the rookie is killed by a freak accident, and this"death" affects Henry's life in ways unimaginable. In...
Queen of the Negro Leagues : Effa Manley and the Newark Eagles
James Overmyer
In celebration of the 100th anniversary of the Negro Leagues, this book honors the life of Effa Manley, the trailblazing female co-owner of baseball's Newark Eagles. The first woman inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame, there was no one like Effa Manley in the sports world of the 1930s and 1940s....
Baseball's Great Experiment: Jackie Robinson and His Legacy
Jules Tygiel
In 1997 the American people will celebrate with great fanfare and publicity the fiftieth anniversary of Jackie Robinson's explosive entrance into major league baseball. Robinson has become a national icon, his name a virtual synonym for pathbreaker. Indeed, much has transpired between this young...
How Baseball Happened: Outrageous Lies Exposed! The True Story Revealed
Thomas W. Gilbert
The fascinating, true, story of baseball's amateur origins. "Explores the conditions and factors that begat the game in the 19th century and turned it into the national pastime....A delightful look at a young nation creating a pastime that was love from the first crack of the bat."--Paul...
The Last Hero: A Life of Henry Aaron
Howard Bryant
In the thirty-four years since his retirement, Henry Aaron's reputation has only grown in magnitude: he broke existing records (rbis, total bases, extra-base hits) and set new ones (hitting at least thirty home runs per season fifteen times, becoming the first player in history to hammer five...

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