Tagged: Library of America

Odds and Ends

Being involved in baseball books allows ones self to explore many different avenues.  From the first time a game was ever played to modern-day 2015, the possibilities are endless.  Some stories are told direct from the sources while others have been passed down from generation to generation.  No matter what your specific preference is, as long as you have an interest in the common theme of the sport of baseball, there is a book out there somewhere for you.  Today we are taking a look across a few of the subject matters that are available.


By:Tony LaRussa-2012 Harper Collins Publishing

A story from one of the greatest managers of his generation in his own words.  A first hand account of the final on-field triumph of his illustrious career that ended in a World Series win.  An enjoyable book for all baseball fans that takes us inside the managers head and brings us along for the ride to the World Series.

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By:Jonathan Eig-2005 Simon & Schuester

An icon of baseball.  Lou Gehrig is easily one of the top ten people in baseball that almost everyone has heard of.  While not a first hand account of his life and career, it is a very detailed portrayal of the man who spent a lot of time in Babe Ruth’s shadow.  This book is becoming a baseball all-time classic due to both its subject and the writing.  A timeless player and his story has become a timeless book.

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By:Stuart Miller-2011 Acta Sports

For those that like to know about every aspect of the game and its history, this book is for you.  It walks you through the history of the bat.  How its made, how it was developed almost 150 years ago and shows how it has evolved to today’s modern bat.  It is a cool little book for those who really want to get all their facts about the hardware of the game.

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By:Josh Ostergaard-2014 Coffee House Press

Books like this are fun because they give you a different fans point of view.  The perspective of the game is a thing each person makes their own.  This book gives you how baseball is intertwined with American History and our society.  It is a little subjective but still a fun read.  It allows a whole new avenue for fans to explore beyond the game on the field.


By:Bruce Adelson-1999 University of Virginia Press

Integration has always been a hot topic for Baseball Books.  Jackie Robinson alone has been debated numerous times.  There are so many different aspects that you would need 100 different books to cover them all.  This book takes a look within the hot-bed of racial issues, the American South.  It shows the struggles and violence that continued even after the integration of baseball by Jackie Robinson, and how it finally came to be.


By:Abraham Iqbal Khan-2012 University Press of Mississippi

Curt Flood has always been a lightning rod for criticism.  From his fight against the establishment of baseball to his handling of the media, he has gotten his share of trouble.  This book takes a look at race relations within baseball, the media coverage of those players and the eventual demise of certain players who were deemed activists.  It is a very interesting book that gives a different look on the race relations within the game and on Curt Flood’s story as a whole.

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By:Bob Kahn-2012 The Wisconsin Historical Society Press

Every reader has to start somewhere.  For me it was finding and falling in love with the game at a very early age.  Books like this one allow young readers to have books geared toward them.  The writing allows for learning about the game at a level that is easy for them to comprehend and enjoy.  Biographies like this one foster learning in the game as well as allowing the young fans to see all the different aspects of the game that have existed throughout its history.


Edited by:Nicholas Dawidoff-2002 Library of America

Anthologies allow for the best of the best.  It gives you collections of the greatest writers, telling their greatest stories about the greatest game.  This books are easy to sit down and enjoy because you know you are getting the best.  For newer fans they help them understand the nuances of the game and what all the fuss had been about.  Some collections are better than others but this one truly gives you the best of the best.

This list is only scratching the surface on the subjects that are out there. Hopefully after looking through this some people now see how many different realms are out there and will think twice before picking up just anther player biography because it is the hot new celebrity story.  There is a wealth of knowledge out there just waiting to be discovered by new and old fans alike.

Happy Reading



Two Giants of Their Industry – Before the Internet Ruled the World.

There was a time not too long ago in this great land, that the entire world was not at your fingertips.  You could not hop on your computer, or pick up your cell phone and see almost instantaneously what was going on in the world.  Hard core sports fans had to wait until the local or national scribes pieced together stories for the newspapers.  With that delay in place fans had come to rely on their writers for accurate details and vivid pictures painted through the use of words.  It helped form a bond between writer and fan that could last a lifetime.  The saying goes, the cream always rises to the top, and the sports reporting field is not exempt from that wise saying.  Now there are two books that celebrate and give their just due to two of the giants of their field.


Edited By Bill Littlefield-2015


Edited By Daniel Okrent-2013

Red Smith and W.C. Heinz are easily two of the most recognizable names in the sports reporting world.  They both made writing look easy.  Each was able to relay countless stories to hundreds of thousands of fans in a way that endeared them to almost every reader.  Their knowledge of multiple sports and of people in general, allowed them to cover various sports and appeal to different generations.

Library of America has produced two great books that compile some of the best writing of each.  W.C. Heinz’s writings cover everything from Horse Racing, to Football, to Rodeo and of course Baseball.  His knowledge and insight give the reader a great account of events and allow for you to get a great picture in your mind’s eye as to how the games unfolded. The same can easily be said for Red Smith.  His ability to cover multiple sports allows the reader to have a plethora of choices in topics to read, learn, relive and enjoy.

Books that are compilation books of a reporters articles usually scare me off.  I always feel like they are grasping for content to fill an entire book and sometimes you don’t get the greatest of articles in the book.  Happily that can not be said about these books, the articles chosen are all of great quality, and each book gives you over 500 pages of great writings.

Writers like this are a great link to the history of our favorite sports.  They can take us back to a simpler time and allow the fans to gain some insight on events that the history books may have missed.  If you ask most people who their favorite author is, you will get an answer of at least some person.  If you ask a sports fan, they may not answer with an author, but more than likely a sports writer.  These two men are credits to the writing industry, the sports that they covered, and both will be remembered for generations to come for their contributions to recording the history of each one’s chosen game.

Normally I say that Baseball fans would enjoy these, but honestly, all sports fans will enjoy these books.  The sports covered in the writings are so varied, that if you are not well versed in certain sports as you would like, you may learn some new things.

You can get these books from the nice folks at The Library of America


Happy Reading