501 Baseball Books Fans Must Read Before They Die

Author: Ron Kaplan
Publisher: U of Nebraska Press
ISBN: 9780803246485
Release Date: 2013-04-01
Genre: Sports & Recreation

Propounding his “small ball theory” of sports literature, George Plimpton proposed that “the smaller the ball, the more formidable the literature.” Of course he had the relatively small baseball in mind, because its literature is formidable—vast and varied, instructive, often wildly entertaining, and occasionally brilliant. From this bewildering array of baseball books, Ron Kaplan has chosen 501 of the best, making it easier for fans to find just the books to suit them (or to know what they’re missing). From biography, history, fiction, and instruction to books about ballparks, business, and rules, anyone who loves to read about baseball will find in this book a companionable guide, far more fun than a reference work has any right to be.

The Jewish Olympics

Author: Ron Kaplan
Publisher: Skyhorse Publishing, Inc.
ISBN: 9781632208552
Release Date: 2015-07-07
Genre: Sports & Recreation

Having grown from 390 athletes from fourteen countries to nine thousand athletes from seventy-eight countries, the Maccabiah Games (or the “Jewish Olympics,” as it has come to be known) continue to gain popularity. The Maccabiah Games, which take place in Israel, first began in 1932, and the latest games took place in July of 2013, with the debut of participants from Cuba, Albania, and Nicaragua. Sports range from table tennis to ice hockey, basketball, chess, and much more. Past participants have included former NBA coach Larry Brown, Olympic swimmers Mark Spitz and Jason Lezak, and Olympic gymnast Mitch Gaylord, among others. The Jewish Olympics details the history of the Maccabiah Games, including how they began, how they have grown in popularity, how they have impacted the Jewish community worldwide, and much more. In addition, it highlights the countless special achievements of the athletes over the course of the nineteen games. The Jewish Olympics is a detailed and fascinating history that will interest any sports fan, as well as individuals interested in cultural events. Skyhorse Publishing, as well as our Sports Publishing imprint, is proud to publish a broad range of books for readers interested in sports—books about baseball, pro football, college football, pro and college basketball, hockey, or soccer, we have a book about your sport or your team. In addition to books on popular team sports, we also publish books for a wide variety of athletes and sports enthusiasts, including books on running, cycling, horseback riding, swimming, tennis, martial arts, golf, camping, hiking, aviation, boating, and so much more. While not every title we publish becomes a New York Times bestseller or a national bestseller, we are committed to publishing books on subjects that are sometimes overlooked by other publishers and to authors whose work might not otherwise find a home.

Hank Greenberg in 1938

Author: Ron Kaplan
Publisher: Skyhorse Publishing, Inc.
ISBN: 9781613219928
Release Date: 2017-04-25
Genre: Sports & Recreation

“Hammerin’” Hank Greenberg was coming off a stellar season where he’d hit 40 home runs and 184 RBIs, becoming only the thirteenth player to ever hit 40 or more homers (and one of only four players to have 40 or more home runs and 175 or more RBIs in a season). Even with his success at the plate, neither Greenberg nor the rest of the world could have expected what was about to happen in 1938. From his first day in the big leagues, the New York-born Greenberg had dealt with persecution for being Jewish. From teammate Jo-Jo White asking where his horns were to the verbal abuse from bigoted fans and the media, the 6-foot-3 slugger always did his best to shut the noise out and concentrate on baseball. But in 1938, that would be more difficult then he could have ever imagined. While Greenberg was battling at the plate, his people overseas were dealing with a completely different battle. Adolf Hitler, who had been chancellor of Germany since 1933, had taken direct control of the country’s military in February of ’38. He then began his methodic takeover of all neighboring countries, spreading Nazism and the early stages of World War II and the Holocaust. Hank Greenberg in 1938 chronicles the events of 1938, both on the baseball diamond and the streets of Europe. As Greenberg’s bat had him on course for Babe Ruth’s home run record, Hitler’s “Final Solution” was beginning to take shape. Jews across the US, worried about the issues overseas, looked to Greenberg as a symbol of hope. Though normally hesitant to speak about the anti-Semitism he dealt with, the slugger still knew the role he was playing for so many of his people, saying “I came to feel that if I, as a Jew, hit a home run, I was hitting one against Hitler.”

Deadly Fantasy

Author: Andrew Wolfenson
ISBN: 0615971636
Release Date: 2014-03-01

Over 33 million people in the United States participate in fantasy baseball and/or football leagues; these leagues are a two billion dollar per year industry. Some take their participation in such fantasy leagues more seriously than others, suspending reality as they try to fulfill their dreams of serving as a major league owner or General Manager. For Jeff Goldstein, however, this is not just a game; participation in the league takes over his life. His obsession with winning his fantasy league, and its $150,000 prize, consumes his every thought and threatens his relationship with his girlfriend, his friends, and his job. How far will Jeff go in his desire to win the league? What actions will he take, or ask others to take, as he struggles to separate fantasy from reality? Deadly Fantasy: A Baseball Story is both an examination of one man's obsession with winning his fantasy baseball league, as well as a critical comparison of the current statistic-based views of rating baseball players as opposed to the more traditional, "human" views of player selection. Here's what others are saying about "Deadly Fantasy: A Baseball Story" - "As a sports attorney I work regularly with athletes who are passionate about their sport. Jeff Goldstein takes this passion to a whole new and disturbing level. If there really were a fantasy league player like Jeff, then I would fear for the safety of my clients." - Jordan S. Solomon, Esq. "Who would ever think a game amongst friends would turn to deception and murder? ... Andrew Wolfenson takes loyalty and the American Pastime where they've never been before by playing Fantasy League Baseball with a life and death scoreboard, unquestionably making this book a home run." - Jon D'Amore, Author, "The Boss Always Sits In the Back" "Andrew Wolfenson's Deadly Fantasy combines the fixations of Coover's Universal Baseball Association with the suspense of Alfred Hitchcock in a taut tale of obsession and insanity." - Ron Kaplan, Author, "501 Baseball Books Fans Must Read Before They Die"

The Glory of Their Times

Author: Lawrence S. Ritter
Publisher: Harper Collins
ISBN: 9780062309617
Release Date: 2013-07-02
Genre: Sports & Recreation

Baseball was different in earlier days—tougher, rawer, more intimate—when giants like Babe Ruth and Ty Cobb ran the bases. In the monumental classic The Glory of Their Times, the golden era of our national pastime comes alive through the vibrant words of those who played and lived the game.

All Our Names

Author: Dinaw Mengestu
Publisher: Knopf
ISBN: 9780385349994
Release Date: 2014-03-04
Genre: Fiction

From acclaimed author Dinaw Mengestu, a recipient of the National Book Foundation’s 5 Under 35 award, The New Yorker’s 20 Under 40 award, and a 2012 MacArthur Foundation genius grant, comes an unforgettable love story about a searing affair between an American woman and an African man in 1970s America and an unflinching novel about the fragmentation of lives that straddle countries and histories. All Our Names is the story of two young men who come of age during an African revolution, drawn from the safe confines of the university campus into the intensifying clamor of the streets outside. But as the line between idealism and violence becomes increasingly blurred, the friends are driven apart—one into the deepest peril, as the movement gathers inexorable force, and the other into the safety of exile in the American Midwest. There, pretending to be an exchange student, he falls in love with a social worker and settles into small-town life. Yet this idyll is inescapably darkened by the secrets of his past: the acts he committed and the work he left unfinished. Most of all, he is haunted by the beloved friend he left behind, the charismatic leader who first guided him to revolution and then sacrificed everything to ensure his freedom. Elegiac, blazing with insights about the physical and emotional geographies that circumscribe our lives, All Our Names is a marvel of vision and tonal command. Writing within the grand tradition of Naipul, Greene, and Achebe, Mengestu gives us a political novel that is also a transfixing portrait of love and grace, of self-determination and the names we are given and the names we earn. This eBook edition includes a Reading Group Guide.


Author: Stewart O'Nan
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
ISBN: 9780743267533
Release Date: 2005-09-06
Genre: Sports & Recreation

A chronicle of the Boston Red Sox's 2004 baseball season features a running diary of observations, arguments, play analyses, and controversial management decisions, as recorded by a pair of best-selling horror writers and diehard Red Sox fans.

Haunted Baseball

Author: Mickey Bradley
Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield
ISBN: 1599215810
Release Date: 2007-08-01
Genre: Sports & Recreation

Baseball and ghost stories are as American as apple pie. Haunted Baseball combines both with this fun and freaky collection of otherworldly yarns. Collected from baseball players, stadium personnel, umpires, front-office folks, and fans, the tales told here explore the spooky connection between baseball and the paranormal, including Babe Ruth sightings at a former brothel, the Curse of the Billy Goat that still haunts the Chicago Cubs, of hidden passageways within the depths of Dodger Stadium, and of the spirits of legendary stars that inspire modern-day players at Yankee Stadium. We hear why Johnny Damon believes in ghosts, and how the memories of a 9/11 hero inspired Ken Griffey Jr. to hit a home run against the Phillies—a team against which he'd never even gotten a hit! There's the story of how Sam Rice settled a decades-old baseball controversy with a message from beyond the grave, and how the late Roberto Clemente had premonitions of his own death in a plane crash. With a wealth of anecdotes that have never before been told before, the authors present an entertaining and eerie look at our national pastime.

A Book of Walks

Author: Bruce Bochy
ISBN: 0985419032
Release Date: 2015-05
Genre: Health & Fitness

Walking can do anyone good - and Bruce Bochy knows that as well as anyone. As a Major League manager, he has one of the more stressful jobs imaginable. So what does he do to relax? He goes for long walks. Whenever possible, he takes long walks as a way to clear his head, calm his soul and give his body a workout. In this charming little volume, he shares his thoughts on walking in terms that can inspire everyone to get out more often for a good walk, a great way to stay fit and healthy through the forties and fifties and beyond. Along the way he provides glimpses into his life and character that will delight his many fans.

Ted Williams

Author: Leigh Montville
Publisher: Anchor
ISBN: 9780385507493
Release Date: 2004-04-13
Genre: Biography & Autobiography

The Kid. The Splendid Splinter. Teddy Ballgame. One of the greatest figures of his generation, and arguably the greatest baseball hitter of all time. But what made Ted Williams a legend – and a lightning rod for controversy in life and in death? Still a gangly teenager when he stepped into a Boston Red Sox uniform in 1939, Williams’s boisterous personality and penchant for towering home runs earned him adoring admirers and venomous critics. In 1941, the entire country followed Williams's stunning .406 season, a record that has not been touched in over six decades. Then at the pinnacle of his prime, Williams left Boston to train and serve as a fighter pilot in World War II, missing three full years of baseball, making his achievements all the more remarkable. Ted Willams's personal life was equally colorful. His attraction to women (and their attraction to him) was a constant. He was married and divorced three times and he fathered two daughters and a son. He was one of corporate America's first modern spokesmen, and he remained, nearly into his eighties, a fiercely devoted fisherman. With his son, John Henry Williams, he devoted his final years to the sports memorabilia business, even as illness overtook him. And in death, controversy and public outcry followed Williams and the disagreements between his children over the decision to have his body preserved for future resuscitation in a cryonics facility--a fate, many argue, Williams never wanted. With unmatched verve and passion, and drawing upon hundreds of interviews, acclaimed best-selling author Leigh Montville brings to life Ted Williams's superb triumphs, lonely tragedies, and intensely colorful personality, in a biography that is fitting of an American hero and legend.

The Arm

Author: Jeff Passan
Publisher: HarperCollins
ISBN: 9780062400383
Release Date: 2016-04-05
Genre: Sports & Recreation

Yahoo’s lead baseball columnist offers an in-depth look at the most valuable commodity in sports—the pitching arm—and how its vulnerability to injury is hurting players and the game, from Little League to the majors. Every year, Major League Baseball spends more than $1.5 billion on pitchers—five times more than the salary of every NFL quarterback combined. Pitchers are the game’s lifeblood. Their import is exceeded only by their fragility. One tiny band of tissue in the elbow, the ulnar collateral ligament, is snapping at unprecedented rates, leaving current big league players vulnerable and the coming generation of baseball-playing children dreading the three scariest words in the sport: Tommy John surgery. Jeff Passan traveled the world for three years to explore in-depth the past, present, and future of the arm, and how its evolution left baseball struggling to wrangle its Tommy John surgery epidemic. He examined what compelled the Chicago Cubs to spend $155 million on one arm. He snagged a rare interview with Sandy Koufax, whose career was cut short by injury at thirty, and visited Japan to understand how another baseball-mad country treats its prized arms. And he followed two major league pitchers, Daniel Hudson and Todd Coffey, throughout their returns from Tommy John surgery. He exposes how the baseball establishment long ignored the rise in arm injuries and reveals how misplaced incentives across the sport stifle potential changes. Injuries to the UCL start as early as Little League. Without a drastic cultural shift, baseball will continue to lose hundreds of millions of dollars annually to damaged pitchers, and another generation of children will suffer the same problems that vex current players. Informative and hard-hitting, The Arm is essential reading for everyone who loves the game, wants to keep their children healthy, or relishes a look into how a large, complex institution can fail so spectacularly.

A Pitch for Justice a Legal Thriller

Author: Harold Kasselman
ISBN: 1533323488
Release Date: 2016-05-17

Phillies rookie pitcher Tim Charles must decide whether to honor his manager's call to retaliate against a Met's batter or ignore him and risk losing his club's respect. The next pitch he throws will shock the nation. The crackling sound the ball makes as it hits the helmet will be heard throughout the baseball and legal community. The unthinkable has occurred. Is it just a tragic part of the game? Or could it actually be criminal?Veteran prosecutor Jaime Brooks reluctantly accepts the task of investigating a case that could change the way the game of baseball is played forever. What began as a feud between two teams turns into a legal drama that will play out in a grand jury and potentially a full blown jury trial. The stakes are high for Tim Charles as he faces the unimaginable consequence of his last pitch. And a national debate over the unwritten code of baseball and the accountability of players for acts on the field will erupt in a courtroom and in the offices of the baseball commissioner.What was in Charles' heart and mind when he threw the last pitch? Put yourself in the juror's seat in a case that will decide Charles' fate and possibly how baseball is played in the future.A Pitch For Justice is a former # 1 ranked novel in baseball and sports psychology on Amazon's paid store for 2014 and 2015.

Dollar Sign on the Muscle

Author: Kevin Kerrane
Publisher: Bison Books
ISBN: 080327789X
Release Date: 1999
Genre: Sports & Recreation

Looks at the profession of scouting and describes how scouts find and sign talented prospects

Punk Rock Dad

Author: Jim Lindberg
Publisher: Harper Collins
ISBN: 9780061750595
Release Date: 2009-10-13
Genre: Biography & Autobiography

Jim Lindberg is a Punk Rock Dad. When he drives his kids to school in the morning, they listen to the Ramones, the Clash, or the Descendents—and that's it. They can listen to Britney and Justin on their own time. Jim goes to soccer games, dance rehearsals, and piano recitals like all the other dads, but when he feels the need, he also goes to punk shows, runs into the slam pit, and comes home bruised and beaten . . . but somehow feeling strangely better. While the other dads dye their hair brown to cover the gray, Jim occasionally dyes his blue or green. He makes his daughters' lunches, kisses their boo-boos, and tucks them in at night—and then goes into the garage and plays Black Flag and Minor Threat songs at a criminal volume. He pays his taxes, votes in all the presidential and gubernatorial elections, serves on jury duty, and reserves the right to believe that there is a vast Right Wing Conspiracy—and that the head of the P.T.A. is possibly in on it. He is a Punk Rock Dad.