PDA

View Full Version : OT: Any Suggestions on Good Baseball Books for Gifts


almostdone
11-15-2012, 09:30 PM
Every year I get asked the same question of "What would you like for Christmas?". I have long given up on asking for additions to my collection form those who don't know anything about it, so I usually ask for some different books to read. Especially about the games history but not nessesarily biographies of single players. I have a few already but thought I would get some imput here to see what others might think.
Any advice or suggestions would be appreciated.
Thanks,
Drew

daves_resale_shop
11-15-2012, 09:33 PM
1-Glory of their times
2-Hornsby hit one over my head
3-Sleeper Cars and flannel uniforms
4-Cobb my own story
5-cobb-stump version
6-The player: Christy Mathewson

Bigdaddy
11-15-2012, 09:54 PM
'The Boys of Summer' and 'Good Enough to Dream' by Roger Kahn

'The Fireside Book of Baseball' Ed. by Charles Einstein

MooseDog
11-15-2012, 10:44 PM
I recently read Sixty Feet Six Inches...it is basically Reggie Jackson and Bob Gibson talking about baseball from the batter and pitcher perspective and some now vs then comparison.

Highly recommended.

Sports Illustrated Great Baseball Stories is a nice collection of pieces from the magazine...back when it had really good writers.

GrayGhost
11-15-2012, 11:36 PM
Glory of their times seconded. For a fictionalized book. semi hard to find, the CELEBRANT. Fantastic story.

Scott Garner
11-16-2012, 05:31 AM
Glory of their times seconded. For a fictionalized book. semi hard to find, the CELEBRANT. Fantastic story.

No doubt that Glory of Their Times would be my favorite as well.

Like GrayGhost Scott I enjoyed The Celebrant very much. BTW, I have a hard copy with no dust jacket that I would sell for $7 delivered if someone would like to read it.

I would also recommend Matty- An American Hero by Ray Robinson.

One terrific newer book that I read was Yogi Was Up with a Guy on Third... by Maureen Mullen. Over 50 HOF'ers recall their favorite baseball games ever.
Great book!

earlywynnfan
11-16-2012, 06:55 AM
Veeck as in Wreck!! One of my all-time favorites, and one of the only few I've read a second time.

Ken

Exhibitman
11-16-2012, 07:49 AM
Try The Glory Of Their Times audiobook or CD set. It is 4.5 hours of the original interviews. I bought it a couple of days ago and have been listening to it in the car. The stories are mostly familiar if you've read the book but hearing it from the players directly I found myself laughing right along with them as if I was in the conversation. Lawrence Ritter does some nice introductions to each interview.

GrayGhost
11-16-2012, 07:59 AM
Yes, the Audios are awesome. Sam Crawford is a favorite of mine on there. The Book has several of couse that were not on the audio.

JimStinson
11-16-2012, 08:01 AM
Can't get much better than GLORY OF THEIR TIMES, and with every "read" it gets better. Another suggestion if you haven't already read it and like fiction try THE NATURAL by Bernard Malamud (1952) ..oh and by the way its NOTHING like the movie ..:)
Oh and almost forgot....Ron K's book on Collecting Hall of Fame autographs has just hit the bookshelfs
________________________
Buying Vintage autographs 19th Century and dead ball era my specialty
jim@stinsonsports.com

JimStinson
11-16-2012, 08:05 AM
Just saw it today for the first time, looks like this

MooseDog
11-16-2012, 08:10 AM
A couple of others I thought of...

Out of print, but can be had cheaply on Amazon, if you haven't read or don't own a copy of THE GREAT AMERICAN FLIPPING, TRADING, AND BUBBLE GUM book you should definitely go there.

I don't read much fiction but rather enjoyed THE ART OF FIELDING which came out last year.

JimStinson
11-16-2012, 08:26 AM
A couple of others I thought of...

Out of print, but can be had cheaply on Amazon, if you haven't read or don't own a copy of THE GREAT AMERICAN FLIPPING, TRADING, AND BUBBLE GUM book you should definitely go there.

I don't read much fiction but rather enjoyed THE ART OF FIELDING which came out last year.
_____________________________
Wow ! forgot all about that one ITS HILARIOUS TOO, GREAT BOOK !

JimStinson
11-16-2012, 09:02 AM
Brought back such great memories , Like where they pictured Sandy Koufax rookie card and called it his "Bar Mizvah picture" because he looked so young...:)

this is from the book.....


Quick, name a major league baseball player who was born in San Remo, Italy, lived in Windsor, Ontario, Canada, and couldn't hit. That's right--Reno Bertoia. OK. Name another one. The back of Reno's card is interesting. It says that his average last year was .162 and that, although he did not get to play in too many ballgames, he gained valuable information about American League hurlers that would help him in the future. I suspect that the information he gathered was that every pitcher in the American League could get him out, and that perhaps he should try another line of work.


Now, it is not necessary for me to declare that Hector Lopez was the worst fielding third baseman in the history of baseball. Everyone knows that. It is more or less a matter of public record. But I do feel called upon somehow to try to indicate, if only for the historical archivists among us, the sheer depths of his innovative barbarousness. Hector Lopez was a butcher. Pure and Simple. A butcher. His range was about one step to either side, his hands seemed to be made of concrete and his defensive attitude was so cavalier and arbitrary as to hardly constitute an attitude at all. Hector did not simply field a groundball, he attacked it. Like a farmer trying to kill a snake with a stick. And his mishandling of routine infield flies was the sort of which legends are made. Hector Lopez was not just a bad fielder for a third baseman. In fact, Hector Lopez was not just a bad fielder for a baseball player. Hector Lopez was, when every factor has been taken into consideration, a bad fielder for a human being. The stands are full of obnoxious leather-lunged cretins who insist they can play better than most major leaguers. Well, in Hector's case they could have been right. I would like to go on record right here and now as declaring Hector Lopez the all-time worst fielding major league ballplayer. That's quite a responsibility there, Hector, but I have every confidence you'll be able to live up to it

JimStinson
11-16-2012, 09:20 AM
Who the hell is Cuno Barragan , and why are they saying such terrible things about him?...............................lol

71buc
11-16-2012, 10:07 AM
I loved the Bullpen Gospels. I have read hundreds of baseball books and this one is is by far one of the most entertaining. I could not put it down. Read it and you won't be sorry.

http://dirkhayhurst.com/books/the-bullpen-gospels/

Runscott
11-16-2012, 10:07 AM
My two favorite of all time:

The Boys of Summer
Baseball in '41

MooseDog
11-16-2012, 10:25 AM
Who the hell is Cuno Barragan , and why are they saying such terrible things about him?...............................lol

My personal favorite from the book...

"Smoky Burgess was fat. Not baseball fat like Mickey Lolich or Early Wynn. But FAT fat. Like the mailman or your Uncle Dwight. Putsy Fat. Slobby Fat. Just plain fat. In fact, I would venture to say Smoky Burgess was the fattest man to ever play professional baseball. Of course, he was not always fat; when he was a catcher...he was merely plump, the way good hitting catchers can afford to be.

But as Burgess grew older a curious tendency began to manifest itself...the older he got and the fatter he got, the better his hitting seemed to become, until at the age of thirty-eight Smoky weighed close to 300 pounds and was hitting over .320.

I don't have any idea what Smoky is doing these days (he retired finally in 1967), but I can tell you one thing for sure, he must be an interesting and instructive sight, now that he's been out of baseball for a few years and has had the chance to really get out of shape."

jgmp123
11-16-2012, 10:34 AM
This is modern, but the Josh Hamilton book is a great read. The personal demons that he fought off during his time with the Reds and into his return to baseball...amazing testimony.

isaac2004
11-16-2012, 11:13 AM
Just saw it today for the first time, looks like this

waiting on my copy in the mail!!!

pgellis
11-16-2012, 11:36 AM
Right now reading:

Tris Speaker: The Rough And Tumble Life of a Baseball Legend

Absolutely love it, having a tough time putting it down!

JimStinson
11-16-2012, 11:44 AM
My personal favorite from the book...

"Smoky Burgess was fat. Not baseball fat like Mickey Lolich or Early Wynn. But FAT fat. Like the mailman or your Uncle Dwight. Putsy Fat. Slobby Fat. Just plain fat. In fact, I would venture to say Smoky Burgess was the fattest man to ever play professional baseball. Of course, he was not always fat; when he was a catcher...he was merely plump, the way good hitting catchers can afford to be.

But as Burgess grew older a curious tendency began to manifest itself...the older he got and the fatter he got, the better his hitting seemed to become, until at the age of thirty-eight Smoky weighed close to 300 pounds and was hitting over .320.

I don't have any idea what Smoky is doing these days (he retired finally in 1967), but I can tell you one thing for sure, he must be an interesting and instructive sight, now that he's been out of baseball for a few years and has had the chance to really get out of shape."

:):):) The funny thing is I have not even THOUGHT of this book in 20 years and after you mentioned it I SIMPLY CAN'T STOP LAUGHING .....Made my day

Runscott
11-16-2012, 01:18 PM
:):):) The funny thing is I have not even THOUGHT of this book in 20 years and after you mentioned it I SIMPLY CAN'T STOP LAUGHING .....Made my day

+1 - great stuff. Anytime anyone mentions this book, the first thing I think of is the image of the Unitas card.

http://www.vintagecardprices.com/pics/2055/99563.jpg

JimStinson
11-16-2012, 01:54 PM
TOO MUCH....didn't they call him the "Blondest Man Alive" or something like that in the book ?

I just bought two vintage copies of the book off of e-bay for Holiday Gifts, they were $5.00 each plus shipping.

Unitas looks like they just signed his release papers from the mental ward in that card.

JimStinson
11-16-2012, 02:04 PM
How about this one from the book...JESUS MCFARLANE who batted .087, with the warning to parents to NOT name their children after famous people because they never live up to expectations....:)

byrone
11-16-2012, 02:10 PM
+1 - great stuff. Anytime anyone mentions this book, the first thing I think of is the image of the Unitas card.

http://www.vintagecardprices.com/pics/2055/99563.jpg

"Is his hair too tight?"

JimStinson
11-16-2012, 02:17 PM
RFLOL.....thats it !

Unitas Looks like Charles Manson with a crewcut dosen't he ?

grainsley
11-17-2012, 09:43 AM
If you like both baseball and history, give Banzai Babe Ruth a try, by Rob Fitts. I found it a fascinating behind the scenes look at the All Stars Tour of Japan in the early 30's. Complete with personal glimpses of the players and owners and a healthy dose of pre-WWII espionage in there too..think Moe Berg. A good read.

isaac2004
11-17-2012, 09:54 PM
This is modern, but the Josh Hamilton book is a great read. The personal demons that he fought off during his time with the Reds and into his return to baseball...amazing testimony.

I concur 100% that the Hamilton book is good. Great story and page turner. I was fortunate enough to get Josh to sign my copy before a game. It amazes me that he tries his best to sign for everyone, doing it for up to an hour before games.

earlywynnfan
11-17-2012, 10:52 PM
Can't believe nobody has thrown this one out there:

the Bill James Historical Abstract!

Fun enough to actually read, then useful enough to keep on the reference shelf.

rjackson44
11-18-2012, 07:07 AM
Operation bullpen scary,,,

Gecklund311
11-18-2012, 09:26 PM
The audio version of The Glory of Their Times is a fantastic suggestion, and well worth picking up.

I'd recommend The Pitch That Killed by Mike Sowell - it centers on the fatal beaning of Ray Chapman by Carl Mays, but also tells the story of the 1920 Indians season in general. I enjoyed it so much that even to this day I find myself tempted to bid when seeing a card of Bill Wambsganss or other member of the team pop up on Ebay.

Sowell's two other baseball books are good as well (one on Ed Delahanty's death and one on the 1986 playoffs), but The Pitch That Killed remains my favorite.

NYGiants24
11-19-2012, 09:39 AM
"If I Never Get Back" by Darryl Brock is historical fiction in an 1869 setting with the Red Stockings. A fabulous read.

kaddyshack
11-19-2012, 01:57 PM
' Miracle Ball ' by Brian Biegel is an excellent book. It 's about the search for the baseball that Bobby Thomson hit in 1951 (pennant playoff game with the Dodgers). The book can be had for less than $20 on Amazon. I saw the movie version on the Velocity channel in September.

Aquifer
11-23-2012, 04:08 PM
Ball Four--Jim Bouton
Summer of '49--David Halberstam
October, 1964--David Halberstam
A Whole Different Ballgame--Marvin Miller
Once More Around the Ballpark--Roger Angell
Sandy Koufax--Jane Leavy

Ball Four remains the best of it's kind, to me. A book about people more than baseball. Halberstam's pair are incredible reads--chronicles of an era as much as great baseball writing. Miller's recount of the coming of the Player's Union is a fantastic read. Angell remains among the most poetic of baseball writers, and Jane Leavy did a masterful job of a reluctant Sandy Koufax, who remains almost larger-than-life. I wish I could have seen him pitch. You'll read all of these more than once, I suspect.

johnmh71
11-24-2012, 09:31 AM
I personally like anything written by Rob Neyer and I also recommend "The Glory Of Their Times", but only for someone who is a diehard baseball fan.

jgmp123
11-24-2012, 10:08 AM
What I Learned From Jackie Robinson, by Carl Erskine. Great book and amazing insight from one of Jackie's closest friends.

dougko1
12-12-2012, 12:12 AM
The Brothers K - David James Duncan

Sort of a Brothers Karamosov with baseball as the through theme.


Cardboard Gods

From the blog of the same name. The writer uses his collection of baseball cards as a starting point to pontificate about life.


7 The Mickey Mantle Novel - Peter Golenbock

Raunchy. Written as a novel but containing a lot of "true" stories about the Mick. Includes his favorite jokes, and various exploits.

From amazon:

Mickey Mantle loved sex. And getting drunk. Those are the topics of discussion as the baseball hero, now in heaven, pulls up a chair with writer Leonard Shecter. Together they rehash Mantle's life, from his X-rated bedroom exploits and his treatment of fans to his relationship with the media and his phenomenal career. Nothing is left uncovered in a story that reveals Mantle's dark side.

Funny.