By Ron Kaplan
Propounding his “small ball concept” of activities literature, George Plimpton proposed that “the smaller the ball, the extra ambitious the literature.” in fact he had the rather small baseball in brain, simply because its literature is formidable—vast and sundry, instructive, frequently wildly pleasing, and infrequently magnificent. From this bewildering array of baseball books, Ron Kaplan has selected 501 of the simplest, making it more uncomplicated for fanatics to discover simply the books to fit them (or to grasp what they’re missing).
From biography, historical past, fiction, and guide to books approximately ballparks, enterprise, and principles, a person who likes to examine baseball will locate during this booklet a companionable advisor, way more enjoyable than a reference paintings has any correct to be.
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Additional info for 501 Baseball Books Fans Must Read before They Die
18 chap ter one 25. Watching Baseball Smarter: A Professional Fan’s Guide for Beginners, Semi-Experts, and Deeply Serious Geeks, by Zack Hample. New York: Vintage, 2007. com’s best-selling baseball titles. It was a fool’s errand, since the rankings were updated hourly, so by the time I ﬁnished gathering the information and making the entry, it could have changed a couple of times. But one book that was a staple of the lists (along with Moneyball), was this humble little book by Hample, a thirtysomething überfan whose claim to fame is his collection of more than ﬁve thousand baseballs caught at Major League ballparks.
But Robinson meant Autobiography, Biography, and Memoir 29 more to American society as a whole by breaking baseball’s nefarious color line (with all due respect to Moses Fleetwood Walker). With all those books, how is it possible to pick just a few to represent all that Robinson meant? Books aimed at kids teach the overarching lessons of tolerance and the injustices he helped dispel, but when it comes to more nuanced adult titles, it gets a bit tougher. Several excellent books deal with the various stages of Robinson’s life.
Bouton was a solid pitcher for the New York Yankees in the mid1960s; he won twenty-one games in 1963 and two games in the 1964 World Series. Arm trouble made him expendable, though, and he was traded to the expansion Seattle Pilots prior to the 1969 season. So he was in the nadir of his career, presumably with little to lose, when he decided to write about what he saw as the real world of baseball, with its pill-popping, lecherous players who wouldn’t hesitate to close a bus window on a young fan begging for an autograph.