Just about the only thing I learned in grad school was how to write book reviews. I went in thinking I would gain a greater understanding of the history of 19th Century America and came out with a fundamental understanding of the difference between an academic book review and the basic book report I was taught to write in elementary school. So, I figured I should put this one skill I paid thousands of dollars for to use here. I mean, I read a lot of books about baseball and I certainly plan on reading more. So why not offer some quick reviews of them on this site? Why not indeed…
In the meantime, I offer you my five favorite baseball books, ever.
- Cobb: A Biography by Al Stump. It’s the one the Tommy Lee Jones movie is based on, but it is so much better than the movie. Cobb is perhaps the most interesting person to ever play baseball, in my opinion and Stump does a fantastic job of exploring all the things that made Cobb so incredibly successful on the field in this book.
- The Big Bam: The Life and Times of Babe Ruth by Leigh Montville. If Cobb is not the most interesting man to play baseball then Ruth certainly is. There are probably too many books about Ruth, but Montville’s is the best I have ever read.
- Satchel: The Life and Times of an American Legend by Larry Tye. The book is more than just a biography of the great pitcher. It is also a solid exploration of life in the Negro Leagues. By the time you finish, you just might be convinced Paige was the greatest pitcher ever. I certainly was.
- Ted Williams: The Biography of an American Hero by Leigh Montville. Montville does it again with this book on the enigmatic Williams. As a Red Sox fan, I have read most of books on Williams. This one is my favorite.
- Tris Speaker: The Rough and Tumble Life of a Baseball Legend by Timothy Gay. From the west Texas frontier to the Major Leagues, Speaker’s life was a fascinating journey, captured completely by Gay.