I think I speak for most baseball fans when I say I can never get enough of the sport. When the game ends, I’m typically itching for more in some form, so I tend to gravitate towards reading a book. Last year I shared some of those great baseball books, so I wanted to do that again. Here are five great baseball books for fans to check out, part two.
Can’t Anybody Here Play This Game?, (1963), Jimmy Breslin
Written by journalist Jimmy Breslin, this book chronicles the baseball season of 1962, specifically the first season of the New York Mets. It’s said the title of the book was a direct quote made by then Mets Manager Casey Stengel, who was wont to get frustrated over the teams’ outrageous ineptitude.
Baseball When The Grass Was Real, (1975), Donald Honig
Donald Honig traveled across the country to interview former big-league baseball players in order to write this collection of oral histories. Old-timers like Wes Ferrel and Bucky Waters share their memories of some of the greats such as Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig, and reminisce over the days when the grass they played on was as real as could be.
The Bronx Zoo, (1979), Sparky Lyle with Peter Golenbock
Written through the eyes of New York Yankees pitcher Sparky Lyle, this one chronicles the 1978 New York Yankees season, including that season’s World Series which was known for conflicts that arose between the players. The title of the book comes from a popular nickname given to The Yankees in the late 70s and early 80s due to their all-around rowdiness.
The Pitch That Killed, (1989), Mike Sowell
Of all the pitches that have been thrown in the great game of baseball, only one pitch has killed a man. This book tells the story of Ray Chapman of the Cleveland Indians, who was struck in the head and killed by a pitch thrown by Carl Mays of the New York Yankees. Mike Sowell takes a deep dive into the incident and the backgrounds of the players involved at the time as well as the events that led to what’s considered one of baseball’s darkest moments.
A Day in the Bleachers, (1955), Arnold Hano
Arnold Hano writes about Game One of the 1954 World Series, where he was able to acquire a last-minute Polo Grounds bleacher seat. His luck was two-fold that day, as not only was he able to get those last minute seats but he also was able to witness Willie May’s epic centerfield catch in person as well as the climactic 10th-inning home run hit by Dusty Rhode’s. This book frames the experience of spending the afternoon in a 1950’s major-league ballpark better than any other book on the market.
There are so many books to read about Baseball, so if it’s the offseason, or the game is over and you just can’t get enough, check some of these out!