Here is a list of books I have personally read that I would recommend to you. This is by no means a comprehensive list, as there are so many baseball books out there, many of which I have yet to get to myself. As I get around to reading more, this list will no doubt get tweaked and updated, so be sure to check back frequently!
- I Had a Hammer: The Hank Aaron Story, by Hank Aaron
Hank Aaron’s autobiography is more than just a baseball book. It is an eye-opening account of one man’s experience with bigotry and racism.
- Eight Men Out: The Black Sox and the 1919 World Series, by Eliot Asinof
An account of how the 1919 World Series fix likely occurred, including portraits of the major players involved.
- Mickey and Willie: Mantle and Mays, the Parallel Lives of Baseball’s Golden Age, by Allen Barra
Barra explores the uncanny parallels in the lives and baseball careers of both Mickey Mantle and Willie Mays.
- Ball Four, by Jim Bouton
Bouton’s honest and candid account of his experience as a pitcher with the New York Yankees, the Houston Astros, and the Seattle Pilots.
- Becoming Big League: Seattle, the Pilots, and Stadium Politics, by Bill Mullins
An exploration of the Seattle Pilots’ only season, including a look at the labyrinth of politics and economics that resulted in the team’s departure.
- A People’s History of Baseball, by Mitchell Nathanson
While popular baseball histories tell of patriotism, virtue, and heroism, Nathanson probes deeper to uncover a world of player oppression, power struggles, racism, and questionable politics.
- Ty and The Babe: Baseball’s Fiercest Rivals: A Surprising Friendship and the 1941 Has-Beens Golf Championship, by Tom Stanton
A fascinating look at the evolution of the relationship between Ty Cobb and Babe Ruth, culminating in a friendly golf competition.
- The Big Fella: Babe Ruth and the World He Created, by Jane Leavy
Detailed biography of the Great Bambino.
- The Celebrant, by Eric Rolfe Greenberg
A mashup of true baseball history with a fictional plot as immigrant jeweler Jackie Kapp develops a relationship with renowned pitcher Christy Mathewson.
- The Art of Fielding, by Chad Harbach
Henry Skrimshander, a highly-talented and much-sought-after shortstop, one day makes an errant throw that completely rocks his confidence and the worlds of those around him.
- Blockade Billy, by Stephen King
A novella about William Blakely, a talented catcher for the New Jersey Titans.
- The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon, by Stephen King
When nine-year-old Tisha McFarland gets lost in the woods, she finds solace in listening to broadcasts of Red Sox baseball games.
- Last of the Third, by John Lindholm
Star left fielder Shawn McMaster returns home after four years of hiding to find his family’s way of life is in trouble.
- The Natural, by Bernard Malamud
The novel upon which the movie is based… with a very different ending.
- The Great American Novel, by Philip Roth
The comedic story of the Ruppert Mundys, a team of eccentric players in the long-forgotten Patriot League.
- Deadball: A Metaphysical Baseball Novel, by David B. Stinson
Former minor leaguer Byron Bennett embarks on a road trip visiting old and vanished ballparks, where the old game comes to life right before his eyes.
- Calico Joe, by John Grisham
Joe Castle is the greatest rookie the game has ever seen, until a beanball changes his life and the lives of many others.