Maybe it’s just me, but men who read are sexy. It’s time to put away the old stereotype that real men are doers and not readers. And for some of you women out there – yes you can read about sports and sports legends. Adults who read are more articulate and better informed. Kids who read have a better chance of growing up to be adults who read and that’s important.
There is probably a book about anything that interests you, so put away the excuses and pick up a good book this spring. Read the latest best seller, mystery, classic, biography or “how to” book. Read to your kids, grandkids, an aging family member or someone in the community who can no longer read for themselves.
Check out the following books about baseball for your reading pleasure. I’ve also included a list for you to share with the children in your life.
The Boys of Summer by Roger Kahn – considered one of the best baseball books ever written. It is the story of the young men who grew up playing baseball in the 20’s and 30’s and went on to play for the Brooklyn Dodgers on the team that broke the color barrier with Jackie Robinson and the sportswriter who covered their games. The book follows Jackie Robinson, Carl Erskine and Pee Wee Reese after their glory years.
Don’t LookBack: Satchel Paige in the Shadows of Baseball by Mark Ribowsky – Satchel Paige was a pitcher in the Negro Leagues from 1921 until 1948 when he moved to the newly integrated Cleveland Indians of Major League Baseball at the age of 42. Ribowsky chronicles the up and dons of the life of one of baseball’s greatest players.
Baseball’s Great Experiment: Jackie Robinson and his Legacy by Jules Tygiel – Tygiel tells the story of Jackie Robinson breaking the color barrier and examines the social impact of the desegregation of baseball and the other Black players who helped transform the sport.
Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game by Michael Lewis – you’ve probably seen the movie, but the book is always better. Follow Billy Beane and his Oakland A’s as they try to Compete with the big teams while on a shoestring budget.
Only the Ball was White by Robert Peterson – a who’s who of the Negro Leagues that finally gives much deserved credit to players of color who were not allowed to compete in Major League Baseball and recognizes teams like the Pittsburgh Crawford’s.
Ball Four by Jim Bouton – the book by former MLB pitcher Jim Bouton chronicling his 1969 season is a controversial look at the inner workings of baseball and revealed some of baseball’s more sorted moments including excessive use of profanity, performance enhancing drugs, alcohol abuse and womanizing.
Wait Till Next Year by Doris Kearns Goodwin – Goodwin was the first female journalist to enter the Boston Red Sox locker room, but she is better known as a historian, biographer and political commentator. Wait Till Next Year is a touching memoir of growing up in a baseball crazy family.
Cardboard Gods: An All-American Tale Told Through Baseball Cards by Josh Wilker - in his memoir, Wilker uses baseball cards to mark the stages of his life from collecting cards as a child to growing up to become a fan in awe of the game.
The Numbers Game: Baseball’s Lifelong Fascination with Statistics by Alan Schwarz - take a “trip down memory lane” to the start of baseball statistics and the lovers of the game who kept this vital information.
The Art of Fielding by Chad Harbach – a fictional account of a shortstop, Henry Skrimshander And his college career with the Westish College and his battle with the yips after injuring his teammate with an errant throw.
Books about Baseball for Children:
Little Baseball by Brad Herzog – rhyming riddles and colorful artwork about baseball. For ages 2-4
My First Book of Baseball: A Rookie Book (A Sports Illustrated Kids Book) by the editors of Sports Illustrated – for ages 4-7
Brothers at Bat by Audrey Vernick and Steven Salerno – The true story about 12 baseball loving brothers in the 1930’s who formed the longest playing all-brother baseball team in history. For ages 4-7
Players in Pigtails by Shana Corey and Rebecca Gibson – an illustrated story of the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League For ages 4-8
The Littlest Leaguer by Syd Hoff – a story about a small boy with big baseball dreams. For ages 4-8
Louis Sockalexis: Native American Baseball by Bill Wise – the true story of Louis Sockalexis, a member of the Penobscot tribe, who played professional baseball in the late 19th century. This book chronicles his childhood, career in baseball and the many years of discrimination he had to endure to plat professional sports. For ages 6 and up
A Big Day for Baseball (Magic Tree House Series) by Mary Pope Osborne – Meet Jackie Robinson and solve a mystery by going back to 1947. For ages 6-9
Mickey and Me (Baseball Card Adventure Series) by Dan Guzman – one of 12 books in the series about a boy named Josh who can travel back in time when he touches a baseball card.For ages 8-12
The Kid Who Only Hit Homers (Matt Christopher Sports Classics Series) by Matt Christopher – the first in a series about a boy who is trained to play baseball by supernatural visitations from former Major League greats. For ages 9-13