Baseball Book Recs from Casey
Former MLB commissioner Bart Giamatti once wrote that baseball “breaks your heart. It is designed to break your heart. The game begins in spring, when everything else begins again, and it blossoms in the summer, filling the afternoons and evenings, and then as soon as the chill rains come, it stops and leaves you to face the fall alone.” This year the heartbreak for baseball fans has a different feel as it remains unclear if the season will be played even in an abbreviated manner. If you are missing the game that Walt Whitman described as glorious, check out these following titles from Hoopla.
Voices from the Great Black Baseball Leagues
by John Holway
Barred from the game of baseball because of segregation, African Americans created their own baseball leagues and developed their own legendary stars. John Holway’s oral history allows some of those players to share their own experiences.
The Boys of Summer
by Roger Kahn
Roger Kahn grew up in Brooklyn near Ebbets Field and as a sportswriter covered the Brooklyn Dodgers. Taking his title from a Dylan Thomas line (“the boys of summer lie in ruin”), Kahn offers a history of the Dodgers through their 1955 World Series victory and traces the postcareer lives of players like Jackie Robinson, Pee Wee Reese, Duke Snider and many others.
Hank Aaron and the Home Run That Changed America
by Tom Stanton
Hank Aaron is a MLB legend, a model of steady greatness over twenty-three seasons. During his pursuit of Hank Aaron’s pursuit of Babe Ruth’s career home run record Aaron both inspired the civil rights movement and endured racial bigotry. Tom Stanton’s book details how Aaron overcame his aging body, intense media scrutiny and racial tensions to break Ruth’s record and impact American society.
Developed by Bill James, one of the pioneers of sabermetrics in baseball, this handbook provides career statistics for every major player in the major leagues and predictions about future performance. Fantasy baseball players will find this resource useful.
by Jeff Passan
Pitchers are suffering arm injuries at an alarming rate from Little League through the major league level. Yahoo columnist Jeff Passan writes about the rise in Tommy John surgeries (especially for youth), exposes how MLB ignored the increase in arm injuries, and follows two major league players as they recover from injury.
by Jim Bouton
Many players criticized Jim Bouton for writing with honesty about what went on behind the scenes in baseball, but today his book is considered a classic in sports literature. Ball Four is the only sports-themed book in The New York Public Library’s Books of the Century list published in 1996.
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