Moneyball (2003): Michael Lewis shares the story of Oakland Athletics GM Billy Beane and his desire to win despite his team’s low payroll. The book analyzes how Beane is able to find inefficiencies in the market for baseball players using a statistics-based approach that was uncommon at the time of its writing but widely accepted in today’s game.
The Extra 2% (2011): Jonah Keri’s book focuses on the financial means and paths the 2008 Tampa Bay Rays took to go from the worst team in the American League East to division champion. It provides insight for how a team with small revenues could consistently contend in one of baseball’s strongest divisions by using Wall Street principles to build a roster and run an organization.
Eight Men Out (1963): I doubt there are many baseball fans who have not read this book, or at the very least seen the movie. Written by Eliot-Asinof, it discusses the 1919 World Series and details the supposed cover-up that occurred. Interestingly, the book not only personifies baseball, but also gives a fascinating look into American history after World War I.
The Bullpen Gospels (2010): Dirk Hayhurst writes 340 pages of wonderful prose containing stories that are funny, touching and incredibly honest. His book gives the reader a real look into the harsh reality of a pitcher making his way through the Minors to the Majors.
Wherever I Wind Up (2013): It’s possible I never would have read R.A. Dickey’s book had he not joined the Blue Jays, but had I not – I would have missed out on a masterpiece. In his book, Dickey describes the odds he had to conquer to not only be drafted by the Texas Rangers and overcome a multitude of injuries, but it also gives an in-depth look into his personal life and his transformation into developing his knuckleball.
Again, I know there are many more wonderful baseball classics – I’ve just been too busy watching baseball to have time to read ‘em!
What is your favorite baseball book? Comment below.