Baseball is back, and that can only mean one thing: you need some new baseball books to read during pitching changes, between-inning stretches, and the train ride home. Well, you’re in luck! New in paperback, each of these books takes on the game from a unique angle. Ever wondered how (and where!) a baseball is made? How much sign stealing actually goes on in the major leagues? How a baseball hero became an icon? Or what, exactly, a Hall of Fame pitcher and a Hall of Fame catcher can agree on?
The Baseball, by Zack Hample (Watching Baseball Smarter), is a treasure trove of information about the game’s foundation: the ball. From notorious souvenir controversies to the Rawlings factory itself, Hample covers a lot of ground. And if anyone knows about baseballs, it’s him—as of 4/4/11, he’s snagged 4,664 major league balls, and he devotes the last third of his book to tips for snagging your own game (or batting practice) ball. Click here to read an excerpt, and click here to watch Zack Hample deconstruct a baseball!
The Baseball Codes, by Jason Turbow with Michael Duca, is the perfect answer to those who believe that baseball’s recent steroid controversies have sullied an otherwise saintly game. As Turbow and Duca show, professional baseball has always been full of little cheats and mind games—and, in fact, these elements add a level of competition that often goes unnoticed by the casual fan. Using anecdotes, interviews, and plenty of research, The Baseball Codes demonstrates how these unwritten rules are truly a part of the fabric of the game. Click here to read an excerpt.
The Last Hero is the definitive biography of Hank Aaron. Expertly told by top journalist Howard Bryant, The Last Hero chronicles the life of the modern-day legend whose accomplishments both on and off the field have landed him in a category all his own. The San Francisco Chronicle called the book “A welcome and long-overdue portrait…thoughtful, insightful and deeply engaging…. It easily stands as one of the most impressive profiles of a ballplayer in years.” Click here to read an excerpt.
For a true insider’s view of the game, look no further than Sixty Feet, Six Inches, wherein Hall of Fame pitcher Bob Gibson sits down with Hall of Fame hitter Reggie Jackson to talk about the game they love. Their conversation is spirited, smart, and hilarious, and the subjects they cover (“Mechanics,” “Stuff,” “Atmosphere,” and “Things That a Fellow Just Has to Deal With,” among others) are catnip to the baseball fan. Click here to read an excerpt, and click here to watch Bob and Reggie discuss some of baseball’s finer points.
So go ahead, baseball fans—pack these books alongside your scorecard and get out to the ball game!