Classic reading about the October Classic.
By Louis P. Masur
The first World Series between the Pittsburg Pirates and the Boston Americans in 1903 revitalized the sport and showcased some of the storylines that would make the contest a perennial source of entertainment for the next century and beyond: established stars failed to perform, unknowns stole the show, and umpires barely escaped with their lives. Historian Louis P. Masur’s dramatic retelling makes you feel like you’re cheering in the stands. Cracker Jack not included.
By Eliot Asinof
Gambling and baseball make an infamously potent combination. Eliot Asinof gives the subject a close and compelling study in this chronicle of the oddsmakers, owners, and players (both crafty and clueless) involved in baseball’s most shattering scandal: the throwing of the 1919 World Series by the heavily favored Chicago White Sox — known to posterity as the Black Sox.
By Jack Cavanaugh
In 1942, the Second World War raged on two fronts, and there were many who felt that the able-bodied men who played professional baseball should trade the field of dreams for the field of combat. But after a “green light” from FDR, the season went on without a hitch and became one of the most memorable in baseball history as the upstart St. Louis Cardinals defeated the New York Yankees in an improbable World Series. Veteran sportswriter Jack Cavanaugh captures the year’s significance to the players, the sport, and the country. For another exceptional book about a World Series played between the Cards and the Yanks, be sure to read October 1964 by David Halberstam.
By Jim Reisler
Even though you know Pittsburgh’s Bill Mazeroski will eventually take this Series from the Yankees with a seventh-game, bottom-of-the-ninth homer, Reisler slowly builds an unshakeable tension, taking the reader through the matchup inning by inning, and providing the compelling backstory of every character involved, from the All Stars on the field to the kids in the stands cutting school.
By Mark Frost
Game six of the 1975 World Series between the Cincinnati Reds and the Boston Red Sox: it’s been called the greatest baseball game ever played. An extra-innings thriller starring two teams replete with fascinating personalities, it featured almost unbelievable on-field heroics. Frost digs behind the scenes but also re-creates the game moment by moment. The result: a compelling trip through the historical, cultural, and personal significance of one amazing night in baseball history.