501 Baseball Books Fans Must Read before They Die

501 Baseball Books Fans Must Read before They Die

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by Ron Kaplan
     
 

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Propounding his “small ball theory” of sports literature, George Plimpton proposed that “the smaller the ball, the more formidable the literature.” Of course he had the relatively small baseball in mind, because its literature is formidable—vast and varied, instructive, often wildly entertaining, and occasionally brilliant. From this

Overview

Propounding his “small ball theory” of sports literature, George Plimpton proposed that “the smaller the ball, the more formidable the literature.” Of course he had the relatively small baseball in mind, because its literature is formidable—vast and varied, instructive, often wildly entertaining, and occasionally brilliant. From this bewildering array of baseball books, Ron Kaplan has chosen 501 of the best, making it easier for fans to find just the books to suit them (or to know what they’re missing).

From biography, history, fiction, and instruction to books about ballparks, business, and rules, anyone who loves to read about baseball will find in this book a companionable guide, far more fun than a reference work has any right to be.

Editorial Reviews

A. J. Jacobs
“I don’t know whether Ron Kaplan took any performance-enhancing drugs, but he has accomplished something amazing. His book is the ultimate guide to baseball literature. If you love baseball or books or any combination thereof, you should pick this up now.”—A. J. Jacobs, author of The Know-It-All: One Man’s Humble Quest to Become the Smartest Person in the World
Peter Sagal
“This is a book guaranteed to make a baseball fan feel worse than I (a Red Sox fan) did on the last day of the 2011 season. You thought you had a decent baseball library, you thought you were a well-read fan . . . but no! You’re a rookie, and you haven’t read a fraction of all the memoirs, analyses, histories, and novels of baseball out there. But be of good cheer: a whole new world awaits, and Ron Kaplan has drawn you a treasure map.”—Peter Sagal, host of NPR’s Wait Wait . . . Don’t Tell Me!
Ira Berkow
“Ron Kaplan has remarkably and thankfully given us the triple-header of baseball reference books. He has knowledgeably and entertainingly written a synopsis of, count ‘em, 501 baseball books. This is a feat, and a very welcome one. A standing ovation for Ron Kaplan.”—Ira Berkow, Pulitzer Prize winner and former New York Times sports columnist
Dave Kaplan
“Ron Kaplan provides a meticulous, entertaining, and informative dissection of the best baseball books, a perfect volume for anyone who loves the game. Great stuff.”—Dave Kaplan, director, Yogi Berra Museum & Learning Center
H-Net
"From biography, history, fiction, and instruction to books about ballparks, business, and rules, anyone who loves to read about baseball will find in this book a companionable guide."—H-Net
The Joy of Sox - Allan Wood
"[501 Baseball Books Fans Must Read before They Die is] a generous, well-researched, and entertaining list of suggestions of what to read next."—Allan Wood, The Joy of Sox
MILB.com - Benjamin Hill
"501 Baseball Books is a remarkable compendium of national pastime tomes."—Benjamin Hill, MILB.com
Illinois Times - Stuart Shiffman

"Every page of this book is a discovery and a delight. Even an avid baseball reader will discover some new books to either check out at your local library or purchase at your local bookstore. . . . As a new baseball season begins, what better time to follow this wonderful roadmap to greater enjoyment of America's greatest game?"—Stuart Shiffman, Illinois Times
Taunton Daily Gazette - Dennis Anderson
"Kaplan provides a stimulating and informational tour through what could be the ultimate baseball library this side of Cooperstown."Dennis Anderson, Taunton Daily Gazette
Baseball Almanac - Dr. McKim
"From biography, history, fiction, and instruction to books about ballparks, business, and rules, anyone who loves to read about baseball will find in this book a companionable guide."—Dr. McKim, Baseball Almanac
Foreword Reviews
"A self-proclaimed pack rat and baseball junkie, it's amazing enough that Kaplan was able to read all 501 of these books—to offer comprehensive summaries of each and every one is a truly remarkable accomplishment."—Foreword Reviews
New England Chapter, Society for American Baseball Research - John Vorperian
"A fantastic page-turner. . . . Without a doubt 501 is a SABRite's ultimate reading bucket list."—John Vorperian, Southern New England Chapter, Society for American Baseball Research
Baseball America - James Bailey
"Check off which ones you've read, and jot down a list of ones you'd like to hunt down. Then get busy."—James Bailey, Baseball America
Library Journal
Sportswriter and blogger Kaplan’s first book is a fun and useful guide for finding arguably the best baseball books among the mounds of titles relating to this book-inspiring sport. Kaplan does not pretend to be anything but a longtime fan, knowledgeable and opinionated about both classic and obscure baseball books published since 1882. He divides his selections into 15 sensible categories, including genres, e.g., fiction, history, autobiography/biography/memoir, and reference, and thematic-topical categories such as umpires and rules, minor leagues, and youth literature. Each title selected includes a full bibliographic citation of its initial publication, mentions of later editions, a brief synopsis and evaluation, and a list of other categories in which the work would fit.
VERDICT Only the best-read baseball fans will fail to find something new here; the author’s well-informed and well-written comments are compelling enough to make this either a worthwhile light read or a handy reference for all readers of baseball literature. —DK

(c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780803240735
Publisher:
University of Nebraska Press
Publication date:
04/01/2013
Pages:
420
Sales rank:
713,121
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 8.30(h) x 1.10(d)

What People are saying about this

A.J. Jacobs
“I don’t know whether Ron Kaplan took any performance-enhancing drugs, but he has accomplished something amazing. His book is the ultimate guide to baseball literature. If you love baseball or books or any combination thereof, you should pick this up now.”—A. J. Jacobs, author of The Know-It-All: One Man’s Humble Quest to Become the Smartest Person in the World
Peter Sagal
“This is a book guaranteed to make a baseball fan feel worse than I (a Red Sox fan) did on the last day of the 2011 season. You thought you had a decent baseball library, you thought you were a well-read fan . . . but no! You’re a rookie, and you haven’t read a fraction of all the memoirs, analyses, histories, and novels of baseball out there. But be of good cheer: a whole new world awaits, and Ron Kaplan has drawn you a treasure map.”—Peter Sagal, host of NPR’s Wait Wait . . . Don’t Tell Me!

Meet the Author

Ron Kaplan is a sports and features writer and editor for the New Jersey Jewish News. His book reviews, author interviews, and articles have appeared in publications such as the Huffington Post, Baseball America, and Mental Floss, and he hosts a blog on baseball literature.

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501 Baseball Books Fans Must Read Before They Die 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
If you are a baseball fan and love books about baseball - you need this book! You will find many you have read and need to be read again, or several "home runs" that need to be tracked down like a long fly ball.