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Favorite Non-Angels Baseball Books

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I'm reading 'Praying For Gil Hodges' by Tom Oliphant. It's about the 1955 Yankees-Dodgers World Series. (great read btw) and it got me to wondering what other gems I have yet to read or even know about, since I didn't know about this one until I picked it up.


So, what others do I need to check out?

Edited by Homebrewer
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A False Spring, by Pat Jordan:




Jordan is one of the finest sports writers of the last 50 years or so.  This is his account of coming to grips with failure, and the reality that his once-remarkable talent wasn't going to turn into Major League success. 


Man on Spikes, by Eliot Asinof (who also wrote Eight Men Out):




This is fiction, but it's based on a friend of Asinof.  Follows the career of a journeyman minor league who finally gets his shot in the majors.

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Somebody gave me a copy of The Kid, a biography of Ted Williams.

Hardback, it weighs about ten pounds and runs 833 pages.


Great book though, with a lot of great stories. I didn't know about the time the bat flew out of his hands and seriously injured an elderly woman in the stands. Everything stopped and Ted refused to leave the woman's side until she was taken to the hospital. She ultimately recovered, but he was really traumatized.


A ton of great photos too.

Edited by fan_since79
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I really enjoyed Moneyball.  So much, that I've retread it several times and have highlighted it for quicker skimming!


Game of Shadows (about Barry and Balco), along with Juiced (by Canseco, along with a sequel) are interesting insights into our steroid-era.


Some of my favorites are Playing With the Enemy (about US servicemen teaching baseball to German U-boat sailors during WW2), Summer of '98 (a great one that draws us back into the home run chase between McGwire and Sosa), Odd Man Out (an Angels book, kind of... About Matt McCarthy and his journey through the minors), and Wild and Outside ("How a renegade minor league revived the spirit of baseball in America's heartland").


Thank goodness there's no shortage of baseball books!

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I read a book many years ago about Eddie Mathews. Interesting how a future Hall of Famer almost gave up on the game because he was struggling against Class D pitchers.

? Did the book really say that? He hit .363 with 17 HR in 63 games as a 17-year old in Class D ball. By the age of 20, he was the Braves'starting third baseman.

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Thanks for the link to the older thread...

The book I'm reading now had a funny quip about one of Walter Alston's 2 memoirs. The author  had found a used copy of one (he doesn't mention the titles) but the inside was inscribed to someone named Kurt, from Alston himself, which read:


"I'm sorry I left the pitcher in until we lost every ****ing game"

"Retardingly, Walter "Fart" Alston"

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Finished 'Praying for Gil Hodges"

Worth reading.

Surprised to learn he isn't in the HOF still, and there are plenty of reasons for him to be, and plenty of websites and articles relating to this oversight (The book is not at all about Hodges, btw) 


While waiting for some of your suggestions I've ordered to arrive, I picked up "#1" by Billy Martin.




Since I've learned to hate the Redsox in the past decade or so, maybe a book about the Yankees wont be as bad as it would have been years ago.

Plus... I met Billy a few times. He used to hang out at the Beach Ball (I tended bar in another establishment in Newport back in the day) and got thrown out a few times...and I ran into him in Denver-Stapelton once when we were both headed to SNA and DEN was snowed in. Ended up having drinks for a few hours, and he bought me a haircut..sat with him on the flight when we got out of Denver, but he slept the whole way.

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3 that I really enjoyed...


The Last Boy:Mickey Mantle and the End of America's Childhood(Jane Leavy)

Sandy Koufax:A Lefty's Legacy(Jane Leavy)

Leavy definitely does her homework.


Slick:My Life in and Around Baseball(Whitey Ford)

Priceless stories about the 50's and 60's Yankees, especially Ford's 2 best friends Mantle and Billy Martin.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Just a review here.

"#1" Billy Martin's Biography was pretty much all about how Billy never started a fight, never drank to excess, and was attacked and wronged by Steinbrenner and everyone else for his entire career up to the point he wrote the book. (he was managing in Oakland)


Koufax  A Lefty's Legacy is completely as advertised, well researched (an understatement) and entertaining as hell.   

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