Wednesday, April 03, 2024

Nine great nonfiction baseball books

Keith O'Brien is a New York Times bestselling author and award-winning journalist.

He has written four books, been a finalist for the PEN/ESPN Award for Literary Sportswriting, been longlisted for the Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Nonfiction, and has contributed to multiple publications over the years.

[The Page 99 Test: Outside Shot]

O'Brien's new book is Charlie Hustle: The Rise and Fall of Pete Rose, and the Last Glory Days of Baseball.

At Lit Hub O'Brien tagged nine top nonfiction baseball books, including:
Michael Lewis, Moneyball: The Art of Winning and Unfair Game

The casual reader might see this book and think of Hollywood, Brad Pitt and Jonah Hill, and the film by the same name. And that’s fair. Moneyball, the film, is quietly a great movie. But don’t watch it until you read Michael Lewis’s 2003 book on which it was based.

Lewis crafts a compelling narrative out of almost nothing—one man’s quest to build a competitive baseball team in Oakland, California. “I wrote this book,” Lewis wrote in his opening line, “because I fell in love with a story.” As a reader, you’ll fall in love with it, too. Decades later, Lewis’s book is now also prophetic. Moneyball captured how baseball was about to change, maybe forever.
Read about another entry on the list.

Moneyball also appears on John Gaustad's top ten list of sports books, Matthew Berry's 6 favorite books list, Will Dean's brief reading list on baseball and Richard J. Tofel's list of the five best books on baseball as a business, and among Sports Illustrated's five most influential sports books of the decade.

--Marshal Zeringue