Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Five best works of fiction about baseball

Allen Barra's books include Rickwood Field: A Century in America's Oldest Ballpark and Brushbacks and Knockdowns: The Greatest Baseball Debates of Two Centuries.

For the Wall Street Journal, he named a five best list of baseball fiction, including:

Sometimes You See It Coming
by Kevin Baker (1993)

Written before Kevin Baker's fame as a historical novelist, "Sometimes You See It Coming" combines the mythical power of Bernard Malamud's "The Natural" with a sense of humor. His protagonist, John Barr, is the star player for a fictional version of the New York Mets. Barr is "tall and lean, hawk-faced and loose-footed, looking every inch the ideal, baggy-uniformed ball-player of the thirties." Barr may be the greatest player of all time, having won seven batting titles. The story has more layers than a Nabokov novel, spanning a century of baseball legend, from the murder of Ty Cobb's father to Roberto Clemente's last plane ride.
Read about another book on the list.

Also see Marjorie Kehe's ten best list of baseball books, Doug Glanville's best books on baseball, Richard J. Tofel's list of the five best books on baseball as a business, Tom Werner's six favorite baseball books, Fay Vincent's five best list of baseball books, Tim McCarver's five best list of baseball books, and Nicholas Dawidoff's five best list of baseball novels.

--Marshal Zeringue