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17 best baseball books for fans of America’s favorite pastime

What are the best baseball books? Getting any two baseball fans to agree on the best books about baseball may be as difficult as bringing Yankees and Red Sox fans together. After all, a sport as old and storied as baseball has a seemingly unlimited number of books written about it.Photo of a man watching a baseball game inside a stadium with the words "17 Best Baseball Books" to the right of the photo.

There are books that celebrate baseball. There are books that are critical of baseball. And there are books giving a deserved look at baseball’s long struggle with race.

Baseball is, to many of us, nostalgia as much as it’s a sport. Baseball is hot summer afternoons with no foreboding of school tomorrow. It’s hearing the crack of a bat through the car radio, of staying up to watch Baseball Tonight long after mom and dad have gone to bed. Baseball is yesterday, and yesterday looks better and better to us the further removed from it that we become.

Maybe that’s why we love to read baseball books. They help us indulge in a nostalgic pastime in an adult way, by reading a book.

Below is a list of the best baseball books. This list is based on extensive online research. The books included in the list of 17 below were ranked high on websites such as Goodreads and repeatedly showed up in other best baseball book lists. The list is in no particular order.

What’s your favorite baseball book? Tell us in the comments.

This page contains affiliate links. This means I earn a small amount of money if you make a purchase using these links. Visit my Disclosures page for more info.

17 of the Best Baseball Books

17) The Boys of Summer by Roger Kahn
16) Ball Four by Jim Bouton
15) Can’t Anybody Here Play This Game?: The Improbable Saga of the New York Met’s First Year by Jimmy Breslin
14) Baseball’s Great Experiment: Jackie Robinson and His Legacy by Jules Tygiel
13) The Pitch That Killed: The Story of Carl Mays, Ray Chapman, and the Pennant Race of 1920 by Mike Sowell
11) Veeck–As In Wreck: The Autobiography of Bill Veeck by Bill Veeck
12) Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game by Michael Lewis
10) Only the Ball Was White: A History of Legendary Black Players and All-Black Professional Teams by Robert Peterson
9) The Glory of Their Times: The Story of the Early Days of Baseball Told by the Men Who Played It by Lawrence S. Ritter
8) Five Seasons: A Baseball Companion by Roger Angell
7) The Lords of the Realm: The Real History of Baseball by John Helyar
6) The Numbers Game: Baseball’s Lifelong Fascination with Statistics by Alan Schwarz
5) Sandy Koufax: A Lefty’s Legacy by Jane Leavy
4) Babe: The Legend Comes to Life by Robert Creamer
3) Joe DiMaggio: The Hero’s Life by Richard Ben Cramer
2) The Soul of Baseball: A Road Trip Through Buck O’Neil’s America by Joe Posnanski
1) Wait Till Next Year – A Memoir by Doris Kearns Goodwin

Baseball Books Bonus Round

There are many great baseball books. Here are two that popped up in some of my research, just not enough to warrant being included above.