Remember back before the invention of the Internet, there were these things called books? You know - the things with covers, pages, and words? Did you know that they still made them? It's true! I am what is called a bibliophile, and before you go off and call the doctor because I have an unnatural love for a hefty tome, a bibliophile is someone who loves to read books.
At More Hardball, we are constantly recommending things like beer, key chains, contests, and other websites to you in the hopes that you will enjoy these things as much as we have, and your horizon will be broadened a bit. Today, I recommend three books that have been most enjoyable reads.
Great Baseball Feats, Facts, & Firsts (2009) by David Nemec and Scott Flatow - Every time I pick up this book, I find something new to read. Part trivia, part history, and full of anecdotes, this book has everything for the casual baseball follower, to someone deeply in love with stats and trivia. The book is neatly divided into sections covering a specific era in baseball with an analysis of players, teams, and firsts for each time period. I could not adequately summarize all that is in this book, but I recommend articles like One-Year Wonders, the Most Interesting Teams for each section, Famous Brother Acts, and Firsts by Black Players.
The same two authors also penned This Day in Baseball: A Day-By-Day Record of the Events that Shaped the Game. As masters of minutiae, they have created a quick and easy reference guide to plays, firsts, lasts, and deaths that rocked the world of baseball. This guide covers the entire span of baseball's history and leaves no stone unturned. It is a great companion to their other masterwork.
Finally, I highly recommend Uncle John's Bathroom Reader Takes a Swing at Baseball. What better way to erm, pass the time spent doing your business than reading a humorous compendium of baseball quotes and oddities? Much more than a book of trivia, this book touches on everything from wacky promotions and stadium-specific hot dog names, to the oddest trades ever made and the creation of Magic Mud. The book itself may be thin, but there is no shortage of fun facts in between its water proof covers.
Next time, I will review Michael Shapiro's Bottom of the Ninth.
Sha Na Na - Book of Love
You gotta love those outfits.