Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Holiday gift guide to sports books ...

... or let's call it the Badgercentric Book Club.

Last week I had a post about The Last Dance, John Feinstein's latest book. It was a less-than-glowing review, but sparked a terrific thread of comments. Since comments often go unnoticed by casual browsers, I thought I'd post a list of the books recommended by Will, Pintens, ajs, Frank, and Millie.

Figure this is useful, since every year about this time I'm scratching my butt trying to think of Christmas gift ideas for myself and for $20 gift exchanges, and this might be of service. Please let us know what you think of these; for now we're going to keep it to sports books, will open up to non-sports books later. This is also by no means all the good sports books that we've read.

So here goes round one of the Badgercentric Book Club, 30 books in all. * is for Jana and Mom - I haven't read this one yet but I'd like to. ** means I highly recommend it. *** means don't bother, I can always use more boxers.

The Punch, by John Feinstein

My Losing Season, by Pat Conroy

March to Madness
, by John Feinstein

**Season on the Brink, by John Feinstein

**Loose Balls, by Terry Pluto

The Bronx is Burning, by Jonathan Mahler

**Nine Innings, by Daniel Okrent

The Breaks of the Game, by David Halberstam

Playing For Keeps, by David Halberstam

When Pride Still Mattered: A Life of Vince Lombardi, by David Maraniss

*Clemente: The Passion and Grace of Baseball's Last Hero, by David Maraniss

**48 Minutes, by Bob Ryan and Terry Pluto

Last Night of the Yankees Dynasty
, by Buster Olney

DiMaggio: The Hero's Life, by Ben Crmer

Bad Guys Won, by Jeff Pearlman

A Good Walk Spoiled, by John Feinstein

**A Civil War, by John Feinstein

The Majors, by John Feinstein

The Last Amateurs, by John Feinstein

Play Ball, by John Feinstein

**A Season Inside, by John Feinstein

Moneyball, by Michael Lewis

**The Blind Side, by Michael Lewis

*Fantasyland, by Sam Walker

The Numbers Game, by Alan Schwartz and Peter Gammons

Rammer Jammer Yellow Hammer, by Warren St. John

**Miracle of St. Anthony, by Adrian Wojnarowski

**Fall River Dreams, by Bill Reynolds

The Sweet Season, by Austin Murphy

*No Bed of Roses, Chris Kennedy


cpintens said...

Great list Taps. Here are some of my favorites:

Friday Night Lights-Could be the greatest sports book of all-time.

Game of Shadows-After reading this you will be convinced that almost every athlete cheats. It isn't just about Barry Bonds.

The Pitch That Killed-The story of Ray Chapman who was hit by a pitch in 1920 and died. The only player to have died. One of most well written sports book I've read. Would make an amazing movie.

Some others that are decent:
Pistol: The Life of Pete Maravich-Pretty recent book, well researched. He was an amazing personality.

The Last Shot-Story of Stephen Marbury in high school. This is basically Hoop Dreams of books.

The Big Bam: Life and Time of Babe Ruth-The biggest sports star of all-time. A Ruthian effort.

Ticket Out: Daryl Strawberry and the Boys of Crenshaw-If you read Bad Guys Won and liked it, this one is better.

The Smart Money-A book about sports betting that is a quick read and gives you a great idea as to why sports are so popular.

Cobb: A Biography. Great insight to one of the most competitive athletes of all-time and meanest SOBs.

Anonymous said...

Just finished "Stud" not too long ago. It's an inside look at the horse breeding industry. Very quick read, but interesting.

A book that is out of print, but I have heard really good things about is "Dollar Sign on the Muscle." Sort of a Moneyball-type book from the 1980s that focuses on the Phillies scouting system when they had one of the better teams in baseball (and during the apex of the now traditional method of scouting players).

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