Pop quiz: What is America’s favorite pastime? If you guessed baseball, then you’re correct.
Though football doesn’t fall far behind, there’s a sort of cultural significance when it comes to a baseball game. Sitting in an aluminum seat with a hot dog in one hand, a beer in the other, and the sun beating down on one’s face is an afternoon that promises singing, shouting, and laughter is an American staple.
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Listed below are some of the best books for baseball fans that are sure to reignite your love of America’s pastime.
The Boys of Summer by Roger Kahn is a non-fiction book based on the author himself, who recounts events from his childhood in Brooklyn and his career starting out as a reporter for the New York Herald Tribune. Kahn relates his story to the Brooklyn Dodgers and their victory in the 1955 World Series.
Kahn also tracks the lives of famous baseball players and captures the love affair that America had with baseball and brings a time of nostalgia and back into present day.
The Boys of Summer is praised as a recreation of American culture as it is able to capture readers of all ages who can recall the sentimentality and be brought into a world where baseball teams were at the center of the nation.
Don’t Look Back: Satchel Paige in the Shadows of Baseball by Mark Ribowsky
Next to Babe Ruth, one of the most discussed baseball stars in history might have been Leroy Satchel Paige. Paige joined the Cleveland Indians during the pre-integration era when he was in his forties and was easily considered by many to be one of the best pitchers to have lived.
Paige gained fame due to his reputation of years in the Negro leagues, which were professional baseball teams that were made up of predominantly African-American players and sometimes other minorities.
In this biography, Ribowsky aims to honor Satchel’s reputation in baseball history by revealing Paige’s prior years in the Negro leagues. Don’t Look Back successfully brings a lesser-known athlete that stands in Babe Ruth’s shadow when America was on the cusp of a social change.
Can’t Anybody Here Play This Game? by Jimmy Breslin
There are three types of people: those who are Mets fans, those who are Yankees fans, and those who don’t live in the tristate area. Either way, you’re likely familiar with the rivalry between the two, and many argue that Mets fans root for the underdog while Yankees fans are loyal to the consistent winners.
Can’t Anybody Here Play This Game? chronicles the 1962 New York Mets season by analyzing the famous team’s very first season as an expansion team.
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