Baseball books for a new season
Baseball's opening night is tonight and what better way to get back into the swing of the season than by diving into one of the numerous new baseball books coming out this season.
Whether you're a Yankee fan, a stathead or a baseball history buff, we've got something you'll want to dig your cleats into.
'Banzai Babe Ruth: Baseball, Espionage and Assassination During the 1934 Tour of Japan'
By Robert K. Fitts
In 1934, a group of star players - including Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Jimmie Foxx and Connie Mack - headed off to Japan, where they played 18 games in the hopes of reversing the eventual drift to war between the two countries. (Out now)
'Ruling Over Monarchs, Giants, and Stars: True Tales of Breaking Barriers, Umpiring Baseball Legends, and Wild Adventures in the Negro Leagues'
By Bob Motley with Byron Motley
Bob Motley, the last surviving umpire to work in the Negro Leagues, tells stories about his career and some of the leagues' greatest players in this memoir. (Out now)
'Wherever I Wind Up: My Quest for Truth, Authenticity and the Perfect Knuckleball'
By R.A. Dickey with Wayne Coffey
The enigmatic Mets pitcher, who resurrected his career as a knuckleballer, tells his life story, including his repeated sexual abuse by a baby-sitter as a child. (Out now)
'Imperfect: An Improbable Life'
By Jim Abbott and Tim Brown
The Yankee pitcher, who threw a no-hitter against the Cleveland Indians in 1993, tells the inspiring story of how he overcame a major disability - he was born without a right hand - to become an Olympic gold medal winner and star hurler. (Out now)
Damn Yankees: Twenty-Four Major League Writers on the World's Most Loved (and Hated) Team'
Edited by Rob Fleder
This collection of 24 pieces assembled by Sports Illustrated editor Rob Fleder features articles by some of the top sports writers in the biz on the subject of the Bombers, but touching on more unusual topics like Babe Ruth's grave and wife-swapping among players. (Out now)
'Extra Innings: More Baseball Between the Numbers'
By Baseball Prospectus
The statistical gurus at Baseball Prospectus present a new collection of fascinating and insightful essays and analysis looking at managers, bullpen building, the steroid era and a slew of other topics. (Out now)
'Turning Two: My Journey to the Top of the World and Back With the New York Mets'
By Bud Harrelson and Phil Pepe
With the mess still continuing in Queens, relive the Mets' glory days with this autobiography of Bud Harrelson (written with legendary NYC sportswriter Phil Pepe), who was in the orange and blue for both of the team's World Series wins: as a shortstop in 1969 and as a coach in '86. (April 10)
'Bill Veeck: Baseball's Greatest Maverick'
By Paul Dickson
While you can always check out his autobiography, "Veeck - as in Wreck" (as well you should; it's one of my favorite inside-baseball books), it never hurts to learn more about the influential and often controversial MLB executive who signed the first black baseball player in the American League and was responsible for Disco Demolition Night, among other achievements. (April 24)
'Season of '42: Joe D., Teddy Ballgame and Baseball's Fight to Survive a Turbulent First Year of War'
By Jack Cavanaugh
A chronicle of the 1942 baseball season, which started a few months after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor and the United States' full-scale entry into World War II. The following year would see some of the top players in the game go off to war, including Ted Williams. (May 1)
'Starting and Closing: Perseverance, Faith and One More Year'
By John Smoltz and Don Yaeger
The future Hall of Famer - who was an All-Star and Cy Young-winning pitcher for the Atlanta Braves as both a starter and closer - writes about his life, his career and his faith. (May 8)
'Pinstripe Empire: The New York Yankees From Before the Babe to After the Boss'
By Marty Appel
Appel - who was team's PR director in the 1970s - provides an exhaustive 600-plus-page look at the history of the Bronx Bombers. (May 8)
'Ozzie's School of Management: Lessons From the Dugout, the Clubhouse, and the Doghouse'
By Rick Morrissey
The manager of the Marlins, formerly of the Chicago White Sox, is the focus of this new tome which looks into the enigmatic manager's always controversial management style. (May 22)
Follow Entertainment Editor Scott A. Rosenberg on Twitter: @RosenbergScottA