America’s Pastime and the players who inspire greatness in those who are just learning have long been the subjects of fantastic literature. When it selecting the best baseball books for your library, you’ll find that you have an incredible number of choices.
Love reading novels? You won’t be disappointed; there’s plenty of baseball fiction available, and new baseball stories are written every year. Want to build your knowledge about the game in general? Baseball history books and instructional guides will take you far. Interested in certain players? Look no further than biographies and autobiographies – they’re fascinating, insightful, and sure to help you forge a deeper connection with the players you find most inspiring. With these thoughts in mind, here are our picks for five of the best baseball books ever written.
Considerations when Choosing the Best Baseball Books
When choosing the best books about baseball, there are a few things to consider:
Type of Book: There are many different types of baseball books from which to choose! If you’re looking for information about famous baseball players, you may want to read biographies or autobiographies. If you want to build your own skill, you might want an informational guide with in-depth details about the fine art of playing baseball.
Entertainment Value: Reviews help you determine whether a book is dry, or if it is well-written and entertaining. Take a few minutes to see what others had to say, and you’ll be on your way to reading some of the best baseball books ever written.
Potential for Learning New Skills: If learning is your goal, look to see if the book you’re considering has detailed instructions in an easy-to-read format, and be sure to check for photos or illustrations that show you how to perform certain techniques. If the book is for a child, check to be sure that it is written in a way that your young reader will easily understand.
Price: Good books might seem expensive, but considering the hours of entertainment value they provide, they can be a good investment. Our advice is to spend some time shopping around and make a list of the best baseball books for your personal library. Once you know which ones you want, buy them as your budget allows. Great books last for decades so get the best quality you can! You’ll be glad you did.
Format: An amazing baseball-themed coffee table book is perfect for enjoyment at home, while a durable guide full of technical advice is perfect for carrying along to practice. Autobiographies, biographies, and fiction might be available as hardcovers or in paperback format, and many are also available as eBooks. All formats can fit well into your unique lifestyle.
The Glory of Their Times by Lawrence S. Ritter
During the mid-1960s, the author taped interviews with many famous baseball players, and then transcribed them word-for word, creating a fascinating first-person narrative that combines baseball history with fantastic storytelling. The book is available in hardback, paperback, eBook, and audiobook formats for easy enjoyment.
Entertaining stories told by baseball old-timers
Provides a sense of the way baseball was played during the early 20th century
A bit shorter than some other books
If you’re interested in baseball’s history, then you’re probably going to love this book. While some of the players were local celebrities who have been forgotten now, perhaps 100 years past their prime, their tales remain fascinating. This literary work of art regularly makes it onto lists of the best baseball books ever written, and it has been called an “integral part of baseball history.”
The Science of Hitting by Ted Williams
Written by Ted Williams, who holds the distinction of being one of baseball’s .400 hitters The Science of Hitting is designed to help batters at every level. With excellent illustrations and quite a few entertaining anecdotes to accompany the instructional material, it explains the mechanics and physics of batting. Several different formats are available, including a spiral bound version.
Learn batting from one of baseball’s greatest players
Lots of illustrations
Practical how-to book with easy-to-follow instructions
Not available in eBook or Audiobook format
The Science of Hitting is one of the best baseball books for building better batting skills in players from little league to semi-pro. If you want to improve your game and learn to bat like Red Sox great Ted Williams, then you’ll find this book makes a difference. Written in a way that’s easy to read and understand, even for younger players, it provides outstanding insight and plenty of practical advice you can start using immediately.
The Matheny Manifesto: by Mike Matheny
Written by St. Louis Cardinals manager Mike Matheny, who spent the first part of his career playing for several teams including the Milwaukee Brewers, the Toronto Blue Jays, and the San Francisco Giants, The Matheny Manifesto is written with an eye toward coaches, parents, and players who want to improve the internal aspects of the game of baseball. The book isn’t just applicable to sports; its lessons are easily applied to life in general.
Excellent for coaches and parents
Teaches a winning mindset based on integrity and internal work, not just mechanics
Highly recommended for anyone involved with youth sports
Does not address many physical aspects of baseball
If you’re a parent, a coach, or someone who’s working on self-development, then you’re probably going to find some great takeaways in The Matheny Manifesto. This book is sometimes criticized by readers who dislike the fact that Mike Matheny mentions his Christian faith; most readers appreciate the insight, but if you’re among those who prefer not to mix baseball and gospel, this book is probably one best left on the shelf.
The Baseball Drill Book by American Baseball Coaches Association
Get ready to play ball! The Baseball Drill Book was written by the American Baseball Coaches Association (ACBA) and seventeen collegiate coaches, and is designed to provide teams with exciting drills to build better baseball skills. In all, this comprehensive guide contains 198 drills meant to improve individual performance as well as team play overall. Sections include Conditioning and warm-up, Throwing and Catching, Hitting and bunting, Fielding, and much more. The book also includes a guide to simulating real-life game situations.
Enough drills for an entire season’s-worth of practice sessions
Covers offensive and defensive tactics alike
Informative, well-planned instructions
A few reviewers found the information dry and technical rather than conversational
If you’re a coach and you’d like to build better players, then you’ll find that this is one of the best baseball books to add to your repertoire. While it’s worth noting that not every drill is suitable for all teams or all players, the book does contain a wide variety and it’s possible to modify drills to suit your players’ needs.
The Complete Guide to Pitching by Derek Johnson
Prepare to become a better pitcher! The Complete Guide to Pitching covers mechanics, mindset, and more. Written by Derek Johnson, who is renowned as one of baseball’s best pitching coaches, this book includes workouts, conditioning programs for on and off season, strategies, methods for shutting down the opposition’s running game, creating pregame pitching plans, and much more. The paperback includes a DVD, and the Kindle edition comes with video and audio.
Complete comprehensive guide to pitching
Great for coaches and players alike
Audiovisual materials included
A little tough for young kids to understand on their own
Consistently rated as one of the best baseball books for pitchers, The Complete Guide to Pitching contains a wealth of information for coaches and players at every level. While a few readers find the information to be overly technical, most appreciate the fine attention to detail as well as the video content. Whether you’re a pitcher, a coach, or someone who’s interested in the art of pitching a perfect game, you’ll find this book makes a great addition to your collection.