This game's in the books: baseball's greatest reads

Me, I think it's been replaced by the NFL charging fans full price for preseason games. But the machinations of the big-time gamblers and penurious team owner who drove greedy or desperate Chicago White Sox players to throw the Series come vividly to life on every page.

3. Babe: The Legend Comes to Life, by Robert W. Creamer.

If you think Babe Ruth was nothing more than a hotdog-eating, beer-swilling, homer-hitting legend, well, you're half right.

But Creamer also reveals a more complex side of Ruth and the incredible skill, restless energy and boundless appetites that drove him to become America's preeminent sports icon.

2. Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game, by Michael Lewis.

Can we talk about the movie first? Did anyone else have a problem with the casting? The whole time I watched it I kept thinking: "That's not Billy Beane up there! That's Brad Pitt!"

But Lewis' book is a fascinating look at how the 2002 Oakland Athletics caught lightning in a bottle, riding Beane's fearless, innovative thinking to an exciting winning season despite having the smallest team payroll in the majors.

1. Ball Four, by Jim Bouton.

An American classic, Bouton's courageous best-seller opened the curtains and let readers see what really took place in the clubhouse and on the road with a major league baseball team.

Often, it wasn't pretty. Bouton was vilified by the baseball establishment for breaking the "code of silence."

But he produced the best, truest and funniest book of all time about the game. And he ended up laughing all the way to the bank.

kevin.cowherd@baltsun.com

twitter.com/kevincowherdsun

Listen to Kevin Cowherd on Tuesdays at 7:20a.m. on 105.7 The Fan's "The Norris and Davis Show."

 

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