The World Series

Classic reading about the October Classic.

 


 

The Victory Season

By Robert Weintraub

 

World War II very nearly destroyed the institution of Major League Baseball in the early 1940s; with poor attendance, a nationwide rubber shortage that restricted baseball manufacture, and star players off fighting against Hitler abroad, the organization had become a shell of its former self. But by war's end, legendary ballplayers like Ted Williams and Joe DiMaggio were home, healed, and ready to resume play. Robert Weintraub's excellent account of the superlative 1946 season includes Jackie Robinson's triumphant debut in the minors, as well as the spectacular World Series between the Boston Red Sox and the St. Louis Cardinals -- teams who may meet again to contend for the championship next week.

 


 

Autumn Glory

By Louis P. Masur

 

The first World Series, between the Pittsburg Pirates and the Boston Americans in 1903, revitalized the sport and showcased some of the storylines that would make the contest a perennial source of entertainment for the next century and beyond: established stars failed to perform, unknowns stole the show, and umpires barely escaped with their lives. Historian Louis P. Masur's dramatic retelling makes you feel like you're cheering in the stands. Cracker Jack not included.

 


 

Eight Men Out

By Eliot Asinof

 

Gambling and baseball make an infamously potent combination. Eliot Asinof gives the subject a close and compelling study in this chronicle of the oddsmakers, owners, and players (both crafty and clueless) involved in baseball's most shattering scandal: the throwing of the 1919 World Series by the heavily favored Chicago White Sox -- known to posterity as the Black Sox.

 


 

American Pastimes: The Very Best of Red Smith

Edited by Daniel Okrent

 

"Some of America's greatest, most superbly idiosyncratic prose has come from the alcohol-fueled, tobacco-kippered, deadline-driven paws of sportswriters…the great ones imbue their work with nuance and irony in a key that is completely audible only to American ears," writes Katherine A. Powers in her review of American Pastimes: The Very Best of Red Smith. An exemplar of this breed of writer, Smith mixed tenderness, sarcasm, and an exasperated devotion in recounting the day's greatest ball games. Example: in response to the Yankees' fifth straight World Series championship in 1953, Smith titled his column "Like Rooting for U.S. Steel." This sweeping anthology, compiled by former New York Times public editor Daniel Okrent, houses the best of the Pulitzer Prize winner's vivid commentary on the Golden Age of Baseball and beyond.

 


 

Game Six

By Mark Frost

 

Game six of the 1975 World Series between the Cincinnati Reds and the Boston Red Sox: it's been called the greatest baseball game ever played. An extra-innings thriller starring two teams replete with fascinating personalities, it featured almost unbelievable on-field heroics. Frost digs behind the scenes but also re-creates the game moment by moment. The result: a compelling trip through the historical, cultural, and personal significance of one amazing night in baseball history.

Comments
by wildpops1952 on ‎10-18-2013 08:42 AM
Your list glaringly omits perhaps the single best baseball/world series book ever written, David Halberstam's "October 1964." Not only does this book talk about the dynamics of the end of dynasty New York Yankees as contrasted with the then rising St. Louis Cardinals, it is most importantly an eloquent exposition of the place race plays in sports and society at large. It is a must read for any thinking fan of baseball and American history.

April 24: "[The HST] lifted a curtain from our view of the universe, changing it so profoundly that no human can look at the stars in the same way..."

Kenneth Calhoun (Black Moon) and Lysley Tenorio (Monstress) of the Discover Great New Writers program on B-movies, heritage, and finales.

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Books, CDs, DVDs to know about now
In the Light of What We Know

Zia Haider Rahman's mystery of a brilliant Bangladeshi mathematician's past barrels through the Ivy League, London high finance, and spy-haunted Afghanistan in a page-turning tale of exile, intrigue and the price of friendship. A Discover Great New Writers selection.

The People's Platform

Once touted as the foundation for tomorrow's digital democracy, the Internet is increasingly ruled by a few corporate giants, while millions of contributors till its fields for free. Astra Taylor looks at why the web has failed to deliver a communitarian cyberscape, and offers a compelling case for restoring its original vision.

A Private Venus

Dubbed "the Italian Simenon," Giorgio Scerbanenco (1911-1969) began his crime-writing career with books set in the USA, but quickly shifted scene closer to home, the city of Milan.  In this adventure, appearing in English for the first time, his underdog hero Dr. Duca Lamberti finds himself in the middle of a seedy, scantily clad criminal racket, where the presence of an outsider could result in death.