35 Best Baseball Books to Add to Your List

Learn more about the past, present and future of Major League Baseball by adding these great books to your reading list.

NEW YORK - MAY 14: CC Sabathia poses for a picture during the Dr. Sampson Davis & Sharlee Jeter 'The Stuff' Book Launch at the 48 Lounge in New York City on May 14, 2018. (Photo by Michael Owens/Getty Images)

If you are like me, the offseason is not only a time to talk about baseball, but to read about it as well.

Every sport has a history, but no sport has a history like baseball. Dating back to 1869, there’s an unending list of stories to tell. Combine the history with the heavy use of statistics and new age thinking and you can understand why there are so many baseball books.

In no way is this list a rankings from best to worst. Instead, think of it as an introduction to some great books to add to your reading list.

The Grandest Stage: A History of the World Series

By: Tyler Kepner | Pages: 284 | 2022

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The way to book is written is in more of categories and stories instead of first to last World Series. To me, this made the book much more interesting. Kepner’s writing carries what might be a dull topic and turns this into a page turner.

The Machine

By: Joe Posnanski | Pages: 274 | 2009

Anything Posnanski writes is usually worth reading. The Big Red Machine dominated much of the 1970s and featured several Hall of Fame talents. This book tells their story and shows why they earned the name the “Big Red Machine”.

The Extra 2%

By: Jonah Keri | Pages” 236 | 2011

One of the underrated stories of “nerds” helping baseball teams succeed. This book covers the Tampa Bay Rays and their strategy to take a small market, doormat team and turn it into a consistent winner. Not only roster strategy, but also a highlight of the team’s season.

K: A History of Baseball in Ten Pitches

By: Tyler Kepner | Pages: 275 | 2019

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Kepner is one of the best Baseball authors out there. A unique approach where 10 pitches are highlighted and stories are shared about each unique pitch. It jumps around, in a good, and fun, way.


By: Ben Reiter | Pages: 246 | 2018

From bottom of the National League, to American League powerhouse. The Houston Astros were built from the ground up and were morphed into a championship contender year in and year out. This book breaks down the moves and timeline that lead to a World Series.

Why We Love Baseball

By: Joe Posnanski | Pages: 400 | 2023

Top five baseball book for me. Perfectly constructed stories that are not only meaningful to the history of the game, but are told in an entertaining way. Quick, three to four page stories that are always interesting. Suggestion: As you read it have YouTube ready and look up the different moments mentioned in each chapter.

The Story of Baseball in 100 Photographs

By: Bill Syken | Pages: 223 | 2018

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A coffee table book full of beautiful pictures that tell the story of baseball. An easy pick up and put down anytime read that you can always come back to.

The Arm

By: Jeff Passan | Pages: 342 | 2016

The title is the topic: Arms. Yes, pitchers and how valuable their arms are, and the battles with injuries. You hear first hand stories from players who have suffered arm injuries, sometimes multiple, and how they battled back or had their careers end.


By: Michael Lewis | Pages: 288 | 2003

You know the book, or at least the movie, but I cannot make a baseball book list without it. A book that lead to a widespread of interest in stats, analytics, advanced metrics, and how to find advantages in the margins.

The Plan

By: David Kaplan | Pages: 263 | 2017

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The Cubs drought finally ended in 2016 when they won the World Series beating the Cleveland Indians (Guardians). Another book outlining the various roster moves that lead to a magical team that wins it all. A simple enough plot, but always interesting to see how a front office operates.

Ahead of the Curve

By: Brian Kenny | Pages: 321 | 2016

You might know Kenny from MLB Network, where he’s not afraid to share his opinion. You’ll see that in Ahead of the Curve. A book focused on explaining the changes seen in the “new age of baseball”. Opinions on why xyz matter or don’t matter and what we should make o it.

The Eastern Stars

By: Mark Kurlansky | Pages: 252 | 2010

“How Baseball Changed the Dominican Town of San Pedro de Macoris”. An impactful story about baseball saving people from troubling levels of poverty, and the reality that not all make it. A peak into the life of a ballplayer in the Dominican Republic. A great read to further understand the challenges these players face and the importance baseball plays for their families.


By: Stewart O’Nan and Stephen King | Pages: 402 | 2004

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The Red Sox 2004 season will go down as one of the best stories in baseball. Movies, documentaries, and books have highlighted the team in a more professional way, but Faithful tells the story from the vantage point of two super fans. A large book, with enormous amounts of detail, but a fun walk down memory lane for any fan of any team.

The Cloudbuster Nine

By: Anne R. Keene

The most interesting story on this list. A dive into Ted Williams and his stint in the Navy playing on the “Cloudbuster Nine”. I really enjoyed the blend of military and World War II history with a “baseball story”. A book that helps the legend of Ted Williams live on.

The Only Rule is it Has to Work

By: Ben Lindbergh and Sam Miller | Pages: 342 | 2016

I’ll go ahead and say it. This is my favorite baseball book without a question. A couple of stat nerds get an opportunity to run an independent league team and build it from the ground up. Incredible characters and hard lessons learned throughout. I guess making a team off a spreadsheet doesn’t always work. A MUST read.

The Book

By: Tom Tango, Mitchel Lichtman, and Andrew Dolphin| Pages: 364 | 2007

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When you draw a 16 in blackjack “the book says you hit”. Well, apply that principle here. The Book provides you with information and statistics on how just about every situation in baseball should be handled. Numbers heavy and not for everyone but a good source for reference to have around.

BallPark: Baseball in the American City

By: Paul Goldberger | Pages: 321 | 2019

If you are fascinated with ballparks like myself, this book is all you need. An abundance of information, pictures, and history that helps tell the story of baseball through these cathedrals. Beware, it is a big book and will take time to get through but you won’t find better information anywhere else.

The Best Team Money Can Buy

By: Molly Knight | Pages: 280 | 2015

An interesting look into the operations side of baseball and how the Dodgers were sold and then turned into a winner. Knight captures some really unique quotes that allow you to peel back the curtain and step inside the doors of a Major League team.

The Duke of Havana

By: Steve Fainaru and Ray Sanchez | Pages: 312 | 2001

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I’ll warn you, this is not the easiest book to read. There’s a lot of refence, clarification, and explanation of the Cuban world and Spanish language which can be difficult to follow. However, that’s also what makes it so interesting. The incredible story of Orlando Hernandez and his journey from Cuba to the New York Yankees.

Future Value

By: Eric Longenhagen and Kiley McDaniel | Pages: 358 | 2020

The most useful book to better understanding roster construction and team building. An in-depth guide to scouting, drafting, and data. The chapters on the international free agent market, how it works, and how messy it can be are extremely helpful and easy to understand. Almost more of a reference book than story, but one I would put near the top of my list.

Big Data Baseball

By: Travis Sawchik | Pages: 232 | 2015

I know saying “read this book on the 2013 Pirates making the playoffs” doesn’t sound…thrilling. But trust me, this book needs to be added to your list. A peak into a small markets strategy to win on a less than ideal payroll. I really enjoyed the chapter talking about the importance of adding Catcher Russell Martin and how he adds wins in multiple ways.

Swing Kings

By: Jared Diamond | Pages: 302 | 2020

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Swing Kings had a ton of hype when it was released, and rightfully so. Diamond highlights players such as J.D. Martinez and Justin Turner who turned their careers around thanks to swing changes. A look into the “Launch Angle” era and how the home run ball is changing the game.

For the Good of the Game

By: Bug Selig with Phil Rogers | Pages: 316 | 2019

I know, I know, we all have opinions on Bud Selig. Regardless of what you think of him, this book provides some of the best details of how baseball is ran, as a league. Selig opens up in an honest way about his success, mistakes, and distain for Barry Bonds. Change of pace book from others on this list.


By: Alex Speier | Pages 334 | 2019

Even if you are not a Red Sox fan, this book is for you. Speier does a great job detailing the in’s and out’s of team building, the challenges, and sometimes the luck. The story walks you through just how the Red Sox built the Championship team in 2018.


By: Sam Walker | Pages: 334 | 2006

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Alright, all of you fantasy baseball nerds stop what you are doing and pick up this book. Walker tells the story of the lengths he went to in order to prepare for his fantasy baseball season. A funny, informative, and relatable story for the fantasy addicts out there.

Summer of ’98

By: Mike Lupica | Pages: 209 | 1999

I think I read this all in one sitting. That’s how much Lupica’s words had me hooked. He walks you through the magical 1998 season where Sosa and McGuire chased the home run record, David Wells pitched a perfect game, the World Series, and everything in between. A book I’ve gone back to more than once.


By: Jason Kendall and Lee Judge | Pages: 265 | 2014

Maybe the most underrated book on this list. Jason Kendall took the same grit he displayed on the field and transferred it into words to tell you how the game is really played. Kendall walks you through all the details of being a catcher and what this means, what that means, how this works and how that works. A fascinating, quick read that will also lead to some laughs.

The Bad Guys Won

By: Jeff Pearlman | Pages: 267| 2004

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If you are not familiar with the shenanigans of the World Series winning 1986 Mets, you need to read this book. A wild, unbelievable ride through their season where players got away with things that would not fly today. Hilarious stories, great talent, and questionable decision making all coming together.

Where Nobody Knows Your Name

By: John Feinstein | Pages: 346 | 2014

If you are a fan of sports books, then I’m sure you are familiar with the great writing of John Feinstein. This book gives you a look inside the life of players in the minor leagues. Telling the stories of players such as Scott Podsednik and the emotions from being a hero in the majors, to life back in the minors. Another book you’ll likely learn a lot and gain a new perspective from.

A Band of Misfits

By: Andrew Baggarly |Pages: 317 | 2011

A story of the 2010 San Francisco Giants and their run to the World Series. An awesome rotation with Matt Cain, Tim Lincecum, Barry Zito, and Madison Bumgardner with Brian Wilson and his beard closing out games. This book tells their stories and explains how this team came together.

Till The End

By: CC Sabathia | Pages: 276 | 2021

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A Powerful, raw, eye-opening journey through CC Sabathia’s baseball career and battle with alcohol. I could not put this book down. Sabathia’s stories are written like he is sitting right there next to you. Casual and laid back. How he opens up about his struggles, what it took away in his life, and his road to recovery is nothing short of incredible.

Buzz Saw

By: Jesse Dougherty | Pages: 302 | 2020

The story of the 2019 Washington Nationals and their improbable World Series run. Probably my favorite team/year specific book I have read. Dougherty does a great job highlighting the season month to month while quotes from within the dugout carry the story.

Smart Baseball

By: Keith Law | Pages: 270 | 2017

A must read for any baseball fan, especially one’s who want a deeper understanding of baseball strategy and new age thinking. Law explains the issues with batting average, OPS and wRC+, defensive metrics, and the “future” of statistics. Well written, easy to understand, and will truly make you a smarter baseball fan

The MVP Machine

By: Ben Lindbergh and Travis Sawchik | Pages: 346 | 2019

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An informative yet fun book about the new technology, metrics, and strategies teams are using to help develop talent. Information and insight on things you have heard about, like Driveline. One of the better books for the stat and team building fans.

Dynastic, Bombastic, Fantastic

By: Jason Turnbow | Pages: 347 | 2017

A wild ride through the Oakland A’s in the 1970’s. From owner Charlie Finley’s bizarre business tactics to Catfish Hunter, Reggie Jackson, Vida Blue, and Rollie Fingers raising trophies. Oakland was a dynasty and this book tells the story of the players on the field and characters off of it.

On My “Next Up” List:

The Baseball 100

The Cardinals Way

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The Cup of Coffee Club


Jackie Robinson: My Own Story

Please make any suggestions I should add by reaching out to me on Twitter.