Books and baseball


It’s been 20 years since David James Duncan published his masterpiece, The Brothers K. Really, this book has it all: the meaning of love and life, a twisted engrossing plot line, a literary tip of the hat (to Dostoyevsky’s The Brothers Karamazov), and, baseball. ‘Tis the season folks–no matter who you root for, no matter what other sports you follow, autumn is baseball’s turf.

Shortly after David Sommerstein joined our news department, David and I discovered that we shared Duncan’s epic as a favorite. (David and I also share a loyalty to the Yankees, and David is known around the station as “the Commish” because he enthusiastically organizes ball games summer and fall.) If you missed The Brothers K back in the ’90s, if you love good writing and exceptional storytelling, you don’t even have to know anything about baseball (like the fact that “K” stands for an out) to lose yourself in this modern classic.

I’m about to pass along to David my latest baseball fiction favorite: The Art of Fielding, by Chad Harbach. Like Duncan’s book, this one has great writing and storytelling combined with some wonderful attention to baseball detail–details that matter in on-the-field performance as well as emotional and psychological development.

Now, it’s your turn. I’m always looking for baseball books–fiction, non-fiction, memoir or biography. Share your favorites here. Go, Yanks! (Okay, you can share your favorite team…but no dissing the Yanks.)


Okay, I can’t resist, here’s a photo I took at Yankee stadium early in the 2011 season. CC was pitching that day (Yanks won).


  1. Junior Library Guild Selection
    Book of the Year…Books and
    The story of a Mexican American boy with a golden arm and a broken down World Series pitcher who coaches him to make the highschool team.

  2. Julia Walter says:

    Michael Chabon’s YA opus _Summerland_, where baseball is played on an island on the Northwest Coast and in Faery. It’s a wonderful book!

  3. Jackie Sauter says:

    Well, I’ve got to go with Don DeLillo’s Underworld. The beginning, a luminous play by play of that extraordinary 1951 Giants-Dodgers game is like nothing else and unforgettable.

  4. “For the Love of the Game” by Shaara has to be way up the list of great baseball books. I’ve read it three times and I don’t even like baseball. A wild card book is “Bang the Drum Slowly” by Mark harris.Way better than expected.