More than any other sport I have seen there have been many writers over the years that have been able to put their love for the game and the thrill they get out of watching it into words.
Here is a mixture of books to get your collection started, regardless of knowledge of the game you’re bound to find one you’ll like:
Watching Baseball Smarter: A Professional Fan’s Guide for Beginners, Semi-experts, and Deeply Serious Geeks by Zack Hample – The title has it partially right, this is a guide for beginners, but probably won’t do much for you if you have been watching baseball for a few years or are a serious fan.
A Great and Glorious Game: Baseball Writings of A. Bartlett Giamatti by A. Bartlett Giamatti – If there was a books wing to the Baseball Hall of Fame, this one would be a first-ballot entry. It’s brief, but Giamatti is able to put the game onto paper beautifully.
Foul Ball: My Life and Hard Times Trying to Save an Old Ballpark, Plus Part Two by Jim Bouton – This isn’t so much a book about baseball as it is a baseball park, but it’s a fantastic book—the kind you won’t be able to put down.
Beyond Batting Average by Lee Panas – If you are interested in learning the ropes about statistics (both the basic ones and sabermetrics) there is no better book than this one.
Baseball Between the Numbers: Why Everything You Know About the Game Is Wrong by The Baseball Prospectus Team of Experts – If you are just getting into baseball, this will probably be a too heavy for you. If you’ve been into the game for a while and love the numbers aspect of the game though, this is absolutely the book for you. This is definitely something that coaches should read.
Baseball Scorekeeping: A Practical Guide to the Rules by Andres Wirkmaa – You could probably try for ten years to come up with a way to improve this book and would fail. This book is the gold standard of learning how to keep score. A must have if you are a scorekeeper.
Selected Shorts: Baseball – This one only comes in audiobook, but it’s a fun collection of short stories and poems about baseball. Some of it is serious, but there are a lot of laughs as well.