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I have to ask, what exactly is a "non-fiction novel?"

Here are some of my favorite books on baseball.

In no particular order after Ball Four. Ball Four should be the first book on your list.

Ball Four - Jim Bouton

The Machine - Joe Posnanski

The Bullpen Gospels - Dirk Hayhurst

The Glory Of Their Times - Lawrence S. Ritter

Historical Baseball Abstract - Bill James

The Summer Game - Roger Angell

Moneyball - Michael Lewis

Just about anything by Roger Angell is a good baseball read. I know you said baseball and hockey but Bill Simmons' The Book Of Basketball is really good.

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A baseball book that has been my favorite for many years is The Last Best League by Jim Collins. It's about a summer in the Cape Cod League (the 2002 Chatham A's, specifically) and having experienced Cape baseball extensively in person -- partially because this book inspired me so much -- I can say it really portrays what makes baseball so blissfully pure and lovable -- not just on the Cape, even, but in general. I still remember all the players' names and smile when one of them is on SportsCenter, which nowadays is pretty much only Tim Stauffer and Chris Iannetta. I can't recommend this enough; I think my copy is worn out from re-readings.

The Boys of Summer by Howard Kahn, but stop at the halfway mark unless you're a Dodgers fan and/or find yourself extremely interested in the post-baseball whereabouts of Andy Pafko and Pee Wee Reese.

It's Roger Kahn, but the point stands.

Thanks for the suggestions. To clear this up for some people, I am looking for the opposite of fiction (so not a made up plot line).

The issue was that you said "non-fiction novels." A novel, by definition, is a work of fiction.

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Scorecasting: The Hidden Influences Behind How Sports Are Played And Games Are Won by Tobias J. Moskowitz and L. Jon Wertheim. It just came out in January and it's basically a sports-specific version of Freakonomics.

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"Friday Night Lights" and "3 nights in august" are really great books even if you don't like the author Buzz Bissinger. I think even if you aren't a cardinals fan 3 nights would be a good read. Some call it the "anti-Moneyball" but I thought it was just a good look at baseball from a manager's perspective.

"now I can die in peace" by bill Simmons was also good and I'm not a red sox fan at all.

"Fever Pitch" by Nick Hornby was ok. Worth a read but nothing amazing. It's not like the movie AT ALL. The book is about soccer for one...

"the soul of baseball" features stories from Buck O'Neil and it's excellent.

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I highly recommend all of these. In One Dream, the author followed 10 undrafted free agents trying to make the Saints. I think the titles of the other two are self-explanatory. :D




This only covers 1920-1969 but for anyone interested in the NFL it provides a very interesting perspective on the game.


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Check out the Bad Guys Won by Jeff Pearlman about the 1986 Mets. Its got everything coke, booze, women and dominant baseball.

I can't vouch for this one, but his book on the 90s Cowboys, Boys Will Be Boys, was really excellent.

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