Ah, the sounds of spring. The crack of the bat, the smack of the ball hitting the catcher's mitt, the ka-ching of cash registers totaling up sales of books on baseball out this season.
seems to lean toward the
for broadcasts, book publishers this season also are looking in that direction, especially to the
and — surprisingly — the
Citizens of Red Sox Nation may find the team's unlikeliest of heroes in knuckleballer
and his book "Knuckler: My Life With Baseball's Most Confounding Pitch" (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt). Those who view a trip to
as a religious experience should consider "Remembering Fenway Park: An Oral and Narrative History of the Home of the Boston Red Sox" (Stewart, Tabori & Chang).
The Rays come under scrutiny in Jonah Keri's "The Extra 2%: How Wall Street Strategies Took a
Team From Worst to First" (ESPN Books). In this unlikely baseball tale, two former
colleagues assume control of the team and leverage their brokerage skills to transform a flailing franchise.
Of course, there have to be several on the Bronx Bombers, notably "The Captain: The Journey of
" (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt) and Robert Weintraub's "The House That Ruth Built: A New Stadium, the First Yankees Championship, and the Redemption of 1923" (Little Brown), which tells the story of another baseball shrine. Nearly 12 years after his death,
continues to be fodder for baseball books: His 56-game hitting streak gets a detailed look in Kostya Kennedy's "56: Joe DiMaggio and the Last Magic Number in Sports" (
Even books about the
this year have a mostly New York flavor. Jimmy Breslin profiles the Brooklyn Dodgers executive who broke baseball's color barrier by signing
" (Viking). Another Dodgers great of that era comes to bat for a
treatment in "Campy: The Two Lives of
" (Simon & Schuster). And the new Dodgers manager and former Yankees
winner is the subject of "Donnie Baseball: The Definitive Biography of
, the former Dodger, Blue Jay, Diamondback and Met, gives readers a memoir of his time in the game that has a decidedly Zen-like title, "The Way of Baseball: Finding Stillness at 95 mph" (Simon & Schuster). Ommm….
fans have the club's own story of its years in operation in the forthcoming "The Official History of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim" (Insight Editions), which marks the team's big 5-0 as a franchise.
What about fans not aligned with either coast? The best bet for the season may be George Vecsey's biography "
: An American Life" (ESPN), which tells the story of the great
slugger and Hall of Famer who played from the early 1940s to the early 1960s.
Another good bet is Dan Barry's book on the longest game ever played, a minor-league affair between the Rochester Red Wings and the Pawtucket Red Sox in "Bottom of the 33
: Hope, Redemption and Baseball's Longest Game" (Harper).
Or fans might consider "Nobody's Perfect" (Atlantic Monthly Press), in which umpire
team to describe last season's perfect game that wasn't when Joyce missed the call at first base and how it has influenced their lives.