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Kelly's Awesome
Baseball Bookstore
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A Great and Glorious Game: Baseball Writings of A. Bartlett Giamatti
by Kenneth Robson (editor)

A collection of profound reflections by the late baseball commissioner Bart Giamatti,
a brilliant man and a passionate lover of the game.

Reference

History

Red Sox

Fenway Park

Women

Fiction

Movies


General Baseball Reference and Information
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Total Baseball: The Official Encyclopedia of Major League Baseball, 7th edition, May 2001

This is the most recent edition currently available. New editions are generally issued every 2-3 years.

Official Baseball Rules, 2001 edition from The Sporting News

A must-have for every serious baseball fan, regardless of how much or how little you think you know about the game.

The Joy of Keeping Score by Paul Dickson
Hardcover or Paperback

This is the book from which I learned not only how to score but also why. It's an easy read, packed with lots of information, history, and even some humor.

The New Dickson Baseball Dictionary by Paul Dickson

I admit I don't have this book, but Dickson's The Joy of Keeping Score is so good that I don't hesitate to recommend this title as well.

General Baseball History
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Wait Till Next Year: A Memoir by Doris Kearns Goodwin

The story of a love affair with baseball, written from the dual perspectives of a fan and a historian. Kearns Goodwin was a Brooklyn Dodgers fan, but fans of her latter-day team, the Boston Red Sox, can relate to her experiences.

The New Bill James Historical Baseball Abstract by Bill James

James presents a narrative history of baseball from its organization in the 1870s to the present. In addition to his chronological study, he also presents a section ranking the all-time best players at each position.

Baseball As America: Seeing Ourselves Through Our National Game by the National Geographic Society

This book was published as the companion to a traveling exhibition of memorabilia from the National Baseball Hall of Fame. Those who know how richly baseball's history is documented by the Hall, and how well anything is documented by National Geographic, will have high expectations for this book.

Ballparks Then and Now by Eric Enders, editor

In order to fully understand the history of baseball and how it has changed, one also needs to look at the parks (and later, stadiums) where the game has been played. This book looks at major league ballparks of the past and present.

Boston Red Sox and Fenway Park
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Red Sox Century by Glenn Stout and Richard A. Johnson

Here is a comprehensive anecdotal history of the Red Sox, one of the American League's charter franchises and the winner of the first-ever World Series. Co-author Johnson is curator of the Sports Museum of New England, so you can be sure he captures the pulse of the team.

The Red Sox Reader, revised edition by Dan Riley

The good, the bad, and the ugly of Red Sox history is captured in this volume, updated in 1999.

Tales from the Red Sox Dugout by Jim Prime and Bill Nowlin

Some of the most colorful characters in sports history have worn the Red Sox uniform. No BoSox fan (or true baseball fan) can pass up the opportunity to read their stories.

At Fenway: Dispatches from Red Sox Nation by Dan Shaughnessy

The Boston sports media and fans are known nationwide for being among the most knowledgeable, serious, and critical - especially where baseball is concerned. Shaughnessy is both in this look at the Olde Towne Team, past and present.

The Red Sox Fan Handbook by Leigh Grossman

This synopsis of Red Sox history will be a good introduction for someone just getting into the team or a nice overview for seasoned fans. There is also a 2002 version which I haven't seen yet.

Feeding the Green Monster by Rob Neyer

Neyer is an ESPN columnist who in this book chronicles his adventure of seeing a complete season's worth of Red Sox home games. (For the uninitiated among you, the Green Monster is Fenway Park's famous left field wall, the most distinctive and recognizable feature of any sports stadium.)

Ted Williams: A Baseball Life by Michael Seidel

The legendary Williams truly is the greatest hitter who ever lived, and any true Red Sox fan can't miss learning more about him.

Fear Strikes Out: The Jim Piersall Story by Jimmy Piersall and Al Hirshberg

Jimmy Piersall was one of the more, um, interesting men to play for the Sox. Beyond eccentric, he actually suffered from serious mental illness when it was largely misunderstood and poorly treated. This is his memoir, with a newly updated afterward.

Nomar Garciaparra: Non-Stop Shortstop by Mark Stewart

The consummate athlete, Nomar reminds many of a young Ted Williams. This is a children's book, and there is no better sports role model for kids today than Nomar.

Pedro Martinez: Pitcher Perfect by Mark Stewart

For kids who aspire to pitch instead of hit, Stewart offers a look at the Red Sox' current ace.

The Babe in Red Stockings by K. Keene, R. Sinibaldi, D. Hickey, and L.R. Tosetti

Long before he achieve home run stardom as a New York Yankee or retired as a Boston Brave, the immortal Babe Ruth made a name for himself as a pitcher for the Red Sox.

The Curse of the Bambino by Dan Shaughnessy

No recommended Red Sox reading list would be complete without a book about the quintessential sports legend, which here in New England has taken on a life of its own. Shaughnessy is one of the country's premier baseball writers and well worth reading.

Fenway Park
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Fenway: A Biography in Words and Pictures by Dan Shaughnessy and Stan Grossfeld

Shaughnessy pays tribute, though certainly not blindly, to the oldest and most recognizable ballpark in baseball.

Our House: A Tribute to Fenway Park by Curt Smith

This is a more sentimental book, including several emotional reflections from people who have either loved the Red Sox or simply been bewitched by the charm of their home park.

Women in Baseball
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Women in Baseball by Gai Ingham Berlage

Sad to say, the history of women in baseball really can be covered in one book. But this one does it right, looking back a century at how women and girls have impacted the game, from Little League to the pros.

The Women of the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League: A Biographical Dictionary by W. C. Madden

An encyclopedic reference of women who played in the prominent women's professional baseball league of the World War II era. This is the league that inspired the book and movie A League of Their Own.

When Women Played Hardball by Susan E. Johnson

Rather than an overview of the AAGBPL, this book follows the 1950 championship series. At the time, the author was a 10 year old girl.

Winning Women in Baseball and Softball by Marlene Targ Brill

This book profiles contemporary female baseball and softball players.

The Girl Who Struck Out Babe Ruth by Jean L.S. Patrick and Jeni Reeves (illustrator)

This children's book tells the story of Jackie Mitchell, a 17 year old minor league pitcher who struck out both the Babe and Lou Gehrig in a 1931 exhibition game.

A Whole New Ball Game: The Story of the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League by Sue Macy

Another children's book, about the All-American League of the '40s and '50s.

Baseball Fiction
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The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon by Stephen King
Hardcover or Paperback

Tom "Flash" Gordon is no longer with the Red Sox, but when he was, devoted Sox fan Stephen King wrote this short novel about a young girl lost in the woods who comforts herself with thoughts of her favorite baseball player.

Shoeless Joe by W.P. Kinsella

This is the story upon which the movie Field of Dreams was based. It is told in the same first-person style that marks the voice-over narration in the film.

Baseball Movies
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Field of Dreams, VHS or DVD

The baseball movie for those who appreciate the sentiment of the game. After watching it dozens of times, I still can't get through that final scene without tears...

A League of Their Own, VHS, DVD, or buy the VHS movie AND a documentary

Women who played in the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League of the '40s and '50s say that this is a true-to-life representation of their experiences (except for Madonna's character!) Red Sox fans should note that Tom Hanks' character is widely thought to be modeled after Jimmie Foxx.

Major League, VHS

A humerous trip back to the days when the Cleveland Indians were the laughingstock of professional baseball. Bob "Mr. Baseball" Uecker is the frosting on this cake.

Bull Durham, VHS or Special edition DVD

The definitive story of the trials and tribulations of life in the minors. I wonder if what Susan Sarandon's character says is true, about the number of beads on a rosary being the same as the number of stitches on a baseball...

The Natural, VHS or DVD

Starring Robert Redford, this movie is considered by many baseball fans to be a fine nostalgic portrayal of the game.

Eight Men Out, VHS or DVD

A dramatic portrayal of the 1919 Chicago Black Sox scandal, this movie is nonetheless historically accurate and allows the view to reach her or his own conclusions about the justice of baseball's decision to ban this particular group of players.


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© 1998-2002 Kelly A. Jefferson. Updated 04/14/2002.