• Bio Books On Baseball’s Greatest

    Posted by on November 26th, 2013 · Comments (2)

    I have read all these and recommend them:

    Babe Ruth – The Big Bam: The Life and Times of Babe Ruth – by Leigh Montville
    Ty Cobb – Cobb: A Biography – by Al Stump
    Willie Mays – Willie Mays: The Life, The Legend – by James S Hirsch
    Mickey Mantle – The Last Boy: Mickey Mantle and the End of America’s Childhood – by Jane Leavy
    Tris Speaker – Tris Speaker – The Rough-and-Tumble Life of a Baseball Legend – by Timothy Gay

    I have not read these yet, but heard good things about them:

    Ted Williams – Ted Williams: The Biography of an American Hero – by Leigh Montville
    Lou Gehrig – Luckiest Man: The Life and Death of Lou Gehrig – by Jonathan Eig
    Hank Aaron – I Had a Hammer: The Hank Aaron Story – by Hank Aaron

    What other bio books are out there on baseball’s greatest that you would recommend?

    Comments on Bio Books On Baseball’s Greatest

    1. November 28th, 2013 | 11:19 am

      I enjoyed both the Cobb and Williams bios,the Aaron book I found a little dull. I had problems with both the Mantle and the Mays bios. In my opinion the Mantle bio business has gone from one extreme to the other. In the old days all Mantle books were sugar coated and sanitized, now all the Mantle books are demons/redemption. What we need is a closer look at his career, during the prime of his career he was the greatest player in baseball. I thought he was cheated out of at least one MVP award (1961), and an argument could be made for the 1960 award as well. I also thought Leavy should have left well enough alone with respect to the 565ft homer, if it didn’t travel 565 feet, what difference does it make, it still is a great story. The Mays book was good but took some cheap shots at other players (Babe Ruth for example).

      The best baseball bio I have read in recent years is “The Two Lives of Roy Campanella” by Neil Lanctot. I can’t recommend this book enough, it is a real page turner, very hard to put down. “Uppity” by Bill White was also excellent.

    2. November 29th, 2013 | 10:09 am

      Never heard of The Two Lives of Roy Campanella, thanks!
      Did they talk, at all, about how much his home field inflated his stats?

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