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Baseball's greatest hits

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Baseball: An Illustrated History
Geoffrey C. Ward and Ken Burns
The glossy companion to Burns’ PBS series provides an elegant grounding in the history of the game.

Babe: The Legend Comes to Life
Robert W. Creamer
Perhaps the most comprehensive baseball bio in print, it’s the only book worth reading on the larger-than-life Ruth.

Ball Four
Jim Bouton
Bouton’s dark, hilarious memoir of his days as a major-league hurler is a must-read — if only because it pissed off baseball bigwigs for decades.

O Holy Cow! The Selected Verse of Phil Rizzuto
Tom Peyer and Hart Seely, editors
Culled from his live broadcasts, Rizzuto’s ”poetry” is surreal and oddly moving: ”I think my head shrinks a little/In this indoor stadium/I am…/The mike is getting bigger/And I have to tighten it”

The Boys of Summer
Roger Kahn
Sepia-toned and sweet-hearted, Kahn’s memoir of growing up near Ebbets Field recalls 1950s America as well as the snakebit Brooklyn Dodgers.

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