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Big Book Of Baseball Legends

Matt Eddy -

Like a good joke, a good story has to have an element of the unexpected to have any resonance. Baseball stories are no different. Babe Ruth instinctively knew this, playing coy whenever asked if he really did call his home run off Charlie Root in Game 3 of the 1932 World Series. Rob Neyer, in his "Big Book of Baseball Legends," attempts to get at the truth behind Ruth's infamous gesture, with the help contemporary newspaper accounts, player autobiographies and memoirs—and lots and lots of time devoted to Retrosheet research.

Majors | #2008#Book Guide

The 33-Year-Old Rookie

J.J. Cooper -

We're all suckers for an underdog story. We root for Rocky and Rudy and the Tampa Bay Rays, which is why it's hard not to enjoy The 33-Year-Old Rookie, the story of Phillies catcher Chris Coste. Coste is the ultimate underdog, an undrafted college infielder who spent five years in the independent leagues hoping to get noticed. Along the way he learned how to catch and develop an interesting hitting style that looked ugly but got results.

Majors | #2008#Book Guide

The Sultan Of Stats Returns

J.J. Cooper -

Bill James, the father of modern statistical analysis, is back this year with the Bill James Gold Mine, a book that pairs 17 James' essays with statistical snippets and notes on all 30 major league teams. In addition, James has founded Bill James Online, a subscription site that will continually be updated with additional essays and profiles.

Majors | #2008#Book Guide