As always happens this time of year, I am really into baseball books. I just finished "The Last Hero" a biography of Henry Aaron by former Boston Herald reporter and ESPN columnist Howard Bryant. Excellent stuff.
I particularly liked the post-playing stuff. I knew most of Aaron's story, but I wasn't entirely sure where he went from retirement to his re-entry into the public eye in the 90s.
Currently reading "Juicing the Game," also by Bryant. Fascinating at times, especially with the pre-1994 strike stuff. I'm about halfway through and I think Bryant is trying to hit too many targets at once. One chapter is the pre-strike stuff. Another chapter is technical details about steroids. Another is the battle with the umpires union in 1999. Another is Jason Giambi.
I'd still recommend it. I'd also recommend, "Lords of the Realm," "Damned Yankees," "Ball Four" (find one of the later editions, when Bouton writes a new epilogue reflecting on his notoriety); "The Umpire Strikes Out" and Robert Creamer's book on Babe Ruth.
Now, for my "Recommendations?" question. Here are topics and/or people I'd like to know more about. Help me with the best books for them.
I prefer biographies to autobiographies, because I find autobiographies horribly self-serving. I won't touch Fay Vincent's love-letter to himself, for instance. Nor do I care to read any of Canseco or Rose's crap.
Topics: (Some of these have multiple books. Which is the best?)
The early 70s Oakland A's
The logic and machinations behind the creation of the DH.
The complete self-immolation of Richie Phillips and the umpires union in the late 90s
1930s baseball (I think there is one called The Great Slump or something like that.) Anyone read it?
Any other topics people want to see done?