The MLB season starts on July 26th with a shortened sixty game season and it is sure to make for a weird baseball season, but sixty games is better than no games. As we prepare for the start of the season, these are some of the best baseball books that you should check out to get in the baseball spirit before the start of the 2020 MLB season.
Lords of the Realm by John Helyar
The break between spring training and now has been defined by the distrust between the owners and players. If you ever wondered why that is, this is the book for you.
John Helyar’s expertly researched book tells the story of the “Lords” aka the MLB owners and their long love/hate relationship with the players. Lords of the Realm covers baseball from the reserve clause to the 1994 MLB strike and shows why things have always been this way.
Split Season: 1981 by Jeff Katz
2020 is bound to be a weird season with only sixty games, but it still might not be as weird as the 1981 season was. The season was stopped midway through by a strike and lead to a season with first and second half champions. 1981 had the weird quirk of the two teams with the best regular season records in the National League not making the playoffs and the last World Series between the Yankees and Dodgers.
There will be books written about this weird season that is about to start, read about the last one here.
The MVP Machine by Ben Lindbergh & Travis Sawchik
Moneyball is one of the best baseball books ever written about baseball, but the success of that book lead to the team-building strategies of that Athletics team being adopted across baseball. This book is for what’s next, the data-driven approach to evaluation players that is taking over baseball.
The age of out-drafting and out-signing your rivals is over and the game is now about being the best at developing your own players. The MVP Machine highlights the wave of young talent that is making baseball great and the new-age development tools that got them there.
I Never Had It Made: An Autobiography of Jackie Robinson by Jackie Robinson
In the age of Black Lives Matter, it’s important to look back at the people who helped pave the way to get things where they are today and in baseball that starts with Jackie Robinson.
Robinson’s autobiography tells of his role as Major League Baseball’s first black player and his life before and after the game. From his time stint in the army to his time in the Negro Leagues to his civil rights activism, Robinson’s autobiography is a hard-hitting account of the life of a legend.
The Best Team Money Can Buy by Molly Knight
The Dodgers are an absolute powerhouse and a favorite to win the 2020 World Series. They’ve put together one of the best runs of any team in recent history and show no signs of stopping.
Molly Knight’s book shows how they went from the doldrums of the Frank McCourt ownership to the model franchise that they are today. The answer is money and throwing a lot of it around, but the story of how they did it and Knight’s reporting is what makes this book a great read.