Six UNP Books Featured in Esquire’s Top 100 Baseball Books

We’re excited to see several of our baseball books on Alex Belth’s list of “100 Best Baseball Books” ever written for Esquire magazine. Read the excerpts below to see what they said about each book.

The Summer Game by Roger Angell

“When it comes to anthologies by Roger Angell, you can’t really go wrong no matter which one you pick. Angell, the son of New Yorker fiction editor Katharine White (E.B. White was his stepfather), didn’t start writing about baseball until he was middle-aged. His biannual missives on the game for The New Yorker became part of the fabric of the game for any literary fan. This collection, his first, covers the ’60s with the kind of fan-in-the-stands intelligence and gift for observation that’s made Angell perhaps the most well-loved of all baseball writers.”

Twilight of the Long-ball Gods by John Schulian

“John Schulian was an elegant stylist as a sports columnist in the ’70s and ’80s, and he also wrote surpassingly well for national magazines such as Sports Illustrated and GQ. His collected baseball stories, columns as well as longer magazine profiles, relish those away from the spotlight—semi-pro players and minor leaguers alike. There’s a wonderful essay on the Hollywood Stars of the old Pacific Coast League, and best of all, a masterful portrait of Negro League legend Josh Gibson.” 

The Southpaw by Mark Harris

“The first in Harris’s quartet of novels about pitcher Henry Wiggen is also our favorite.” 

Seasons in Hell by Mike Shropshire

“Is this the funniest baseball book ever written? We can argue, but it sure is in the running.” 

The Celebrant by Eric Rolfe Greenberg

“If historical baseball fiction sounds like a shaky proposition to you, you aren’t alone. But Eric Rolfe Greenberg pulls it off in this appealing, almost magical novel that features the great Giants pitcher Christy Mathewson. Set in New York in the early 1900s, it’s as unlikely as it is enchanting.” 

Making My Pitch by Ila Jane Borders with Jean Hastings Ardell

“Ila Jane Borders was the first woman to start and win men’s professional games. She tells her unlikely tale with plainspoken frankness, making this book a real find. As baseball historian Dorothy Seymour Mills wrote, Border’s story ‘will make readers wonder how much longer the baseball establishment can afford to disregard the skilled women players who should long ago have been recruited for the Minors and the Majors.'”

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