For most Major League baseball teams, today is opening day. I am quite a baseball fan. I spent many a Saturday afternoon watching baseball on television with my father. My grandfather took me to a couple of games when I was pretty young and was more interested in eating popcorn and drinking soda than watching what was happening on the field.
I remember that at my first baseball game with Grandad, he bought me a box of Cracker Jacks and I was hoping the prize inside would be a whistle. It was and forever more, wishes granted and baseball have been entwined in my mind.
Here are some fine baseball books that sit on my shelves:
Why Time Begins on Opening Day (1984)
Written by Thomas Boswell, who calls himself A Ballpark Wanderer. A true lover of the game, he writes:
As each season begins, we always feel the desire to capsulize and define the source of the sharp anticipation that we feel as opening day approaches. We know that something fine, almost wonderful, is about to begin, but we can't quite say why baseball seems so valuable, almost indispensable, to us. The game, which remains one of our broadest sources of metaphor, changes with our angle of vision, our mood; there seems to be no end to our succession of lucky discoveries.
The Yankees Reader (1991)
Lots of stories and excerpts about my favorite team written by the likes of Grantland Rice, Thomas Boswell, Ernest Hemingway, George Will and others. Edited by Miro Weinberger and Dan Riley.
Mantle Remembered (1995)
This is a collection of stories and black-and-white photos that were published in Sports Illustrated. Robert W. Creamer wrote the affectionate introduction in the book dedicated to this baseball icon.
The Joy of Keeping Score (1996)
Written by Paul Dickson, this is a celebration of the baseball scorecard and is filled with all kinds of history of the game.
Baseball: A Literary Anthology (2002)
Published by the Library of America, this hefty volume contains stories, memoirs, and poems dedicated to the All-American Pastime by writers such as Damon Runyon, Ring Lardner, Carl Sandburg, Marianne Moore, Annie Dillard, Roger Angell and many more. A treasure.