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A bevy of baseball books

By Todd Leopold
CNN


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(CNN) -- This year has been bery, bery good to baseball books.

Besides David Halberstam's "The Teammates," there are books on the first World Series, the last years of the Brooklyn Dodgers, the making of the Oakland A's, and much, much more:

• Roger Angell: "Game Time: A Baseball Companion" (Harcourt). For more than 40 years, Roger Angell has been writing about baseball for The New Yorker. This collection is an assemblage of some of his best material, including essays on the early New York Mets, the '70s Boston Red Sox, the vintage Bob Gibson and the recent-era Barry Bonds.

• Harvey Frommer: "Rickey and Robinson" (Taylor paperback). This recent re-release of Frommer's 1982 hardcover shows it to have lost none of its relevance. The book tells the story of Jackie Robinson's breaking of baseball's color line, and the important role played by Dodger general manager Branch Rickey in getting Robinson into the majors.

• Michael Lewis: "Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game" (Norton). More and more, Major League Baseball is divided into haves and have-nots -- and the haves tend to have both money and good players. But Oakland A's general manager Billy Beane has managed to build a top-notch squad relatively cheaply. How has he done it? Lewis ("The New New Thing") finds out.

• Louis Masur: "Autumn Glory: Baseball's First World Series" (Hill and Wang). This year marks the 100th anniversary of the modern World Series, born when the upstart American League took on the established National League to determine the country's baseball champion. Masur alternates descriptions of the eight-game series that decided the title with the rough politics that created the series in the first place.

• Michael Shapiro: "The Last Good Season: Brooklyn, the Dodgers, and Their Final Pennant Race Together" (Doubleday). Mention Walter O'Malley's name in Brooklyn, even today, and you'll likely be met with curses and bitterness. But Shapiro reveals the Dodgers' owner wasn't entirely to blame for the team leaving its ancestral home for Los Angeles; the real villain was the imperious New York public works official, Robert Moses. "The Last Good Season" was 1956, the last time Brooklyn won a pennant -- and officials tried to keep the team from leaving.


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