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A lot of people who like baseball books like to collect baseball books. They, or I should say "we," have shelves or even walls of baseball books to look at, to occasionally refer to, and to keep us company, especially through the winter. This year of course, baseball winter has stretched into the spring and may even continue through the summer.
And a lot of people who are really into things – like movies or music or baseball – have opinions about not only their favorite movie or band or ballplayer, but who or what are the all-time greatest of whatever it is they are into.
Whether it's in our nature to think that way, or part of the competitive culture we live in, or just because it's fun, a byproduct of this tendency is to come up with all-time great lists—rock stations counting down the best songs ever, the NBA trumpeting its 50 Greatest Players, MLB Network and its endless Top Ten Now lists that help to fill air time.
No doubt about it, greatest-ever lists are a lot of fun—fun to read about and watch, to agree with, argue about, learn from. If it's a topic you know a lot about, you'll have your own opinion. If you're not an expert but want to be one, chances are you'll learn something valuable.
It's no different for baseball books and lovers of baseball books like me. I haven't come across a lot of All-Time Greatest Baseball Book Lists, but when I have, I've devoured them. Some have been wise, some stupid, pretty much all have been entertaining. I've nodded my head, said "Are you kidding?" and been sent off on searches to learn more. And naturally, reading those lists, I've had some thoughts on the subject myself.
These days, with many of us stuck inside and no baseball being played, there is more opportunity to turn to our printed friends. So it struck me that this may be the perfect time to create my own list of the greatest baseball books ever. So I did, and over the coming weeks and months I will be sharing that list, with information about each author and book, and why I chose to include it on the list. I will also be asking for your opinions, of my list but more importantly what you think are the Greatest Baseball Books Ever, and why. I want to hear about your list, too.
And to celebrate baseball books, the greatest, the near great, the OK, personal favorites—and to encourage your love for baseball and the baseball written word—as we go through my Greatest Baseball Books Ever, we will be giving away baseball books, a lot of baseball books—both from the Summer Game Books list and from other authors and publishers.
In my next post I will describe the parameters and structure of the Summer Game Books All-Time Top 50 Greatest Baseball Books Ever and the methodology used to create the list. I will also share some of the excellent titles that will be part of our big giveaway. To tie it all together we will make sure that more than one of the giveaways will be from among the Greatest Baseball Books Ever.