Books Like Shoeless Joe
Shoeless Joe is a 1982 novel by W. P. Kinsella that later became the basis for the film called Field of Dreams. The film was released in 1989 and starred a few big names, such as Kevin Costner, Ray Liotta, and James Earl Jones. Shoeless Joe is the tale of Ray Kinsella, a man who is obsessed with baseball in particular and Shoeless Joe Jackson in particular. Shoeless Joe played Major League Baseball in the early 1900s until he was implicated in the Black Fox Scandal and banned from ever playing again. In this novel, Ray believes that by building a baseball field in his cornfield, it will give his hero Shoeless Joe a chance at redemption. If you are a fan of the sport, then take a look at these other books like Shoeless Joe.
by Darryl Brock
If I Never Get Back is the debut novel of Darryl Brock and was first published in 1990. It is the story of Sam Fowler, a modern-day journalist from San Francisco who steps off a train only to find himself transported back to 1869. Sam was stuck a dull job, and his marriage was failing, so he is quite excited about stepping back in time. Sam eventually becomes a part of the Cincinnati Red Stockings baseball team and encounters quite a few historical figures. If I Never Get Back features very detailed descriptions of nineteenth-century baseball and even inspired the formation of many Vintage Base Ball clubs. This novel also received a lot of favorable comparisons to Shoeless Joe, but it wasn't until 2002 that the sequel, Two in the Field, was published.
by Keven Baker
Sometimes You See it Coming is the 1993 debut novel by Kevin Baker, who based his story loosely on a baseball legend, Ty Cobb. It is the story of John Barr, who is undoubtedly one of the best baseball players ever. Not only is he fantastic with a bat, but unstoppable in the field as well. However, even though everyone admires him, nobody really knows anything about him. It seems that John just showed up out of nowhere, has no friends, and doesn't even drink or date. Although this is very mysterious, all everyone cares about is that with Jonn on the team, the New York Mets can't seem to lose. That is until a series of events leads to not only the team falling apart but John beginning to unravel as well.
by Bernard Malamud
Many readers consider The Natural, the 1952 story by Bernard Malamud, to be the first and best novel written about baseball. Like Shoeless Joe, The Natural also received a film based on the book, but this did not happen until 32 years later in 1984. The story is about a 19-year old baseball prodigy named Roy Hobbs who wants to try out for the Chicago Cubs. However, as soon as he arrives in Chicago, he is shot in the stomach by a woman who is obsessed with shooting the best baseball player. This obviously derails his career, but 15 years later, the story continues with Roy joining the New York Knights, a team on an extended losing streak. Roy might be the only man capable of getting the team back on track, but there are many obstacles in his way.
by Philip Roth
The Great American Novel by Philip Roth might just be one of the most surreal books ever written about the sport of baseball. It was first published in 1973 and features a fictional Americal baseball league, called the Patriot League. The stars of the novel are the worst team to ever play baseball, the Port Ruppert Mundys of New Jersey. They become the first every homeless team after losing their stadium to the United States Department of War, which forces them to play all their games on the road. With characters like a one-armed outfielder, peg-legged catcher, and other members, the team doesn't exactly have a lot of success. However, things become even stranger when the team becomes embroiled in a communist plot and end up erased from baseball memory.
by Chad Harbach
The Art of Fielding by Chad Harbach was first published in 2011 and centers on Henry Skrimshander, a member of the Westish College Harpooners college baseball team. Henry has proven himself to be very gifted at baseball, in particular as a shortstop, which is one of the most demanding positions on the field. Initially, it looks like things couldn't get any better for Henry and his team, the Harpooners. Henry is set to break the NCAA record for the most consecutive errorless games ever by a shortstop, and the team is having their best season in history. But then a throw by Henry goes awry and hits another player sitting in the dugout, which seriously injures him. This completely shatters Henry's confidence, and he finds himself performing progressively worse. However, this is not just the story about Henry and whether he can shake off his bad luck, but also the relationship between several other people off the field.
by Leanne Howe
Miko Kings: An Indian Baseball Story is a 2007 novel by LeAnne Howe. She not only taught American Indian Studies and English at various Universities as a professor but is also a member of the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma. Her novel takes place during 1907, when baseball fever was in full swing, but also shifts back and forth to the Vietnam War of 1969 as well as the present day. Howe did careful historical research to write this story of a Native American baseball team and uses real as well as fictive documents in the novel. It's not just a story of the first American Indian Baseball League, but also family, friendship, love, and more.