We reach the end of the year so here’s a look at some good titles to stuff in a stocking, drop on an e-reader, or wrap up your Hannukah shopping with.
Believe: My Faith and The Tackle That Changed My Life (By Eric LeGrand): Former Rutgers player Eric LeGrand has probably impacted more people by not playing football than he ever would have on the gridiron. The former Scarlet Knights defensive player tells a revealing tale about his paralyzing injury in a game against Army at the Meadowlands and what it has helped him shape his life into.
Bernie Parent Unmasked (By Bernie Parent): In a fall without the NHL there were a slew of books. As a one-time goaltender it was fun to read the stories of one of the games greatest, through his eyes and his voice. A nice look at a time when the Flyers were king and Parent ruled the game
The Best American Sportswriting 2012: No better anthology every year, meticulously concocted from hundreds of entries by Glenn Stoudt, this year edited by Michael Wilbon. An annual must have for any lover of good non-fiction combined with sports.
Coaching Confidential (By Gary Myers): One of the NFL’s greatest scribes brings fans inside the minds and the locker rooms of some of the NFL’s best, from Bill Belichick and Tony Dungy to Bill Parcells and Joe Gibbs, to give fans of sport as well as lovers of leadership a very special treat. The book appeals to as wide an audience as any written in 2012.
Dream Team (By Jack McCallum): Veteran Sports Illustrated writer McCallum takes us back to the original dream team and remembers what they did, how they did it, and why we loved it. Best hoops book of the year.
Over Time (By Frank Deford): Frank Deford has reported on sports for 50 years, and in this memoir of a life on the beat, he tells the tales of the players and the characters that he came to enjoy over a lifetime.
The Good Son (By Mark Kriegel): One of America’s greatest sports storytellers, Kriegel has brought us Joe Namath and now re-tells the story of one of boxing’s greatest living legends, Ray “Boom Boom” Mancini
Wherever I Wind Up (By Wayne Coffey and RA Dickey): No one could have predicted the magical rum of RA Dickey this year, but even without a Cy Young and a 20 win season, Wayne Coffey’s work in telling the story of one of baseball’s great people, on and off the field, made the book a winner
When Saturday Mattered Most (By Mark Beech): The veteran writer and West Point grad went back to look at the last great run of Army football, their 1958 undefeated season and their legendary and controversial coach Red Blaik.
Yankee Miracles (By Ray Negron): Ray Negron is a born storyteller who has spent his life in and around Yankee Stadium. From when he was first grabbed by George Steinbrenner for spray painting the walls outside the Stadium to his role today as a trusted advisor, “Yankee Miracles” is a fun read for fans of baseball from a guy who has been there.