By Jacob Kornhauser on September 3, 2014
Documenting a famous athlete or famous sporting event, biographies are our way of living vicariously through athletes. The really good ones make us feel like we experienced these things and met these amazing athletes. These 15 books do an amazing job of doing just that.
Author: Peter Richmond
This is a great book documenting just how the Zen Master is able to keep winning titles. It helps that he had the likes of Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant on his side, but as this book shows, there's so much more to it than that.
Author: George Cantor
Paul Brown truly was an innovator. Due to his contributions to football, an entire franchise took on his name. There are so many reasons they decided to honor him in that way.
Author: Jesse Florea
Mariano Rivera was the best closer of all time and he just recently retired. Being able to remember the events described in this book is just part of the reason it's one of the best of its kind.
Author: Roland Lazenby
As the greatest player in NBA history, Michael Jordan obviously has a compelling story. Roland Lazenby is just the man to tell it, as he does so astutely in this work of art.
Author: Vincent Mallozzi
Julius Erving was a truly interesting character. As one of the most dominant players in NBA history, he has quite the story to tell. Playing before the NBA's popularity took off, his story is more unique than most.
Author: Pete Rose with Roger Kahn
Pete Rose is a polarizing figure. Even though he's the all-time hits leader and one of the best to ever play the game, he rubs a lot of people the wrong way. Kahn covers all that and more in this interesting piece of writing.
Author: Jane Leavy
Sandy Koufax was one of the most dominant players in MLB history, but his career was cut well short by injury. Examine just what could've been made of his major league career had he always stayed healthy.
Author: Rob Rains
Tony LaRussa was one of the best managers in modern baseball and of all time. With one of the front offices in baseball, he helped put together multiple World Series champion Cardinals teams.
Author: Michael Lewis
While this isn't a traditional biography, it does cover the compelling story of Michael Oher. His rise from the slums of Memphis to being drafted by the Baltimore Ravens is one of the more inspiring stories in recent sports history.
Author: H.G. Salsinger
Ty Cobb was one of the nastiest baseball players ever. He was also one of the best players ever. Those two personas often collided as Salsinger expertly points out in this great biography.
Author: Jackie Robinson with Alfred Duckett
The story of Jackie Robinson is one of national pride. As he fought to break baseball's color barrier, he was met with plenty of opposition. That and more is chronicled in this great work.
Author: Don Haskins
Told by the coach of the incredible 1966 Texas Western national championship basketball team, this is a story for the ages. This story of the first black starting five in NCAA history was compelling enough to spur on a movie as well.
Author: Eliot Asinof
Again, this isn't a traditional biography in the way that it covers just one person. However, it has some compelling stuff. It tells the complete story of the 1919 Black Sox scandal and lets you make your own decision on what truly went on all that time ago.
Author: Jonathan Eig
This in-depth biography into the life and times of baseball's first iron man is incredible. As if his legend wasn't already great enough, the vivid detail used in this work elevated Eig to one of the best biography writers of his time.
Author: David Maraniss
Roberto Clemente truly was an American hero. Even though he wasn't from the country, he inspired millions as he dazzled on and off the field. He was a humanitarian and this biography tells about everything that made Clemente one of the most amazing people to ever step onto a baseball field.
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