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Top 15 Sports Biographies of All Time

Top 15 Sports Biographies of All Time

Super Bowl XLVII - Baltimore Ravens v San Francisco 49ers
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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.

15. Phil Jackson: Lord of the Rings

Portland Trail Blazers v New York Knicks
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15. Phil Jackson: Lord of the Rings

Portland Trail Blazers v New York Knicks
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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.

14. Paul Brown: The Man Who Invented Modern Football

Cleveland Browns v Pittsburgh Steelers
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14. Paul Brown: The Man Who Invented Modern Football

Cleveland Browns v Pittsburgh Steelers
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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.

13. Mariano Rivera

Baltimore Orioles v New York Yankees
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13. Mariano Rivera

Baltimore Orioles v New York Yankees
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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.

12. Michael Jordan

Utah Jazz v Chicago Bulls
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12. Michael Jordan

Utah Jazz v Chicago Bulls
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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.

11. Doc: The Rise and Rise of Julius Erving

2014 NBA Draft Lottery
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11. Doc: The Rise and Rise of Julius Erving

2014 NBA Draft Lottery
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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.

10. Pete Rose: My Story

Pete Rose Manages the Bridgeport Bluefish
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10. Pete Rose: My Story

Pete Rose Manages the Bridgeport Bluefish
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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.

9. Sandy Koufax: A Lefty's Legacy

Los Angeles Dodgers v Chicago Cubs
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9. Sandy Koufax: A Lefty's Legacy

Los Angeles Dodgers v Chicago Cubs
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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.

8. Tony LaRussa: Man On A Mission

2014 National Baseball Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony
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8. Tony LaRussa: Man On A Mission

2014 National Baseball Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony
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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.

7. The Blind Side

Tennessee Titans v Atlanta Falcons
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7. The Blind Side

Tennessee Titans v Atlanta Falcons
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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.

6. Ty Cobb

ALCS Game 4: Oakland A's v Detroit Tigers
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6. Ty Cobb

ALCS Game 4: Oakland A's v Detroit Tigers
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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.

5. I Never Had It Made

New York Yankees Unveil Plaque of Nelson Mandela in Monument Park
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5. I Never Had It Made

New York Yankees Unveil Plaque of Nelson Mandela in Monument Park
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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.

4. Glory Road

Don Haskins
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4. Glory Road

Don Haskins
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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.

3. Eight Men Out

Chicago White Sox v Cleveland Indians
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3. Eight Men Out

Chicago White Sox v Cleveland Indians
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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.

2. Luckiest Man

Chicago White Sox v New York Yankees
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2. Luckiest Man

Chicago White Sox v New York Yankees
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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.

1. Roberto Clemente

World Series Game 3: Boston Red Sox v. St. Louis Cardinals
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1. Roberto Clemente

World Series Game 3: Boston Red Sox v. St. Louis Cardinals
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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.