Crack open a baseball book while you wait for that first crack of the bat.
Pitching in a Pinch: Baseball From the Inside (Penguin Classics) by Christy Mathewson is a new edition of the 1912 memoir by the game's first superstar, with a foreword by novelist Chad Harbach and afterword by sportswriter Red Smith.
The Victory Season: The End of World War II and the Birth of Baseball's Golden Age (Little, Brown) by Robert Weintraub chronicles the era when 500 Major League players went to war, playing a "World Series" in a Hitler Youth Stadium in captured Nuremberg, and the radical changes in the sport in the postwar years.
Trading Bases: A Story About Wall Street, Gambling, and Baseball (Not Necessarily in That Order) (Dutton Adult) by Joe Peta is the entertaining memoir of a Wall Street trader who lost his job, got hit by an ambulance and, while recuperating, applied his analytic skills to betting on baseball.
Colette Bancroft, Times book editor