Okay, not to leave the boys out... there are some fantastic books for the boys too (we girls can also enjoy them!)
Terror in the City of Champions by Tom Stanton... Detroit, mid-1930s: In a city abuzz over its unrivaled sports success, gun-loving baseball fan Dayton Dean became ensnared in the nefarious and deadly Black Legion. The secretive, Klan-like group was executing a wicked plan of terror, murdering enemies, flogging associates, and contemplating armed rebellion. The Legion boasted tens of thousands of members across the Midwest, among them politicians and prominent citizens—even, possibly, a beloved athlete. Terror in the City of Champions opens with the arrival of Mickey Cochrane, a fiery baseball star who roused the Great Depression’s hardest-hit city by leading the Tigers to the 1934 pennant. A year later he guided the team to its first championship. Within seven months the Lions and Red Wings follow in football and hockey—all while Joe Louis chased boxing’s heavyweight crown. Amidst such glory, the Legion’s dreadful toll grew unchecked: staged “suicides,” bodies dumped along roadsides, high-profile assassination plots. Talkative Dayton Dean’s involvement would deepen as heroic Mickey’s Cochrane’s reputation would rise. But the ballplayer had his own demons, including a close friendship with Harry Bennett, Henry Ford’s brutal union buster.
The Greatest Baseball Stories Every Told edited by Jeff Silverman... At a 1931 barnstorming exhibition game in Tennessee, a seventeen-year-old pitcher for the Chattanooga Lookouts struck out Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig back to back. Her name was Jackie Mitchell--"organized baseball's first girl pitcher." On September 9, 1965, Sandy Koufax made baseball history by pitching his fourth perfect game. In July 1970, a stripper rushed onto the field at Riverfront Stadium to kiss Johnny Bench, temporarily disrupting a game attended by President Nixon and his family. These are just some of the great, quirky, and comic moments in the annals of baseball recorded in THE GREATEST BASEBALL STORIES EVER TOLD. Here also are profiles of such legendary figures as Joe DiMaggio, Pete Rose, and Yogi Berra, essays that explore the complexities and pleasures of the game, even an excerpt from the movie Bull Durham. This is the perfect book for anyone who has ever played so much as a game of catch.
The Only Game in Town Edited by David Remnick... For more than eighty years, The New Yorker has been home to some of the toughest, wisest, funniest, and most moving sportswriting around. The Only Game in Town is a classic collection from a magazine with a deep bench, including such authors as Roger Angell, John Updike, Don DeLillo, and John McPhee. Hall of Famer Ring Lardner is here, bemoaning the lowering of standards for baseball achievement—in 1930. John Cheever pens a story about a boy’s troubled relationship with his father and the national pastime. From Lance Armstrong to bullfighter Sidney Franklin, from the Chinese Olympics to the U.S. Open, the greatest plays and players, past and present, are all covered in The Only Game in Town. At The New Yorker, it’s not whether you win or lose—it’s how you write about the game.