This the Fall 2017 Sports Books Part 2 installment of newly published (or forthcoming) titles from around the world of sports (see Part 1 here).

Chicago Cubs Story of a Curse, Rich Cohen, Fall 2017 Sports Books Part 2In this post, we’ll examine new baseball books, the memoir of an iconic NFL writer debilitated by multiple strokes, the latest college football exposé, a biography of a Brazilian soccer legend, a year in the life of a cricket photographer and the inaugural season of the National Hockey League.

A total of 50 books are included in this guide, covering 10 titles in each post. Among the other book subjects in this series are a new biography of Muhammad Ali, sportswriting anthologies, Ken Dryden and the future of the NHL and the rise of Major League Soccer.

This list will be updated, and it is arranged in alphabetical order by title. If you’d like to suggest a book for inclusion that you don’t see here, or that is publishing later this year, please contact me at I also will be compiling a November-December guide as the Christmas shopping season isn’t far away.

Here’s are the Fall 2017 Sports Books Part 2 titles. Happy reading!

Champions Way: Football, Florida and the Lost Soul of College Sports, by Mike McIntire (W.W. Norton), Sept. 5

A finalist for the 2015 Pulitzer Prize for his reporting for The New York Times, McIntire digs further into recent controversies with the Florida State football program, including academic, legal and financial malfeasance, adding a fresh coat of paint to an increasingly tarnished college sports landscape. Author website

Links: Wash Indy Book Review | Total Tutor Podcast | USA Today | Boston GlobeChampions Way, Mike McIntire

Chicago Cubs: The Story of a Curse, by Rich Cohen (Farrar, Strauss & Giroux), Oct. 3

The 108-year-old curse of the Billy Goat was ended in 2016 as the Chicago Cubs finally won the World Series. The Chicago-born author’s curiosity about the history of that hex is detailed here, the culmination of a lifetime of resisting his father’s urge not to become a Cubs fan. Cohen recounts the careers of Ernie Banks, Ron Santo, Billy Williams and Ryne Sandberg, who never knew the joys experienced by present-day stars Kris Bryant and Jake Arrieta. Author Website

Links: Chicago Tribune | Tablet | NYT | Excerpt: Sports Illustrated

Cultural Encyclopedia of Baseball, 2nd edition , Jonathan Fraser Light (McFarland), Sept. 1

The paperback version of the 2nd edition (first published in 2013) checks in at 1,112 pages, and is a fans’ earthly delight of biographical sketches, narrative history, photographs, lingo, the business of the game and plenty of bibliographic material. While baseball stats nerds have plenty of their own bibles, this one is as complete a cultural reference point as has ever been produced, at nearly 900,000 words.

Doctor Sócrates: Footballer, Philosopher, Legend, by Andrew Downie (Simon & Schuster UK), Sept. 5

The ferociously competitive captain of Brazil’s 1982 World Cup team (arguably the best not to win it) was just as compelling away from the pitch, a medical graduate who smoked to excess and championed leftist politics and Brazilian democracy. The first full-scale biography of a complex, often contradictory individual who embodied his nation’s cultural and political struggles in the late 20th century.

Links: The Guardian | Hindustan Times | Irish Times | The Scotsman

Dr. Z Dr. Z: The Lost Memories of an Irreverent Football Writer, by Paul Zimmerman and Peter King (Triumph Books), Sept. 1

Felled by multiple strokes and in his mid-80s, Zimmerman pieces together his larger-than-life story with Sports Illustrated colleague Peter King. Dr. Z, author of “A Thinking Man’s Guide to Pro Football,” chronicled the NFL’s rise and the men who made it the colossus of American spectator sports. A supreme personality in a sport loaded with them, Dr. Z also recalls his times with Ernest Hemingway, Hunter Thompson, Donald Trump and Rupert Murdoch in a career spanning nearly a half-century.

Links: Sports Illustrated | Cover 2 Podcast | Library Journal

Sports Biblio’s Fall 2017 Sports Books Preview Guide

Part 1

Electric October: Seven World Series Games, Six Lives, Five Minutes of Fame That Lasted Forever, by Kevin Cook (Henry Holt and Co.), Aug. 15

An engrossing recollection of the 1947 World Series between the New York Yankees and Brooklyn Dodgers, in which unlikely names became stars. The exploits of Bill Bevens, Al Gionfriddo, Cookie Lavagetto and Snuffy Stirnweiss took hold, along with managers Bucky Harris and Burt Shotton. A classic era in New York City baseball was kicked off by an unforgettable fall classic. ExcerptFeeling is the Thing That Happens in 1000th Second

Feeling is the Thing that Happens in 1000th of a Second: A Season of Cricket Photographer Patrick Eagar, by Christian Ryan (riverrun), Sept. 7

Australian writer Christian Ryan takes a deep look at the work of the famed British cricket photographer Patrick Eager, and specifically the year 1975, the year of the first Cricket World Cup and later that year at the iconic Ashes competition. Eagar, who retired in 2011, left a legacy of still photographs in the era just before television and digital camera technology emerged, and dramatically altered how the game is seen. Links: Cricket Monthly | Cricket Web |

Fire on the Track: Betty Robinson and the Triumph of Early Olympic Women, by Roseanne Montillo (Crown), Oct. 17

The American sprinter Betty Robinson won a gold medal at the 1928 Amsterdam Olympics, the first open to women in track and field events. While she recovered from a near-death experience in an accident in 1932, other American women starred in Los Angeles, notably Babe Didrickson and Stella Walsh. Robinson made her Olympic return in Berlin in 1936, which serves as the culmination of the novelistically-styled book by Montillo, a literature professor near Boston.

The First Major, John FeinsteinThe First Major: The Inside Story of the 2016 Ryder Cup, by John Feinstein (Doubleday), Oct. 24

The latest book from the prolific sports author details how the U.S. ended a long skid of losing to the Europeans, and shortly after the death of Arnold Palmer. Captain Phil Mickelson’s rebuilt American roster included his appointment of Tiger Woods as assistant captain, and the drama at Hazeltine included a fiery performance from European star Rory McIlroy. Feinstein delves into the long history of the Ryder Cup and why it remains one of the most popular golfing spectacles.

The First Season: 1917-18 and the Birth of the NHL, by Bob Duff (Biblioasis), Oct. 24

The National Hockey League centenary season is full of celebrations, but its first season almost didn’t get completed. The author, a former hockey columnist at the Windsor Star who’s written several other hockey books, explores the early tribulations of the league and introduces readers to the stars who played the game in those days.

• Coming Up in Part 3: The Ice Bowl; Ken Dryden and the future of the NHL; basketball essays; black golfing pioneers; pedaling around the Great Lakes.

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