Three engaging new books explore different sides of baseball.A Chance to Win: Boyhood, Baseball, and the Struggle for Redemption in the Inner City
By Jonathan Schuppe
(Henry Holt, $26)
When a drive-by shooting left drug dealer Rodney Mason a paraplegic, he vowed to turn his life around. He formed a Little League team in Newark, N.J.’s toughest neighborhood, giving his community something to root for. (Available May 7)
Inside the Baseball Hall of Fame
By the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum
(Simon & Schuster, $35)
More than 200 photographs bring Cooperstown’s treasures — from “Shoeless” Joe Jackson’s shoes from the 1919 World Series to FDR’s “Green Light Letter,” which insisted that baseball should continue throughout World War II’s darkest days — to life.
The Summer of Beer and Whiskey: How Brewers, Barkeeps, Rowdies, Immigrants and a Wild Pennant Fight Made Baseball America’s Game
By Edward Achorn
Today’s ballpark experience owes much to the American Association, which, for 10 seasons, rivaled the haughty National League and brought all social classes to the ballpark with Sunday games, 25-cent tickets, renegade players and — most importantly — beer.