In honor of Father’s Day, espnW compiled a list of books that dad might appreciate. We have you covered from a memoir by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar to an incredible nonfiction book that focused on boxing giant Muhammad Ali’s life for a five-year span to former Cubs catcher David Ross’ journey to the World Series and other lengthy biographical stories.
Let us help you put a smile on your old man’s face.
Coach Wooden and Me: Our 50-Year Friendship On and Off the Court
By Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
The basketball icon writes an inspirational story about his 50-year friendship with UCLA’s legendary coach, John Wooden. Abdul-Jabbar even squashes one of the biggest misconceptions people had about Wooden, one of the winningest coaches in history: That he focused only on winning. “But he didn’t. In fact, he did the opposite,” Abdul-Jabbar writes in the book. Wooden, a devout Christian, was supportive in 1971 when a 24-year-old Abdul-Jabbar converted to Islam. In the memoir, Abdul-Jabbar describes Wooden as a man who admired simplicity, and lived by a seven-point list filled with aphorisms such as “be true to yourself,” “help others,” and “build a shelter against a rainy day.” ($29.00, published by Grand Central Publishing)
Sting like a Bee: Muhammad Ali vs. The United States of America, 1966-1971
By Leigh Montville
On June 3, 2016, a Friday afternoon, the New York Times “literally stopped the presses” for Muhammad Ali’s death. Seven days later, Ali’s body was inside a hearse Cadillac on a 23-mile procession through his hometown of Louisville, Kentucky. Former Sports Illustrated columnist Leigh Montville chronicles a pivotal five-year period in the life of the heavyweight champion, who was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in 1984. The pithy nonfiction book touches on the boxer’s decision to change his name, his strong refusal to join the military, legal battles and more. ($30.00, Doubleday)
Teammate: My Journey in Baseball and a World Series for the Ages
By David Ross with Don Yaeger
During the 2016 World Series, now retired Chicago Cubs catcher David Ross was like America’s favorite uncle. Former Cubs teammates Kris Bryant and Anthony Rizzo affectionately called him “Grandpa Rossy,” and the nickname became a Twitter hashtag. Besides the Cubs snapping a 108-year World Series drought, no one will forget Ross’ home run that helped seal the championship. In “Teammates,” Ross recounts moments from his career, his feelings after being cut from the Reds in 2008 and the scenes of game seven of the 2016 World Series. ($28.00, Hachette Books)
The Pride of the Yankees: Lou Gehrig, Gary Cooper and the Making of a Classic
By Richard Sandomir
The book examines the making of the 1942 film “Pride of the Yankees,” which follows the life of famous slugger Lou Gehrig. New York Times reporter Richard Sandomir writes about how the story and its characters developed from its first draft to its final script. Most importantly, Sandomir discusses how Gehrig and his wife, Eleanor, dealt with the devastating illness that killed Gehrig at age 37. Sandomir spotlights a significant moment in baseball history and solidifies Gehrig for a new generation of Yankees fans. ($27.00, Hachette Books)