Gerry Sandusky (Running Press)
This tenderhearted memoir transcends sports to hit on universal themes relating to family. Sandusky, a local sports anchor and Ravens announcer, grew up around pro football—his father John Sandusky spent 13 seasons as a Colts assistant coach. For Sandusky the younger, being vilified by people mistaking him for Jerry Sandusky, the Penn State coach convicted of child molestation in 2012, led to a deeper appreciation of family, and, ultimately, this book.
Plug Ugly Ball: A Mobtown Tale of Bullies & Baseball
John Thomas Everett (Baltimore Bookworks)
This debut novel is less about baseball and more about Baltimore’s rough-and-tumble streets during the mid-1800s. At that time, the Plug Uglies gang pretty much ruled the city, and Everett, who teaches at Loyola University, does an excellent job capturing the era’s turbulence and tumult. The story sometimes knots too tightly around political minutiae, but the violent struggles give it an epic feel. In Everett’s book, the city definitely lives up to its “Mobtown” nickname.