I've read a few dozen sports books over the past year. Here are some of my favorites, in case you need a last-minute gift for the sports lover in the family. Click on the title to jump to a full review; this includes books I read this year:
The Good Son - Mark Kriegel - This biography of Ray Mancini is a fine update on a famous boxer who lost his title here in Buffalo (but still loves it here).
The Best American Sports Writing 2012 - Edited by Michael Wilbon - I always enjoy books in this series, and this was no exception.
Imperfect - Jim Abbott - The nicest surprise of the year, this is a great look at a remarkable person as well as a look back at his best day as a pitcher.
Bill Veeck - Paul Dickson - A worthy companion to the late Veeck's own "Veeck as in Wreck," which might be my favorite sports book ever.
Over Time - Frank Deford - One of the best writers of sports ever looks back on his great if still in progress career.
Wherever I Wind Up - R.A. Dickey with Wayne Coffey - This is an absolutely stunning piece of work about an amazing life story. Look for it on "best of 2012" lists in any subject.
--- Budd Bailey