I'll avoid the usual cliche about last-minute Christmas shopping here. Here are the books that I thought were the best that I read in 2013 in the area of sports. They are good any time of the year, and not just now.
Click on the title for a complete review of the book in question from my website:
The NHL - D'Arcy Jenish - The author came up with some great source materials and has written something of a business history of the NHL. It really makes the league's past come alive.
Their Life's Work - Gary Pomerantz - It's a lovely look at the Steelers' glory days, even if that's not the word you'd use to describe the team. I dare say ever fan in Pittsburgh has one already.
Collision Low Crossers - Nicholas Dawidoff - I think it's the best pro football book I've ever read. It certainly does the best job of explaining what the game is like from the inside.
The Last Boy (2010) - Jane Leavy - I'm late to the party on this. I bought it at a used book sale, and was thoroughly impressed. I'm no Yankee fan, but this biography was thorough and surprising. Get it.
Francona - Terry Francona and Dan Shaughnessy - Hard to believe how open everyone was about Francona's time in Boston. Mostly for Red Sox fans, but it's a great look inside a baseball operation.
--- Budd Bailey