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Find more Top 10 Sports Audiobooks
This year’s Top 10 Sports Audiobooks list ranges from baseball and football to boxing, horse racing, and kayaking. Throughout, the superb readers place listeners smack dab in the middle of the action. The titles were reviewed in Booklist during the past five years.
The Big Bam: The Life and Times of Babe Ruth. By Leigh Montville. Read by Scott Brick. 2006. 16hr. Books on Tape, CS, $90 (1-4159-3027-9); CD, $96 (1-4159-3028-7).
In a precise and measured reading, Brick escorts listeners through a fascinating biography of slugger Babe Ruth.
The Boys of Summer. By Roger Kahn. Read by Phil Gigante. 2009. 15hr. Brilliance, CD, $99.97 (9781423377696).
Nostalgia buffs and Dodger fans will rejoice in this audio version of Kahn’s classic, narrated with feeling by Gigante. See the full review in this section.
Cinderella Man. By Jeremy Schaap. Read by Grover Gardner. 2005. 9hr. Books on Tape, CS, $63 (1-4159-2173-3); CD, $81 (1-4159-2179-2).
If you liked the movie about washed-up boxer James J. Braddock’s triumphant comeback, you’re sure to enjoy the audio, robustly read by Gardner.
Funny Cide. By Sally Jenkins. Read by Dan Cashman. 2004. 9.5hr. Books on Tape, CS, $63 (1-4159-0248-8); CD, $81 (1-4159-0251-8).
This heartwarming account of Funny Cide, the horse that almost won racing’s triple crown in 2003, is brilliantly narrated by Cashman, who recounts events through the multiple perspectives of the Thoroughbred’s breeder, trainer, jockey, and owners.
Hell or High Water. By Peter Heller. Read by Patrick Lawlor. 2004. 10.5hr. Tantor, CD, $34.99 (1-4001-0141-7).
Lawlor’s rendering of a 2002 kayak expedition to conquer Tibet’s “unrunnable” Yarlung Tsangpo River conveys the team members’ trials, tribulations, setbacks, and conflicts as they pit themselves against nature.
Rammer Jammer Yellow Hammer. By Warren St. John. Read by Michael Kramer. 2004. 10.5hr. Books on Tape, CS, $72 (1-4159-0341-7); CD, $90 (1-4159-0389-1).
Journalist St. John joins die-hard University of Alabama football fans who travel to every game. Kramer easily takes on St. John’s persona as he recounts the craziness of the ’Bama backers.
Sound and Fury. By Dave Kindred. Read by Dick Hill. 2006. 14.5hr. Blackstone, CS, $72.95 (0-7861-4534-X); CD, $99 (0-7861-7145-6).
An intriguing look at the curious relationship between Howard Cosell and Muhammad Ali. Hill conveys the two charismatic personalities without resorting to imitation.
Standing Tall: A Memoir of Tragedy and Triumph. By C. Vivian Stringer. Read by Adenrele Ojo. 2008. 10hr. Books on Tape, CD, $80 (9781415949924).
Ojo brings sincerity and intensity to her reading of this autobiography of Rutgers University women’s basketball coach Stringer, who, despite victories on the court, has seen more than her share of misfortune.
Triumph: The Untold Story of Jesse Owens and Hitler’s Olympics. By Jeremy Schaap. Read by Michael Kramer. 2007. 8.5hr. Tantor, CD, $59.99 (9781400133673).
Another winner from Schaap, the author of Cinderella Man (above), this is a stirring account of track star Jesse Owens’ stellar performance at the 1936 Olympics. Kramer’s solid reading keeps listeners involved.
The Yankee Years. By Joe Torre. Read by Michael Kramer. 2009. 17hr. Books on Tape, CD, $110 (9781415958940).
Kramer’s crisp narration effectively conveys Torre’s bittersweet memories and experiences as manager of the New York Yankees.
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