Most baseball books are about the game, or about specific players, or history. Rob Rains in Intentional Walk: An Inside Look at the Faith that Drives the St. Louis Cardinals does something different; he gives you a glimpse of the Cardinal players and their spirituality.
Seeing "faith" and "spirituality" might scare people off from a baseball book, but this is a good look at the better side of sports. And while that might not seem as entertaining as hearing stories about drinking, girls, and mischeif, the book shows you the grounded side of the game.
Yes, players tend to have fun with the other stuff, but it's the stuff in the books that they build their lives on.
Some of the book is directly baseball related: How their relationship with God helps them in game situations, or bounce back from injuries and poor performances. It goes beyond that though. It's shows things like how bible studies have built a bond between players on the team.
While I have a strong belief in God and liked that aspect of the book, it didn't feel preachy. The players are interviewed on their views, and many players pointed out that the non-Christians are not excluded from anything because of their beliefs. The way the players talked made them more relatable as people, rather than celebrities or icons. And it was refreshing seeing that side.
The book was a quick read, and it changed the way I thought about some of the players.
Intentional Walk: An Inside Look at the Faith that Drives the St. Louis Cardinals
By Rob Rains
Available on Amazon.com.