What makes Moneyball stand out?

Many baseball books that are in the popular conscience are books like The Natural, Ball Four, and The Art of Fielding, typically range from fictional novels to biographies to nonfiction. Despite the range of styles, these books mostly focus on the players or teams.

Moneyball, on the other hand, is very different from other popular baseball books. It focuses on the front office, economics, and sabermetrics of baseball rather than revolving around players. It was the first popular baseball book about the economic and sabermetric side, and since then many other books in that vein have been written.

But why haven’t they gotten as popular as Moneyball? Moneyball showed that these books have an audience and can even be marketable to adapt into a film (although the film is very different from the book). But other books like The Extra 2% haven’t had the pop culture impact or reach that Moneyball has had.

So what makes Moneyball stand among other sabermetric literature and what keeps it as the king of that hill?

  • First, the title helps. The book was well written and baseball stats are not difficult to grasp, unlike a college-level statistics course. In the movie, easy to grasp stats were discussed, formulas just went by quickly. A number of moments in the movie that should lead to a pause where they should be explained in depth, could be glossed over. An enjoyable movie that did not really need to go into the depth of thinking behind the statistics of baseball. – Joseph Cernik 4 years ago

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