The Natural, by Bernard Malamud
In the long, long ago, an old college friend handed me a copy of this book, telling me I should read it because it is the best baseball book ever written.
Malamud is considered one of the greatest Jewish authors
of the 20th Century. Later in his writing career, he won a
Pulitzer Prize for The Fixer, his novel about anti-semitism in
the Russian Empire. The Natural is the first novel he published.