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Get in the swing of baseball season with one of these well-told life stories.

‘Jackie Robinson: A Biography’

Author Arnold Rampersad, who so memorably reconstructed the lives of Langston Hughes and Ralph Ellison, works his magic on the legendary player who broke baseball’s color barrier.

‘Sandy Koufax: A Lefty’s Legacy’

Jane Leavy’s telling of the life of the great southpaw is so rich, you might mistake it for a novel. Also check out Leavy’s “The Last Boy: Mickey Mantle and the End of America’s Childhood.”

‘I Had a Hammer: The Hank Aaron Story’

One of the game’s greatest all-time hitters delivers a candid self-portrait that doubles as a sweeping chronicle of baseball’s — and America’s — racist history.

‘Luckiest Man: The Life and Death of Lou Gehrig’

Jonathan Eig unearthed some previously little known details about the “Iron Horse,” making this account of his life the most definitive of many.

‘Willie Mays: The Life, the Legend’

The player best known for a play so simple, and yet so dramatic, it’s known merely as “the catch,” was an extremely complex character. James S. Hirsch captures many facets of his personality in this book.

Seattle Times staff