The Baseball Mysteries: Challenging Puzzles for Logical Detectives is a book of baseball puzzles, logical baseball puzzles. To jump in, all you need is logic and a casual fan’s knowledge of the game. The puzzles are solved by reasoning from the rules of the game and a few facts.

The logic in the puzzles is like legal reasoning. A solution must argue from evidence (the facts) and law (the rules). Unlike legal arguments, however, a solution must reach an unassailable conclusion.

There are many puzzle books. But there’s nothing remotely like this book. The puzzles here, while rigorously deductive, are firmly attached to actual events, to struggles that are reported in the papers every day.

The puzzles offer a unique and scintillating connection between abstract logic and gritty reality.

Actually, this book offers the reader an unlimited number of puzzles. Once you’ve solved a few of the challenges here, every boxscore you see in the papers or online is a new puzzle! It can be anywhere from simple, to complex, to impossible.

  • For anyone who enjoys logical puzzles.
  • For anyone interested in legal reasoning.
  • For anyone who loves the game of baseball.


Jerry Butters has a BA in mathematics from Oberlin College, and an MS in mathematics and a PhD in economics from the University of Chicago. He taught mathematics for two years at Mindanao State University in the Philippines as a Peace Corps volunteer. He taught economics for five years at Princeton University. For most of his career, he worked on consumer protection cases and policy issues at the Federal Trade Commission. In his retirement, he has become a piano teacher and performer. He enjoys hobbies ranging from reading Chinese to practicing Taiji. This book is an outgrowth of another of his hobbies—his love of designing and solving puzzles of all sorts.

Jim Henle has a BA in mathematics from Dartmouth College and a PhD from M.I.T. He taught for two years at U. P. Baguio in the Philippines as a Peace Corps volunteer, two years at a middle school as alternative service, and 42 years at Smith College. His research is primarily in logic and set theory, with additional papers in geometry, graph theory, number theory, games, economics, and music. He edited columns for The Mathematical Intelligencer. He authored or co-authored five books. His most recent book, The Proof and the Pudding, compares mathematics and gastronomy. He has collaborated with Jerry on puzzle papers and chamber music concerts.

chapter Chapter 1|26 pages

The Game Begins

chapter Chapter 2|28 pages

Historical Mysteries

chapter Chapter 3|4 pages

Steady Games

chapter Chapter 4|14 pages

Secrets of the Past

chapter Chapter 5|12 pages

Puzzles as Art

chapter Chapter 6|12 pages

Baseball Archaeology

chapter Chapter 7|8 pages

More Puzzling Art

chapter Chapter 8|12 pages

Missing Information

chapter Chapter 9|8 pages

Little League Games

chapter Chapter 10|44 pages

The Final Problem

chapter |12 pages


chapter |78 pages