The Essential Baseball Library
April 8, 1997
The Broadcasters by Red Barber (1970).
Voices of the Game by Curt Smith (1987). Two excellent books on the history of broadcasting and broadcasters. Also of note is Barber's autobiography Rhubarb in the Catbird Seat (1968) with Robert Creamer and Barber's 1947: When All Hell Broke Loose (1982).
Hardball by Bowie Kuhn (1987). Examines Kuhn's rise to power as commissioner in the late 60s through the end of his term in the early 80s. Shows how unprepared and ill-advised baseball was in dealing with a bonafide labor representative. A Whole Different Ballgame should be read next for further info.
The Imperfect Diamond by Anthony Lupien & Lee Lowenfish (1980). A complete history of baseball's labor relations commencing with the early conflicts in the Player's League of 1890.
Lords of the Realm by John Helyar (1994). The definitive analysis of the roles of baseball owners, how they got their money and their battles with the players, the union and with each other through the years. 1994 Casey Award winner.
The Men in Blue by Larry Gerlach (1980). An oral history of the men in blue as candidly told by the arbiters themselves. Includes interviews with Jim Honochick, Ed Sudol, Emmett Ashford and Joe Paparella among others.
Prophet of the Sandlots by Mark Winegardner (1990). The story of super scout Tony Lucadello (Philadelphia Phillies, Chicago Cubs) who, at the time of his death, had signed more players that made it to the major leagues than any other scout. Some of those players include Mike Schmidt, Ferguson Jenkins, Mike Marshall, Toby Harrah and Jim Brosnan.
Strikeout: A Celebration of the Art of Pitching by William Curran (1995). An anecdotal history of pitching that traces itís evolution and profiles many of the top names.
A Whole Different Ballgame by Marvin Miller (1991). Examines the labor side of the conflict in major league baseball. Also looks at how the player's union's knowledge of labor laws and regulations helped them to continuously defeat management.