The Essential Baseball Library
Thursday, February 4, 1999
American Baseball I: From Gentleman's Sport to the Commissioner System (1966).
American Baseball II: From the Commissioners to Continental Expansion (1970).
American Baseball III: From Postwar Expansion to the Electronic Age (1983) by David Q. Voigt. One of baseball's premier historians, Voigt puts together the most comprehensive and eminently readable history of baseball ever published. Included are historical, sociological and journalistic discussions about the game in straightforward detail.
Baseball: The Early Years (1960).
Baseball: The Golden Age (1971).
Baseball: The Peoples Game (1990) by Harold Seymour. Another top historian, Seymour's trilogy begins with Valley Forge during the Revolution and traces, among other things, the political and sociological evolution of the game. 1990 Casey award winner.
Baseball When the Grass Was Real (1975).
Baseball Between the Lines (1976).
Baseball As I Have Known It by Fred Lieb (1977). The life and times of Fred Lieb, one of the few baseball writers enshrined in Cooperstown. Lieb covered the New York teams and also wrote for The Sporting News for several years. Among his reminiscences are of Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Ty Cobb, Honus Wagner, Judge Landis, Christy Mathewson, Grover Cleveland Alexander and Casey Stengel. Outstanding historical reading.
Baseball Memories 1900-1910: An Illustrated Chronicle of the Big League's First Decade (1992).
Baseball Memories 1930-1939: A Complete Pictorial History of the "Hall of Fame" Decade (1994).
Baseball Memories 1950-1959: An Illustrated Scrapbook of Baseball's Fabulous 50's (1993) by Marc Okkonen. Reviews each particular decade including teams, owners, ballparks, uniforms, executives, managers, umpires, the opening of the Hall Of Fame and the Negro League teams of the era. Features hundreds of photographs.
Baseball's Great Experiment by Jules Tygiel (1983). The story of Jackie Robinson and the general desegregation of organized baseball is recounted in compassionate detail.
The Beer and Whiskey League by David Nemec (1995). A definitive look at the American Association that challenged the rival National League from 1882-1891. Includes team genealogies, league leaders and over 200 photographs.
Blackguards and Red Stockings by William J. Ryczek (1992). The definitive history of the National Association, baseball's very first professional league from 1871-1875.
Dynasty by Peter Golenbock (1975). As good as Bums, this effort covers the New York Yankees from 1949-1964 when they were truly dominant.
The Glory of Their Times by Lawrence Ritter (1966). The first oral history effort and still one of the best baseball books ever written. Some of the greats interviewed include Hall of Famers Ed Roush, Stan Coveleski, Harry Hooper, Rube Marquard, Sam Crawford, Goose Goslin and Paul Waner.
The Image of Their Greatness: An Illustrated History of Baseball from 1900 to the Present by Lawrence Ritter & Donald Honig (1979). This work belongs prominently on every baseball fan's bookshelf. A fine combination of historical text and classic photos.
Judge Landis and 25 Years of Baseball by J.G. Taylor Spink (1947). The story of baseball's first commissioner reads as biography as well as history.
The Man Who Invented Baseball by Harold Peterson (1973). This book serves two purposes. It tells the complete story of one Alexander Joy Cartwright and his pioneering contributions to baseball and also dispels the myth, once and for all, that Abner Doubleday was the inventor of our national game, which, of course, he was not.
Pennant Races by Dave Anderson (1994). The author chronicles the 15 most exciting pennant races in modern times.
The Ultimate Baseball Book edited by Daniel Okrent & Harris Lewine (1979). Great photos accompanying even better text by such notables as Robert Creamer, David Nemec and Red Smith help make this book actually live up to it's name.
When Johnny Came Sliding Home: The Post-Civil War Baseball Boom (1865-1870) by William J. Ryczek (1998). A seasonal look and baseball's first boom era including the parks they played in, rules and strategy changes and much more.