The Essential Baseball Library
April 8, 1997
Biographical Encyclopedia of the Negro Leagues edited Jim Riley (1994). Biographical sketches and statistics of over 4,000 players from 1872-1950.
Buck Leonard: The Black Lou Gehrig by Buck Leonard with James A. Riley (1995). The Hall of Fame and Negro League slugger tells his story. Carroll & Graff.
A Complete History of the Negro Leagues, 1884 to 1955 by Mark Ribowsky. The most complete history of the Negro League to date and fully illustrated.
Crossing The Line: Black Major Leaguers, 1947-1959 by Larry Moffi and Jonathon Kronstadt (1996). Biographical sketches of the pioneers after Jackie Robinson who were still relagated to racial taunts and cruelties but persevered. University of Iowa Press.
Fleet Walker’s Divided Heart by David W. Zang (1995). The life of Moses Fleetwood Walker, star baseball player at Oberlin College. Along with brother Welday, both of the 1884 Toledo Blue Stockings, were the first and last black players in the major leagues until Jackie Robinson in 1947. University of Nebraska Press.
I Was Right On Time by Buck O’Neill with Steve Wulf (1995). Biography of Negro League great. Simon & Schuster.
Invisible Men by Don Rogosin (1983). The author concentrates more on the sociological and economic aspects in one of the best books ever written on the Negro Leagues.
The Negro Baseball Leagues: A Photographic History edited by Phil Dixon & Pat Hannigan (1994). Rare photos galore with accompanying text. 1992 Casey award winner.
The Negro Leagues Book edited by Dick Clark & Larry Lester (1994). One of the most comprehensive reference books on the subject with over 3400 player's yearly statistics accounted for. Also included are rosters, standings, team histories, photos and minor league records.
Only the Ball Was White by Robert Peterson (1970). The first real history of black baseball. Great players like Smokey Joe Williams, Buck Leonard and Oscar Charleston were finally recognized publicly with the leagues, the conditions and the relevant statistics.
Voices From the Great Negro Leagues by John Holway (1975). Excellent oral history with 18 players and one former owner interviewed.