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  • What is the best history of baseball book?

    What is the best book to read for an informative history of the game? wondering about your opinion.

    Have read Bill James and Summer of '49 and Cobb. Others?

  • #2
    Koppett's Concise History of Major League Baseball:

    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...lance&n=283155

    Good overview with coverage of every season. Look for the revised softcover edition.

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    • #3
      Dr. Harold Seymour's three volumes of the History of Baseball are highly praised.
      "He's tougher than a railroad sandwich."
      "You'se Got The Eye Of An Eagle."

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      • #4
        those are good - the koppet is an easier read

        baseball: the biographical encyclopedia - it is long 1400 or so pages but well worth the knowledge

        total ballclubs

        the cultural encyclopedia of baseball

        read these and you're on your way

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        • #5
          bkmckenna, can you give me more info about the books you mentioned? I'm also interested in baseball history!

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          • #6
            baseball: the biographical encyclopedia is from the publishers of total baseball - it contains over 2,000 mini biographies - takes forever to read 1280 pages but well worth it - easy read though because most of the stories are short -- similar books include the ballplayers by shatzkin and the new biographical history of baseball by dewey and acocella and james riley's the biographical encyclopedia of the negro baseball leagues and the biographical dictionary of american sports: baseball edited by david porter and sabr publications nineteenth century stars and baseball's first stars

            total ballclubs is by dewey and acocella again and gives a brief history of every franchise in major league history - new book 650 pages but an easy read

            the cultural encyclopedia of baseballby jonathan fraser light is expensive and a bear to read - over 800 pages but crammed with data - i haven't read that one cover to cover but am always using it as a reference - there is a second edition i haven't seen yet

            david voigt also has a 3-volume history out

            the total baseball encyclopedias have great articles

            don't forget koppett's concise history of mlb

            mentioned earlier was bill james' historical abstract

            also might suggest the great encyclopedia of 19th century mlb by david nemec

            the baseball timeline by solomon is also a useful reference

            these are just general histories but hey you should learn the whole story before focusing on individual topics
            Last edited by Brian McKenna; 01-28-2006, 02:04 PM.

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            • #7
              Don't forget Oral History

              The style that I like the best is the recorded oral history ala Mr. Ritter’s best known work, The Glory of Their Times. It gives background, depth and perspective to specific baseball moments and personalities. IMHO it goes very well with the aforementioned books.
              Johnny
              Delusion, Life's Coping Mechanism

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              • #8
                ken burns

                Is the companion book to Burns PBS series any good? Have seen it on amazon but haven't heard too much about it. Also, are there particularly good books about 19th century baseball out there? wondering...

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by bkmckenna
                  baseball: the biographical encyclopedia is from the publishers of total baseball - it contains over 2,000 mini biographies - takes forever to read 1280 pages but well worth it - easy read though because most of the stories are short -- similar books include the ballplayers by shatzkin and the new biographical history of baseball by dewey and acocella and james riley's the biographical encyclopedia of the negro baseball leagues and the biographical dictionary of american sports: baseball edited by david porter and sabr publications nineteenth century stars and baseball's first stars

                  total ballclubs is by dewey and acocella again and gives a brief history of every franchise in major league history - new book 650 pages but an easy read

                  the cultural encyclopedia of baseballby jonathan fraser light is expensive and a bear to read - over 800 pages but crammed with data - i haven't read that one cover to cover but am always using it as a reference - there is a second edition i haven't seen yet

                  david voigt also has a 3-volume history out

                  the total baseball encyclopedias have great articles

                  don't forget koppett's concise history of mlb

                  mentioned earlier was bill james' historical abstract

                  also might suggest the great encyclopedia of 19th century mlb by david nemec

                  the baseball timeline by solomon is also a useful reference

                  these are just general histories but hey you should learn the whole story before focusing on individual topics
                  Thanks man! I will search them and try to buy something!

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Sberl
                    Thanks man! I will search them and try to buy something!
                    make sure you check half.com - usually some of the best prices

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by johnny
                      The style that I like the best is the recorded oral history ala Mr. Ritter’s best known work, The Glory of Their Times. It gives background, depth and perspective to specific baseball moments and personalities. IMHO it goes very well with the aforementioned books.
                      one of the best books of all-time

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by christian gentleman
                        Is the companion book to Burns PBS series any good? Have seen it on amazon but haven't heard too much about it. Also, are there particularly good books about 19th century baseball out there? wondering...
                        i have the burns book and have looked at it for pictures - never bothered to read it - don't think i want to

                        already mentioned:
                        james, seymour, voigt, nemec and sabr publications -- many of the other biographical books have tons of 19th century stuff

                        also:
                        blackguards and red stockings by ryczek - national association 1871-75 info
                        baseball in blue and gray by kirsch - civil war info
                        the national association of bb players, 1857-70 by wright
                        when johnny came sliding hom, 1865-70 by ryczek
                        glory fades away by lansche - early postseason info
                        the beer and whisky league by nemec - american assoc. info



                        forgot to mention earlier deadball stars of the national league , a sabr publication, the al version is due out soon
                        Last edited by Brian McKenna; 01-28-2006, 04:12 PM.

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                        • #13
                          Here's a good one.
                          Attached Files

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                          • #14
                            jim bouton's ball four is the only sports book on the library of congress' best 100 books of the 20th century

                            think it is the library of congress - could be another such organization

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                            • #15
                              You know I have been reading the Bouton book in my bathroom and I don't understand what the fuss is about. At the time, it might have been amazing but it's no great shakes now.
                              The guy sure has been able to squeeze the most out of a mediocre book.

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