I can't comment on the books in that list, as I've only read two of them (Eight Men Out
and Ball Four
, both good books). I get rather tired of the tendency of some writers who wax nostalgic about baseball in the 1950s, as if that was baseball's "golden age." Well, it might have been if you were a New York baseball fan, not so much if you were anywhere else.
Harold Seymour's two volume history
of the rise of professional baseball from the 1860s to 1920 was a groundbreaking work that treated the sport as serious history -- one of the first examples of that genre. It is certainly dated, and more research has occurred in the intervening years which has revised or expanded upon some of Seymour's conclusions, but it is still a solid piece of scholarship.
Robert Whiting's You Gotta Have Wa
is another early work that has since been overtaken by events. So much has changed in Japanese baseball since the book's original publication in the late 1980s that Whiting's account is more of a historical artifact than anything else. Still, it's a very entertaining and informative look at the game as played in Japan.
On the other hand, the Bill James Historical Baseball Abstract
is, hands down, the best book ever written about baseball. Not including it in the list of the ten best baseball books is like leaving Babe Ruth out of the list of the ten best baseball players.