When I read these books in the 1980s I would probably have given them five stars. I thought they were hilarious and enjoyed the anecdotes about players still in the major leagues at that time. Because so much of the appeal was knowing the players, umpires, and managers mentioned, the books haven't held up very well. Luciano comes across as someone in need of attention, a little pathetic, and I was sad to read before writing this review that he committed suicide at the age of 57.
However, there are some good passages, and I will end with one of the memorable quotes from The Umpire Strikes Back:
"When I started, [the game] was played by nine tough competitors, on grass, in graceful ballparks. But while I was busy trying to answer the daily 'Quiz-O-Gram' on the exploding scoreboard... a revolution was taking place around me. By the time I hung up my whisk brush there were ten men on each side, the game was being played indoors on plastic, and I had to spend half my time watching out for a man dressed in a chicken suit who kept trying to kiss me."
RIP Ron Luciano
eBook The Umpire Strikes Back