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Ball Four: Twentieth Anniversary Edition Paperback – Jul 1 1990


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 504 pages
  • Publisher: Wiley; 1 edition (July 1 1990)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0020306652
  • ISBN-13: 978-0020306658
  • Product Dimensions: 21 x 14 x 2.7 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 227 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (66 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #3,221 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents


Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
I signed my contract today to play for the Seattle Pilots at a salary of $22,000 and it was a letdown because I didn't have to bargain. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I just read the book, of course it is out-dated now. Did find it interesting to learn of by gone era in baseball. Being 48 I recall a few of the players he talked about. Kind of low-blow on Bouton's part to name names and tell inter secrets in some teammates life. Everybody has things in their private life which should be left there. Reading how Bouton handled a few of his contracts can't help but think he did this to increase demand for book. His financial gain of course but left black mark on some of his teammates.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Bouton is a bright guy who writes pretty well in both the serious and humorous vein.
It's hard to imagine given the present times, just how controversial this book was in its day.
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Format: Hardcover
I still have my original copy of this expose by Bouton. It is revealing and funny but it is also very much a betrayal of his former teammates and friends. That much is clear even in the forward to the book. (e.g. Let the truth prevail, feelings be damned. Gossip.)) Loyalty played no role at all in the writing of this journal, a fact made very clear to Bouton by many of his former peers since it was published. It was done at their expense, of course with no chances for them to respond or speak in their own defence. What about an expose of the angelic Bouton? He has paid a price in terms of ostracism in the 40 years since the book was a hot item and it's quite understandable. It's really the National Inquirer of baseball books and appeals to folks of that mindset, probably subscribers.

Many of the people who rated this book gave it a 5 because they were entertained by its revelations but I doubt that even one of them would appreciate such a thing being done to them, which could happen because nobody's perfect.

Larry Wood
Bowmanville
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Format: Paperback
My teacher for my History of Sports class recommended this book and I bought it. He told us that is was a very controversial book at the time because it spoke of things that were better left unspoken. That is the best recommendation you can get!
It is a very funny book, sometimes Bouton describes things that could be in a movie about baseball, a National Lampoon version that is. There is drinking gambling and looking at girls from all angles. But didn't we all expect them to this anyway?
He was ostracized by baseball but it is really harmless fun, the new sections in this edition also talk about what happened after the first edition came out. Get it
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Format: Paperback
Jim Bouton's Ball Four has rightly been called the best sports book of all times by publications that actually matter, but I figure I'll throw my two cents in, too. In a day before an ol' ballplayer could hire a ghost and slap together some fond memories or pathetic pleas for forgiveness (hiya, Pete Rose), Bouton, making a comeback as a knuckleballer with the expansion Seattle Pilots, toted a tape recorder with him for an entire year in order to write this day-by-day account of life in the bigs.
The humor is at once anecdotal and observational, and, most importantly, consistent. The Seattle Pilots were rather like the Cleveland Indians in the film Major League - a haphazard collection of rookies and cast-offs trying to make it. Of course, Major League had to have the whole underdog thing going on.
The issues that face baseball today - drugs, salaries, lack of interest by hometown fans, the Yankees being the source of all evil - are all present in Ball Four. The only part of the book that hasn't aged perfectly is the scale of the salaries - Bouton and his teammates hold out for an increase of a few thousand dollars, instead of the millions today's players make.
In summation, there is no baseball book you should read before this one, and there are precious few books you should read, period, before this one. Ball Four is in every right an American masterpiece.
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Format: Paperback
"BALL FOUR" by Jim Bouton (1970)
The truth about athlete as role models occurred with the bombshell publication of Jim Bouton's "Ball Four" in 1970. The result was a diary of the 1969 season, in which the former star pitcher talked about drinking, drugs, sex and RACE, all subjects the liberal "clubhouse lawyer" had an axe to grind on. "Ball Four" had more edge than a Doors concert, breaking new ground long before Watergate, the Internet and Monica Lewinsky. The old protocols had protected J.F.K.'s sex life, but Bouton, who probably idolized Daniel Ellsberg, felt the clubhouse adage "What you do here, what you say here, what you see here, let it stay here," did not apply.
Bouton pissed off Commissioner Bowie Kuhn with his expose of players' common habit of popping amphetamines. He pissed off a lot of wives by revealing a peculiar member of the female species known as "Baseball Annies," attractive young women who enjoy sleeping with ballplayers. He pissed off his old Yankee teammates by putting the myth to Mickey Mantle's legend, paying homage to The Mick's Olympian abilities, but talking about Mantle's equally prodigious drinking habit.
Bouton describes "beaver hunting," a popular player pastime in which they drilled holes in the dugout in order to look up the dresses of girls in the front row. Gives a whole new meaning to the term "box seat," doesn't it?
Bouton comes from the "white man is to blame for all the black man's problems" ideology, and he put the lie to baseball's claim of being color blind, with enlightening racial statistics that revealed that many of the game's stars were black, but few journeymen were.
Many of his conservative teammates felt he was a bit of a Communist.
Read more ›
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