Ball Four: Twentieth Anniversary Edition Paperback – Jul 1 1990
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As a player, former hurler Jim Bouton did nothing half-way; he threw so hard he'd lose his cap on almost every pitch. In the early '70s, he tossed off one of the funniest, most revealing, insider's takes on baseball life in Ball Four, his diary of the season he tried to pitch his way back from oblivion on the strength of a knuckler. The real curve, though, is Bouton's honesty. He carves humans out of heroes, and shines a light into the game's corners. A quarter century later, Bouton's unique baseball voice can still bring the heat.
""Ball Four is a people book, not just a baseball book."" --Christopher Lehmann-Haupt, The New York Times
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Top Customer Reviews
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.
Like many of you, I hate the Ramirez and AROD deals, but this book talks about what the players had to deal with back then. It shows when salaries were in the other extreme; maybe giving hope that someday we will meet in the middle.
Besides this, this book is a MUST read for all baseball fans. It tells great stories of players some of us where too young to see play, but always hear about. Tells of a time when sports starts greatest sins were adultery and the occasional ball scuff. Not to say adultery is nothing, but it sure beats the coke rush of the 80's.
Simply put, this book will make you laugh so hard at times, at other times it will make you teary eyed with the yearning to have lived in that era if you are too young. Bye this book flat out, I promise you will read it more than once, and will pass it down to your children.
The next Thursday (september 10) the last analysis of this book is going to be launched and We are very interested in the Jim Bouton's e-mail to express our admiration for this book and, at the same time, to express our condolences for Laurie's . We are going to read for our radio listeners the Baseball America article about Jim Bouton's comeback to Yankees all-timers day and the circumstances around his returning.
Most recent customer reviews
Jim's story re knuckle ball pitching was particularly interesting because of the Blue Jays' pitcher Dickey.Published 8 months ago by Bud Groves
Entertaining read about baseball about the time it became a major business.Published 8 months ago by Jim Richl
Great read for baseball diehards like me. It carries on a little long however, an interesting guy. Historically, this is a really important book.Published 8 months ago by Ryan fletcher
Have not read it yet. I dont think it is the original Ball Four. But i am sure i will enjoy it.Published 13 months ago by George E Georgian
May have been good for its time, but it's not very scandalous for today. Still an Interesting insight to the clubhouses of the sixties and then attitude of management towards the... Read morePublished 13 months ago by Suzanne Zupan
I read it every year at the All-Star break. Sunshine, summer heat, smell of the grass...it's such a beautiful day for a ball game, let's play 2. Great read.Published 15 months ago by michael benzie
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. Read morePublished on July 4 2013 by George
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... Read more