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.
* A book deep in the American vein, so deep in fact it is by no means a sports book" --David Halberstam
"Ball Four is a people book, not just a baseball book." --Christopher Lehmann-Haupt, The New York Times