Ball Four (RosettaBooks Sports Classics) and over one million other books are available for Amazon Kindle. Learn more

Sorry, this item is not available in
Image not available for
Image not available

To view this video download Flash Player


Sign in to turn on 1-Click ordering
Sell Us Your Item
For a $1.96 Gift Card
Trade in
More Buying Choices
Have one to sell? Sell yours here
Start reading Ball Four (RosettaBooks Sports Classics) on your Kindle in under a minute.

Don't have a Kindle? Get your Kindle here, or download a FREE Kindle Reading App.

Ball Four: The Final Pitch [Hardcover]

Jim Bouton
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (263 customer reviews)

List Price: $24.95
Price: $19.53 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details
You Save: $5.42 (22%)
o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o
Temporarily out of stock.
Order now and we'll deliver when available. We'll e-mail you with an estimated delivery date as soon as we have more information. Your account will only be charged when we ship the item.
Ships from and sold by Gift-wrap available.
Free Two-Day Shipping for College Students with Amazon Student

Book Description

April 1, 2001 097091170X 978-0970911704 Revised
Ball Four is a baseball classic, a number one bestseller when it was published; it still is in demand throughout the U.S. Now in a new updated hardcover edition, Ball Four will reach a whole new generation of avid baseball fans. In fact, Ball Four has been selected by the NY Public Library as one of the "Books of the Century." And David Halberstam writes: "a book deep in the American Vein, so deep in fact that is by no means a sports book." Bouton has written a baseball book about the reality of the game. Thirty years after its publication, it remains as wonderful to read as ever.

Frequently Bought Together

Ball Four: The Final Pitch + The Boys of Summer (Harperperennial Modern Classics)
Price for both: $32.51

One of these items ships sooner than the other.

Buy the selected items together

Editorial Reviews Review

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. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


""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
--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 540 pages
  • Publisher: Bulldog Publishing; Revised edition (April 1, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 097091170X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0970911704
  • Product Dimensions: 9.4 x 6.5 x 1.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.9 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (263 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #327,356 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Authors

Discover books, learn about writers, read author blogs, and more.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
105 of 107 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Groundbreaking, Entertaining, and Funny Book May 9, 2002
"Ball Four" is a diary that covers the year of a baseball player, in this case Jim Bouton, who spent the 1969 season with the expansion Seattle Pilots and then the Houston Astros. Entertaining on many levels, "Ball Four" also serves as a mirror of the times -- in the late 1960s, many established concepts and ideas, in politics, music, mass media, and sports, were being shattered. Baseball, always about five years behind the curve, was always thought of as a game that was played by wholesome, All-American men. They were our heroes. Ball Four, however, sheds new light and revealed, for the first time, that baseball players, even some of the game's superstars, are human.
Bouton tells all, in, by today's standards, a tame fashion. We read about everything -- ballplayers cheating on their wives, playing with hangovers, racial problems between teammates, players taking uppers before a game, etc. Bouton is a very insightful writer and presents the material in a humorous manner, the humor, or barbs, is directed at his teammates, managers, coaches, and, in many instances, at himself.
Baseball was outraged when the book first came out in 1970. Many players and baseball executives considered Bouton a turncoat. But the years have shown that Ball Four was a groundbreaking book, one that set the standard for tell-all books to come. These other books, however, have never reached the level of excellence of Bouton's "Ball Four."
Was this review helpful to you?
48 of 51 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Greatest Baseball Book Ever Written August 17, 1999
As far as I'm concerned, Ball Four is easily the best baseball book out there. I've read about 45 baseball books and nothing compares to Bouton's masterpiece. I've read this book four times and it still hasn't gotten old yet. I'm sure I'll read it at least ten more times and I doubt that I will ever get tired of it.
What makes Ball Four better than any other baseball book is that it allows its readers to see the game from a player's perspective. Never has a book given such an up-close, in-the-locker-room look at baseball. Of course, Bouton himself is brilliant. I love his sarcasm and his biting wit. Ball Four might have been a pretty good book even if it had been written by a poor writer; Bouton, though, is an excellent storyteller and his attitude is what shapes the book. If you consider yourself a fan of the game, you will buy Ball Four immediately. It has given me great joy time and time again.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
55 of 61 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars the first to expose how players used the groupies April 5, 2008
Jim Bouton is a very bright man who probably could have been a scientist if he didn't go into baseball. In the 1960s when he played nobody wrote colorful exposes of the behind the scenes and road trip life of major league ball players. Bouton was the first with this book. It ended many friendships with teammates and probably broke up his marriage. The book might seem tame by todays standard. Alcohol was the players drug in those days and no one was shooting up steroids back then. But the book was racy, groundbreaking and controversial in its time much like Canseco's books are today.

You will also see that it led to several other books by Jim Bouton and even one by his ex wife (another analogy to Canseco whose ex wife also wrote a book). Bouton was a great pitcher but alas for only the period from 1961-1964. 1963 was his best season but even though he pitched well in that world series the Yankees got steamrolled by the Dodger staff with Drysdale and Koufax leading the way. After retirementhe came back to pitch for the Seattle Pilots expansion team in their first year. He had developed a knuckle ball and that allowed him some limited success. Bulldog Jim wrote a book about that experience too. He had a trick when he pitched for the Yankees. He wouldd deliberately wear a very loose fitting cap that would usually fall off his head as he delivered the pitch. This was distracting for the hitters. But in his day Bouton had a good fastball and a deceptive changeup and he was part of a great pitching rotation in 1963 that included Ford, Downing and Terry.
Was this review helpful to you?
20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Six Stars !! October 28, 2000
Jim Bouton's "Ball Four" is, without a doubt, the best book ever written by a professional athlete and is arguably the greatest baseball book of all-time. Dozens of kiss-n-tell sports novels have dotted the bestseller lists since "Ball Four's" publication in 1970, but none are as funny or revealing as Bouton's expose. All however, owe their very existence to "Ball Four" which shook the moral foundation of our national pastime upon its release. Bouton forever stripped away the All-American image of the professional sports hero with his humorous -- and sometimes X-rated -- locker room tales. Many, including then Commisioner Bowie Kuhn, felt that Bouton had forever tarnished baseball's image with his less than flattering portrayals of some of the game's biggest stars.(Namely Bouton's former Yankee teammate Mickey Mantle). Jim Bouton, in 1970, was Public Enemy #1 in the eyes of the baseball establishment. Truth be told, Bouton merely humanized the professional athlete. Many players--especially Bouton himself --are portrayed as being uncertain of their abilities and fearful of losing their jobs in the highly competitive world of major league baseball.(Such insecurity is best exemplified when Bouton is traded in mid-season from Seattle to Houston and lives to tell us about it!) Overall, "Ball Four" is one heckuva book. Bouton's sense of humor is absolutely side-splitting and his sensitivity, at times, is downright moving. This is a fantastic, groundbreaking novel which no sports fan should be without. Six Stars!!
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
The best. Read it years ago and it is still just as good
Published 1 day ago by eric green
1.0 out of 5 stars Not Worth Reading
I assume this book sold because of its' so called expose of what goes on among major league baseball players. Read more
Published 7 days ago by White shoes
4.0 out of 5 stars B4
It was great to read the real story about the players that I watched growing up. I am embarrassed to say that I do not remember seeing Bouton play. I was and as m a Red Sox fan. Read more
Published 8 days ago by Bill W
1.0 out of 5 stars Bad boys of baseball.
Big ego trip for Jim Bouton. Repetitious and boring
Published 9 days ago by Prescott
3.0 out of 5 stars funny and I believe accurate
A different side of baseball history, funny and I believe accurate. Bouton's career in baseball was full of emotions, inane to tragic. A good read for the sports fan!!
Published 11 days ago by R Neil Carlson
5.0 out of 5 stars Ball Four, by Jim Bouton
Although I am not a "sports Nut", I enjoyed the book, as I do know about baseball. He is a rather obnoxious person at times, and I can see why he did make enemies of some... Read more
Published 14 days ago by lenore McManigal
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent
Terrific read and a must for all baseball fans. A no hold barred look inside the game from a journeyman player.
Published 17 days ago by JOSEPH E KELLER
5.0 out of 5 stars Time has nothing to do with it
Regardless of it's first printing date Bouton's writing is timeless. The updates over the years following his year with the Pilots are just as captivating as the daily entries that... Read more
Published 18 days ago by Bradford Lawson
5.0 out of 5 stars Loved it
I do not understand the hatred of Mr. Bouton because of the book. It was an engaging and entertaining 'backstage' view of MLB. Read more
Published 19 days ago by preachergeek
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Book
I bought this for a grandson that loves sports; and before giving it to him I decided to screen it. It is a very good book; plenty of sports history and information. Read more
Published 19 days ago by Karole
Search Customer Reviews
Search these reviews only

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?


There are no discussions about this product yet.
Be the first to discuss this product with the community.
Start a new discussion
First post:
Prompts for sign-in

Look for Similar Items by Category