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Dock Ellis in the Country of Baseball Paperback – April 15, 1989


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Dock Ellis in the Country of Baseball + Fathers Playing Catch with Sons: Essays on Sport (Mostly Baseball) (Fathers Playing Catch with Sons PR)
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Touchstone; 1st edition (April 15, 1989)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 067165988X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0671659882
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.5 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #194,015 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Outspoken and fiercely independent, black athlete Ellis refused to ingratiate himself with baseball's powers-that-be, a decision that hindered his career. While with the Pittsburgh Pirates, he achieved a certain notoriety for appearing on the field with his hair in curlers or wearing a gold earring. PW called this biography "nothing special."
Copyright 1989 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

24 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Johnny Roulette on May 15, 2004
Format: Paperback
Dock Ellis was a frustratingly inconsistant pitcher with excellent stuff. He pitched for the Pirates from the late 60's to the mid-70's, moving to the Yankees for one last terrific season before a seeming lack of dedication/interest left him wasting away in Texas. He had a less than glorious return to Pittsburgh in 1979 before calling it a career. This is not your usual sports bio. Donald Hall brings his poetic style to the narrative and Dock brings his own strange blend of stubborness,talent & inconsistancy to the table. While the book does hit some sluggish spells, you should be able to overlook its flaws to learn more about a man who pitched a no-hitter following a night of LSD (talk about performance enhancing), was maced by security before a start, made a surreal trip to Vietnam with should-be-Hall of Famer Bobby Bonds & began one game with the sole purpose of trying to drill every Reds batter he faced. There are also clubhouse & field tales involving such greats as Gaylord Perry, Willie McCovey, Willie Stargell, Roberto Clemente, Thurman Munson, Reggie Jackson & Jim "Cy or Cry" Palmer. Dock angered many people during his career, but he was often delivering the truth in an absurdly blunt package. This is not a great book by any stretch of the imagination. It is, however, a very entertaining and revealing look at one of the most colorful players of his generation. Ellis does not pull any punches on personal issues, but, unlike Jim Bouton, he and Donald Hall have gone to great lengths to make certain that their inside stories don't bring harm, in a personal manner, to those who played alongside or against Dock. It is not a reckless tell-all tome, but it does tell quite a bit about the talented enigma that is Dock Ellis, who wore out many a pair of spikes loping from the penthouse to the doghouse and back again...and again...and again- ad nauseum. --R.H.Conner
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Kyle Minor on July 30, 2006
Format: Paperback
Now that Donald Hall has been named poet laureate of the United States, maybe Dock Ellis in the Country of Baseball will get a little of the attention it's long deserved. This is one of those fun books (like David Foster Wallace's A Supposedly Fun Thing I'll Never Do Again, or Nicholson Baker's U and I, or Steve Almond's Candyfreak) that Hall wrote because he had come to a place in his career where he could. It doesn't aspire to art, but by taking seriously baseball's class clown Dock Ellis, it achieves it. Ellis took himself very seriously, and his on-the-field antics and the contemporary newspaper accounts that made light of them did not begin to account for the articulate, interesting, complicated character Hall found while following him around baseball diamond after baseball diamond.

Now, these many years removed from the book's immediate post-Civil Rights era setting, the book goes a long way toward helping younguns like me understand what it was like to live and breathe and be in those fragile years.

It's amazing that this little gem is still in print, and who knows how long it will be so? I'm grateful to the publishers, and I hope more readers will become acquainted with the pleasures of Dock Ellis in the Country of Baseball.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Jason Crane on June 13, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Donald Hall, one of the country's great poets, writes with passion about Dock Ellis, one of baseball's most colorful figures. If all you know about Dock Ellis is that he once pitched a no-hitter on LSD, then you need to read this book and learn the other 90% of his story. And if you, like me, have never heard of Dock Ellis at all, Hall's engrossing account will acquaint you with a man who deserves wider recognition, as much for his constant support of the black community and his commitment to fighting drug addiction as for his on-field stats. Highly recommended.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Shifty Lazar on April 4, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition
I grew up in Pittsburgh when the Pirates were not only good but socially relevant. They were full of star players like Roberto Clemente, Willie Stargell and Bill Mazeroski. They always seemed to good young players coming up from the minor leagues. Lastly they also had a lot of characters such as the good doctor, Dock Philip Ellis. Now this book has been out a very long time, but it only recently came to my attention. It brought back a lot of memories from my childhood, but it also gave me a much more nuanced look at Dock Ellis as a man as well as a player. I am very happy to have belatedly discovered this fine book. RIP Dock Ellis.
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0 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Barbara Cucksey on January 31, 2012
Format: Paperback
it had been on his wish list for a while & he's been wanting to read it. He hasn't been able to start reading it yet, but he's looking forward to do so.
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