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Ball Four: Twentieth Anniversary Edition Paperback – July 12, 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
Top customer reviews
I read this in the early 1970's and so this is a re-read for me, nearly 40 years later. The book holds up pretty well even though, of course, it's somewhat dated. The players are different and so is the game of baseball. Athletes were paid relatively miniscule amounts compared to their later counterparts and they negotiated their own contracts and so money issues take a front seat.
To me, this book is a time capsule of players and the game I remember from my youth.
The odd thing is that, these days, this book seems pretty tame but back then, it was earthshaking. Absolutely loved what is widely seen as an icon in baseball literature.