- Mass Market Paperback: 370 pages
- Publisher: Dell; Third Dell Printing edition (1971)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0440004152
- ISBN-13: 978-0440004158
- Product Dimensions: 6.9 x 4.2 x 0.8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars See all reviews (419 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #652,409 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Ball Four Mass Market Paperback – 1971
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Top Customer Reviews
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."
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.
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.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Jim Bouton was truly a man ahead of his time, or was baseball just behind the times? I think both. It wasn't really about the game as played but about the men that played it when... Read morePublished 3 days ago by Steve Shoudy
The title says it all.....Easily one of the finest books of the 20th century. Over the course of my life, I have re-read this book at least 20 times over. It never gets old!Published 9 days ago by Mario Lawrence
Its no wonder this book was disdained at the time by the establishment - it tells what it is like to be a ball player in the 60s: the feelings of being used and disregarded by the... Read morePublished 10 days ago by John Wright
Ok, drags a little. Pretty good book for the time period. Historians will appreciate.Published 11 days ago by Renee DeLouche
very well written book - when his daughter died I cried for about an hour. this book is way more than an insight into professional baseball.Published 1 month ago by edward john
This book really changed my perception on baseball, in a good way I must add, simply because it showed that players are human beings. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Charles D.
While I can see and appreciate the impact Ball Four made upon its original printing, it is far removed from even a regular daily tabloid story today. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Joe Dileo
My Dad missed this when it originally came out. He loved it as I did as a teenager.Published 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
This book is from far before my time (born in 86) but was an unreal experience for me. I discovered of its existence while watching 'The Battered Bastards of Baseball' on Netflix... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Alex