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Foul Ball: My Life and Hard Times Trying to Save an Old Ballpark, Plus Part Two Paperback – Bargain Price, September 1, 2005
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"An irresistible story whose outcome remains in doubt until the very end. Not just a funny book, but a patriotic one."--San Francisco Chronicle
"What it shares with Ball Four is Bouton's humor, his keen sense of what's right and wrong, and a remarkable tale that--if you didn't trust the author--you would find difficult to believe."
"Ball Four is a book I wanted to write. Foul Ball is a book I had to write."--Jim Bouton
"Now in his fifth decade of telling the truth no matter the consequences, Bouton proves that a badly run city government can be just as dangerous--and just as hilarious--as a badly run baseball team."
About the Author
Top Customer Reviews
But "Foul Ball" comes pretty close.
Instead of trying to save his career as a major league pitcher, this time Jim Bouton is trying to save a minor league ballpark. A lot of things have happened in Bouton's life since "Ball Four," and you get caught up on a lot of that. The main thrust is that his plan to save Wahconah Park and bring a new pro baseball team to Pittsfield, Massachusetts is met by terrific enthusiasm from everyone but the people who actually run Pittsfield: The government, the bankers, General Electric and the local newspaper.
Those folks want to spend millions of taxpayer dollars to build a new ballpark on a site where GE may have dumped lots and lots of toxic chemicals (and coincidentally is owned by the same newspaper lobbying for the new stadium). Anyone with a sense of fair play will be infuriated by what happens to Bouton, his partners and the good people in Pittsfield...and there ARE good people there. Just none in the right places, apparently. My wife and I had bought GE stock for our retirement, but after reading this I dumped all our shares. No way could I remain invested in GE with a clear conscience after reading what they have done to people in Pittsfield.
Still, through it all, you'll smile at Bouton's observations and sense of humor in what becomes a Quixotic journey that anyone who has stood in the way of the powers that be will more than understand.Read more ›
The story is essentially about Bouton and his business partner (and friend) Chip Elitzer's efforts to inject openess into how political decisions are made. Unfortunately, they are met with most of the typical roadblocks to political change: needless obsfucation and endless delays justified by government procedures and rules.
What makes the story so compelling is their infectous sense of humor, core optimism and sheer drive. Just when you think all is lost (which occurs early and often), there is suddenly new hope to keep their efforts alive.
Bouton's description of the colorful characters involved makes you think you know them. He shares with his readers some of his thinking about his family, politics and life in general. These observations add to the book's authenticity.
The book is also about how political power operates in Pittsfield, Massachusetts. Even though there are some large political and economic forces involved (General Electric and the commonwealth of Massachusetts), the critical actors involved are people you might recognize in many small to medium sized cities: local politicians, journalists and editors of small newspapers, small business owners, local lawyers and average citizens. This allows the reader to identify the complexity, invisibility and weight of how local political power can be exercised.
Conversely, The book also reveals a very simple bias of the author: He loves the game of baseball.
It is an inspiring book which I recommend to anyone who believes in the political transparency and how it ultimately can reform our political instituions.
It may not focus on baseball, but it's still Jim Bouton writing with passion an wit and honesty.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Good book but a little dated. I don't think that it would be as big of a revelation if it was released today.Published 6 months ago by Albert Barnes
Fight on Jim. Bouton delivers a great book. Well written, darkly humorous, and important. Another one of kind baseball book, as well as an exposé of small town corruption... Read morePublished 11 months ago by Amazon Customer
Jim Bouton does not pull any punches. He inspired many to want to be professional baseball players with Ballfour and will inspire many to stay away from small town politics with... Read morePublished 14 months ago by soconor
It's hard to distinguish between "reality" and the description of perceptions by Mr. Bouton. Read morePublished 16 months ago by Amazon Customer
A very boring book of fighting beaurocracy in business world. I expeted more baseball insights.Published 21 months ago by Charles A Hall
An enjoyable, well-documented book on Jim Bouton's travails, as he tries to sell his idea to save an old baseball park to a political, old boy town government. Read morePublished 22 months ago by martin e dell