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Ball Four

7 Ratings: 2.4
A book
1 review about Ball Four

The First and Best of Its Type!

  • May 13, 2009
  • by
I remember reading this book when it first came out and the stir it caused. It was the first time an athlete pulled no punches and described what goes on in the locker room and off the field. Bouton took a lot of heat and was blacklisted by many within MLB for his comments.

The book is actually a diary of Bouton's comback season with the Seattle Pilots (they are now the Milwaukee Brewers). They were an expansion team with a few big name washed-up stars. Bouton, once a fireballer for the New York Yankees, hurt his arm and developed a knuckleball pitch to try to make it back to the bigs. Throughout the book he talks about his outings (mostly in mop-up and other non-critical moments) and you feel his frustration at not being noticed for sometimes excellent pitching.

Not having seen many Pilot games in 1969, I am not sure whether Bouton was fantasizing his greatness with the knuckleball or he actually was the second coming of Hoyt Wilhelm.

Bouton's teammates are quite lovable and memorable, reminding me a lot of the characters from the movie Major Leagues. There have been many books that came out since but this was the first of its type, and in my opinion the best!

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