I last read Ball Four in high school, at which point in time and my life it seemed daring, and even dirty. Reading it again now it seems surprisingly tame, but even better than I remembered. Ball Four was a breakthrough, a tell-all book about the closed locker-room behavior of big league ball players; while hardly a counter-culture epic, it scandalized the baseball establishment and won Bouton their relentless and eternal hatred. It defined, as well as any other … more
When the book "Ball Four" first came out in 1970, it created a major sensation. For it was the first sports book that presented athletes in any light other than as the shining, pristine hero. There had been a tradition in baseball that books "written" by athletes were not to ever mention the dubious escapades of the players. "Ball Four" tore off that veneer, exposing some very questionable activity. What was amazing was that no one ever really disputed what Bouton was saying, only that he had no … more
What's your opinion on Ball Four, Plus Ball Five: An Update, 19...?