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Bouton, Jim Ball Four: The Final Pitch

ISBN 13: 9781630260347

Ball Four: The Final Pitch

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9781630260347: Ball Four: The Final Pitch
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The beloved baseball classic now available in paperback, with an updated epilogue by Jim Bouton When Ball Four was first published in 1970, it ignited a firestorm of controversy. Bouton was called a Judas, a Benedict Arnold, and a "social leper" for having violated the "sanctity of the clubhouse." Baseball commissioner Bowie Kuhn attempted to force Bouton to sign a statement saying that the book wasn't true. Ballplayers, most of whom hadn't read the book, denounced it. The San Diego Padres burned a copy in the clubhouse. It was even banned by a few libraries. Almost everyone else, however, loved Ball Four, and serious critics called it an important document. Fans liked discovering that the athletes they worshiped were real people. Historians understood the value of the book's depth and honesty. Besides changing the public image of athletes, the book played a role in the economic revolution in professional sports. In 1975, Ball Four was accepted as legal evidence against the owners at the arbitration hearing that led to free agency in baseball, and by extension, in other sports. Today Ball Four has taken on another role-as a time capsule of life in the sixties. "It is not just a diary of Bouton's 1969 season with the Seattle Pilots and Houston Astros," says sportswriter Jim Caple. "It's a vibrant, funny, telling history of an era that seems even further away than three decades. To call it simply a 'tell-all book' is like describing The Grapes of Wrath as a book about harvesting peaches in California."

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Review:

"A book deep in the American vein, so deep in fact it is by no means a sports book." --David Halberstam

"Ball Four is a people book, not just a baseball book." --Christopher Lehmann-Haupt, The New York Times

From the Back Cover:

A book deep in the American vein, so deep in fact it is by no means a sports book" —David Halberstam " Ball Four is a people book, not just a baseball book." —Christopher Lehmann–Haupt, The New York Times When Ball Four was first published in 1970, it hit the sports world like a lightning bolt. Commissioners, executives, players and sportswriters were thrown into a state of shock. Stunned. Scandalized. The controversy was front–page news. Sportswriters called Bouton a Judas, a Benedict Arnold and a "social leper." Commissioner Bowie Kuhn tried to force the author to sign a statement saying that the book wasn′t true. One team actually burned a copy of Ball Four in protest.And Bouton is still not invited to Oldtimers′ Day at Yankee Stadium. Fans, however, loved Ball Four and serious critics called it an important document. It was also very popular among people who didn′t ordinarily follow baseball, because Ball Four is not strictly a book about baseball, but one about people who happen to be baseball players. And it′s hilariously funny. For the twentieth–anniversary edition of this historic book, Bouton has written a new epilogue, detailing his career as an inventor, his battles with the Wrigley Company over bubble gum, his take on the Pete Rose controversy, and how baseball looks two decades after he changed its public image forever.

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Other Popular Editions of the Same Title

9780020306658: Ball Four

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