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.show more