Ball Four

Nathanael Yellis By Nathanael Yellis • Last Updated May 18, 2021

There's great baseball and then there's great baseball stories. I'd put Ball Four up there for both, because both the story and the way this book is written are reminiscent of what makes baseball great.

Even though the moral of the book is: stop letting baseball owners screw the players, the game itself shines through. And Bouton admits it: for all his travails and complaints, he was getting paid to live every kid's dream. And it was really cool.

Ball Four (RosettaBooks Sports Classics)Ball Four by Jim Bouton
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This was a fun read. Written just like a baseball game: a few sentences at a time, with long gaps in between, a rhythm that sets the reader up for some profound payoffs.

Not having lived through baseball's glory days without free agency or money, it was much like reading Ken Burns' documentary: a view into the game's history. And for the nostalgists that think of the game's history as its glory days, this book is a must-read. The glory days weren't all that glorious.

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