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Ball Fourby Jim Bouton
Baseball Season is upon us. I-CHI-RO! I-CHI-RO! Youngsters, you really need to read Ball Four by Jim Bouton. A season in the bigs with the expansion Seattle Pilots (Milwaukee Brewers for those that don't know.) Joe Schultz, Sal "The Barber" Maglie and the rest of the Pilots wacky gang eat "greenies," swill beer, and go "Beaver shootin'." Bowie Kuhn tried to have the book suppressed and many of the cast of characters no longer speak to Bouton, but hey, the truth never hurt anybody. One of the heroes of Ball Four is Johnny Sain of "Spahn, Sain and pray for rain" fame. Sain is also prominently featured in The Head Game by Roger Kahn. Kahn's book chronicles the perennial battle between hitter and pitcher from a pitcher's perspective and is a fascinating view of the subtle strategies, such as the brush back and spitball employed by pitchers throughout the ages. Any baseball book by Kahn is a joy.
Synopses & Reviews
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 Old-timers' 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.
"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
"A great book, wildly entertaining, worth reading every two or three years." Rob Neyer
"The new epilogue alone is worth the price of the book." Frank Deford
The incredible story of one of baseball's rarest and most resilient performers, and of the confounding pitch that would change his life and define his career.
At forty-four years old, Tim Wakefield is the longest-serving member of one of baseballand#8217;s most popular franchises. He is close to eclipsing the winning records of two of the greatest pitchers to have played the game, yet few realize the full measure of his success. That his career can be characterized by such words as dependability and consistency defies all odds because he has achieved this with baseballand#8217;s most mercurial weaponand#8212;the knuckleball.
Knuckler is the story of how a struggling position player bet his future on a fickle pitch that would define his career. The pitch may drive hitters crazy, but how does the pitcher stay sane? The moment Wakefield adopted the knuckleball, his career sought to answer that question. With the Red Sox, Wakefield began to master his pitch only to find himself on the mound in 2003 for one of the worst post-season losses in history, followed the next year by one of the most vindicating of championships. Even now, as Wakefield battles, we see the twists and turns of a major league career pushed to its ultimate extreme.
A remarkable story of one playerand#8217;s success despite being the exception to every rule, Knuckler is also a lively meditation on the dancing pitch, its history, its mystique, and all the ironies it brings to bear.
An exWall Street trader improved on Moneyballs famed sabermetrics and beat the Vegas odds with his own betting methods. Here is the story of how Joe Peta turned fantasy baseball into a dream come true.
Joe Peta turned his back on his Wall Street trading career to pursue an ingenious—and incredibly risky—dream. He would apply his risk-analysis skills to Major League Baseball, and treat the sport like the S&P 500.
In Trading Bases, Peta takes us on his journey from the ballpark in San Francisco to the trading floors and baseball bars of New York and the sportsbooks of Las Vegas, telling the story of how he created a baseball hedge fund” with an astounding 41 percent return in his first year. And he explains the unique methods he developed.
Along the way, Peta provides insight into the Wall Street crisis he managed to escape: the fragility of the midnineties investment model; the disgraced former CEO of Lehman Brothers, who recruited Peta; and the high-adrenaline atmosphere where million-dollar sports-betting pools were common.
About the Author
Jim Bouton, former major league pitcher, is now a writer, businessman, motivational speaker, and ace pitcher for a semipro baseball team near his home in Teaneck, New Jersey.
Table of Contents
Preface — 1980, 1990.
Part 1 They Made Me What I am Today.
Part 2 "My Arm Isn't Sore, It's Just A Little Stiff."
part 3 And Then I Died.
Part 4 I Always Wanted to See Hawaii.
Part 5 The Yanks Are Coming, The Yanks Are Coming.
Part 6 Shut Up.
Part 7 Honey, Meet Me In Houston.
Appendix Tell Your Statistics To Shut Up.
BALL FIVE — Ten Years Later.
BALL SIX — Twenty Years Later.
The Boys of Ball Four.
About the Editor.
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