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Foul Ball: My Life and Hard Times Trying to Save an Old Ballpark
Synopses & Reviews
In his first diary since Ball Four, Jim Bouton recounts his amazing adventure trying to save an historic ballpark in Pittsfield, Massachusetts. Host to organized baseball since 1892, Wahconah Park was soon to be abandoned by the owner of the Pittsfield Mets who would move his team to a new stadium in another town---an all too familiar story.
Enter Bouton and his partners with the best deal ever offered to a community---a locally owned professional baseball team and a privately restored city owned ballpark at no cost to the taxpayers. It was a dream come true for the vast majority of the people of Pittsfield.
But Boutons plan was opposed by an elite group of power brokers who wanted to build a new $18.5 million baseball stadium---a stadium that the people had voted against three different times!
In what one reviewer called "that same humane, sarcastic voice," Bouton unmasks a mayor who brags that "the fix is in," a newspaper that lies to its readers, and a city government that operates out of a bar.
And thats just Part l.
Part ll is the even more amazing story of what happened after this book as self published---a story in itself---in hardcover. Invited back to Pittsfield by newly elected city officials, Bouton and his partners raise $1.2 million, help uncover a document that dates Pittsfields baseball origins to 1791, and stage a vintage baseball game that is broadcast live on national television.
Who could have guessed what would happen next? And that this time it would involve the Massachusetts Attorney General.
Foul Ball is the behind-the-scenes story of Bouton's efforts to save Wahconah Park, one of the oldest ball-parks in the United States, located in Pittsfield, Massachusetts, not far from his home in the Berkshires. With his trademark wit and distinctive voice, Bouton recounts his battle against the local power elite, who wanted to build a new stadium to replace Wahconah Park, a project the citizens had voted against three different times. In a detailed diary--his first since Ball Four--Bouton takes us along on his wild ride, into the teeth of corporate malfeasance, anti-democratic process, the tyranny of a one-newspaper town, and the real reason why the "good old boys" wanted to build a new stadium.
About the Author
JIM BOUTON was an All-Star pitcher and won twenty-one games for the New York Yankees in 1963. In 1964 he won eighteen games and beat the Cardinals twice in the World Series. His diary of the 1969 season with the Seattle Pilots and Houston Astros-Ball Four-was selected by the New York Public Library as one of the Books of the Century, a list that included Gone with the Wind, Catch-22, and In Cold Blood. Bouton, who builds stone walls and does motivational speaking, lives in Egremont, Massachusetts, with his wife Paula Kurman.
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