Synopses & Reviews
Jim Bouton had a revolutionary plan to save one of the oldest ballparks in America. The only people who didn't like it were the Mayor, the Mayor's hand-picked Parks Commissioners, a majority of the City Council, the only daily newspaper in town, the city's largest bank, its most powerful law firm, and a guy from General Electric. Everyone else or approximately 94% of the citizens of Pittsfield, Massachusetts loved it.
The "good old boys" hated Bouton's plan because it would put a stake in the heart of a proposed $18.5 million baseball stadium a new stadium that the people of Pittsfield had voted against three different times!
What the people wanted was their beloved Wahconah Park, an historic landmark and host to organized baseball since 1892. Nationally acclaimed as a "great baseball cathedral," Wahconah Park was soon to be abandoned by the owner of the Pittsfield Mets who was moving 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 for a fully restored city owned ballpark at no cost to the taxpayers.
You would think this would be a no-brainer. But you would be wrong. And you may be shocked to find out why.
Why would a city $9 million in debt want to spend $18.5 million for a new stadium that dooms an historic landmark? Why build this stadium that the citizens don't want on a site that requires the taking of people's homes? Why are all the decisions being made behind closed doors? And why are the shots being called by a guy in Denver, Colorado? Those are the million dollar questions maybe tens of millions.
For readers, however, the most important question may be why Bouton had to publish this book himself. And you can read about that, too, in this revealing diary Bouton's first since Ball Four.
"Bouton paints a distinctly disturbing picture of corporate greed and taxpayer exploitation." Booklist
"Jim Bouton had to self-publish this triumphant and exhilarating book. Why? Certain politicians and corporation big shots do not want some facts to be known, so they have done their best to kill it. Jim Bouton himself has never been more full of life." Kurt Vonnegut
"Foul Ball proves baseball still has its grip on Bouton. And he's still picking the big and funny fights in its behalf." Susan Stamberg, NPR
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.