“Ball Four,” by Jim Bouton

Non-fiction, 1970

‘Tell-all’ memoir from a baseball pitcher, chronicling ups and downs of his two teams in Seattle and Houston, with various tittle-tattle and damning thumb sketches of team mates, opponents and coaches. All of which seems pretty tame to the twenty-first century reader. Pills and suggestions of infidelity rear up, but it all feels fairly low-grade stuff. An entertaining account, nonetheless, though it may not work for those with no interest in Baseball, as its pretty hefty and there are a number of analyses of the game in general and pitching in particular. As sports stories go, there’s a nice load of variety, however, and a lack of shining sycophancy which can often ruin the genre.

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