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Ball Four: Twentieth Anniversary Edition (Englisch) Taschenbuch – 26. Juli 1990

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Taschenbuch, 26. Juli 1990
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As a player, former hurler Jim Bouton did nothing half-way; he threw so hard he'd lose his cap on almost every pitch. In the early '70s, he tossed off one of the funniest, most revealing, insider's takes on baseball life in Ball Four, his diary of the season he tried to pitch his way back from oblivion on the strength of a knuckler. The real curve, though, is Bouton's honesty. He carves humans out of heroes, and shines a light into the game's corners. A quarter century later, Bouton's unique baseball voice can still bring the heat.

Pressestimmen

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

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Format: Taschenbuch Verifizierter Kauf
Kaum zu glauben, aber als das Buch erstmals veroeffentlicht wurde, hat es die Baseball-Welt in ihren Grundfesten erschuettert. Und bis heute wird der gute Jim Boulton zu keinem Oldtimer-Game eingeladen. Ich denke damit kann er leben.
Ein sehr amuesantes Buch, das Einblicke in den Alltag der Major- und Minor Leaguer bringt.
Man sollte nicht zuviel erwarten, denn was kann schon viel passieren wenn (erwachsene ?) Maenner ueber Monate zusammenleben und arbeiten. Andere Berufsgruppen koennen sicher aehnliches berichten, nur ist das Leben eines Profi-Baseballspielers eben noch immer etwas besonderes. Auch nach 30 Jahren immer noch aktuell.
Fuer Baseballfans sicher eine gute Empfehlung.
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Format: Taschenbuch
Perhaps Jim Bouton himself says it best: "The books that have come after mine make BALL FOUR, as an expose, read like THE BOBBSEY TWINS GO TO THE SEASHORE."
This is because--dare I say it?--BALL FOUR is now pretty tame stuff. Oh, no doubt, it's entertaining...and Bouton IS a good writer (or Schecter a great editor). And let's never forget that WITHOUT it, we should never have had the pleasure of Dennis Rodman's name on a bestseller.
But the book is hardly shocking anymore, and I doubt the high school toughs of today have even heard of it, much less decided to read it (now, if MICHAEL JORDAN decided to write a tell-all....)
However, the diminished shock value makes BALL FOUR'S merits stand out more clearly than perhaps they could when it was new. Though I wasn't shocked by it, I often found myself laughing; Bouton has a way of sketching characters and dialogue quite entertainingly. Too, being a bit of an outsider myself, I could certainly relate to his one-rational-voice-crying-out-in-the-wilderness persona. And the 1990 edition of the book has value in that Bouton is able to look back and see the results of the changes in baseball he and others worked toward.
So, perhaps, the reader's enjoyment of BALL FOUR is in the approach. Don't expect to be shocked or enraged; that time is past. Rather, expect four or five days of solid chuckles and a good feeling when you finish.
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Von Ein Kunde am 27. Januar 1999
Format: Taschenbuch
"Ball Four" remains, over 20 years after I read it the first time, one of my all time favorites. I have read it in its entirety probably ten times and picked it up to read two to three page sections probably hundreds of times to get a quick laugh. And I never get bored with it. This book was written in an age where the mediocre players (like Bouton at that time) had to fight for every dollar and the owners were in control. There weren't the prima donnas of today, expecting to be worshipped like a deity despite a .225 batting average. And Bouton lays it all out; the clubhouse gags, the use of "greenies" (Pep Pills), "Baseball Annies" (Groupies) and the fights of salary negotiation when you're an end-of-the-road pitcher who once was great (Bouton). You'll be shocked at the annual salaries that are fought over in this book! His admission of Mickey Mantle's love of alcohol got him chastised and ostracized, but Mickey's health problems at the end of the life showed Bouton wasn't lying. A great book for sports fans everywhere. I only wish they would reissue this book with Bouton's follow-up "I'm Glad You Didn't Take It Personally" included, which describes Bouton's trials and tribulations after "Ball Four" was released.
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I could write forever about this book. I first read it when it came out in 1970 and I've gone through two or three copies by now. At one point I came across a copy Bouton had pre-autographed, and someone stole it a party. I wish I had it today. I have read this book so many times I have lost count, and it cracks me up every time. "Hiya blondie, how's the old tomato?" has got to be one of the best throwaway lines I've ever heard. Not to be missed though are the numerous human interest stories in the book, the ones that really made the book what it is. Bouton has a very keen power of observation and an unparalled knack for storytelling. I'm sure Leonard Schechter fit in the equation somewhere, but since Bouton has experienced the thrills of winning in the World Series to pitching for the now lost in time Seattle Pilots, no one is more uniquely qualified to comment like he does. Like another reviewer said, I've read this book so many times over the years I feel l! ike I know Bouton well, but I'd bet there's still more to him than we know. It would be great fun to kill a few beers with him, order take out from the bullpen phone and shoot some beaver. "Hey Gelnar, c'mere a minute. Up there near the Section 23 sign. Check the rack on that broad." "Yeah, surrrrrre."
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I just finished Ball Four for the 25th time. I read it every year because it reminds me of why I love sports. Not for the superhumans, but for the humans who play them. There is more insight into pro sports, as well as American society, in this book than any I've ever read. It is especially poignant this year which saw Mr. Bouton finally invited to Old Timers' Day at Yankee stadium in response to his son Mike's op-ed piece in the New York Times. Jim's daughter Laurie was recently killed in an automobile accident, and I was saddened that I didn't know about it early enough to send him my condolences. Mike wrote in the Times that this year, his dad really needed this. Amazingly, the Yankees responded.They only let him pitch to one batter, (perhaps Sal Maglie convinced then he was throwing too damn much), but he wore 56, and Bulldog once again took the mound. And to celebrate I re-read the book that was my personal passage to adulthood. Jim Bouton is a true outsider, a revolutionary, and this book is a work of art and history.
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