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  • c u n d gulag

    I also love “Ball Four!” It’s still a great read. I read it every 5 or so years, just to have a few laughs at simpler times. I’m glad Mantle found it in his heart to forgive Bouton (he was misled about what was written about him). The Mantle in the book is a very endearing character.
    I’ll give you a couple of other non-James greats:
    “The Glory of Their Times.”
    “The Boys of Summer.”
    “The Summer of ’49.”
    Creamer’s bio’s of Ruth and Stengel.
    Pete Palmer’s statistical books (I’m not the maven of stat’s that some readers here are, but I do love reading good ones, like his and James’s).

    Hell, there are SO many great books about baseball, it’s hard to name them all. What’s the old line, ‘the smaller the ball, the better the writing?’
    I’d love to have you do a post on your favorite baseball books and ask readers for theirs. I’m a baseball junky and I’ve read a ton of books, and I’d be curious to see what others consider their favorites. Maybe they’ll give me some titles I haven’t read yet, or have forgotten over the years.
    I think it might be nice to do in the interlude between the end of the season on Sunday, and the beginning of the playoffs.
    What do you think?

  • howard

    hey, i get my second chance in a week to say that jim brosnan’s “pennant race” is better than “ball four:” more original, better written, funnier, and given that it’s 1961, more fascinating for what could be said even then….

  • Richard Hershberger

    While “Ball Four” is unquestionably a historically important book, I find it nearly unreadable. Bouton is one of those guys who thinks he is always the smartest person in the room. He complains at length about not getting a start, but when he does he chokes. So who’s the smart guy?

    For a great book which deserves more love than it gets, consider Harold Seymour’s “Baseball: The Early Years.” It was written a half century ago, but it is still the standard survey of the subject.

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