Ball Four

The Final Pitch

Ranked #2 in Baseball, Ranked #10 in Sportssee more rankings.

The beloved baseball classic now available in paperback, with a new prologue by Jim Bouton

When Ball Four was first published in 1970, it hit the sports world like a lightning bolt. Commissioners, executives, and players were shocked. Sportswriters called author Jim Bouton a traitor and "social leper." Commissioner Bowie Kuhn tried to force him to declare the book untrue. Fans, however, loved the book. And serious critics called it an important social document. Today, Jim Bouton is still not invited to Oldtimer's Days at Yankee Stadium. But his landmark book is still...

Reviews and Recommendations

We've comprehensively compiled reviews of Ball Four from the world's leading experts.

Ben Shapiro The best baseball book. (Source)

Nick Loper Angels and Demons was my favorite Dan Brown page-turner, but Ball Four by Jim Bouton is definitely worth a read if you're a baseball fan. (Source)

Joe Posnanski That’s exactly what it is. It’s a diary of a season. Jim Bouton was a wildly successful young player for the Yankees and then basically lost his arm, he got hurt. The book is about his attempt to come back. What makes it wonderful reading, and the reason I love it, is that it’s beautifully written and, again, there’s a great deal of humanity in it. There is certainly also a lot of shock-value in it. There are stories about athletes taking drugs and some of the off-field relationships. That is what made the book somewhat scandalous when it first came out. (Source)

Aaron Gleeman Damn. Jim Bouton. "Ball Four" is the best baseball book ever written. It blew my 13-year-old mind and I've read it every few years since. It always holds up. Meeting him at a SABR convention in Seattle is something I'll never forget. An absolute legend. (Source)

Kyle Boddy "You spend a good piece of your life gripping a baseball and in the end it turns out that it was the other way around all the time." — Jim Bouton If you haven't read Ball Four, well, you really need to. Best baseball book ever written. Yes, that includes Lords of the Realm. (Source)

Ron Fournier “Ball Four” may have been the first book I fell in love with (Source)

Steve Kim RIP to Jim Bouton. 'Ball Four' is truly an America masterpiece. Reading that book certainly had a great influence on me.... (Source)

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