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Foul Ball: My Life and Hard Times Trying to Save an Old Ballpark, Plus Part Two
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Foul Ball: My Life and Hard Times Trying to Save an Old Ballpark, Plus Part Two

3.56 of 5 stars 3.56  ·  rating details  ·  134 ratings  ·  17 reviews
In his first diary since Ball Four, Jim Bouton recounts his amazing adventure trying to save an historic ballpark in Pittsfield, Massachusetts. Host to organized baseball since 1892, Wahconah Park was soon to be abandoned by the owner of the Pittsfield Mets who would move his team to a new stadium in another town---an all too familiar story.

Enter Bouton and his partners w
Paperback, 512 pages
Published September 1st 2005 by Lyons Press (first published 2003)
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This book is more about politics than baseball, but Jim Bouton is such an engaging and intelligent writer that it didn't much matter to me after the story got going.

Bouton and a couple partners look to save an old ballpark in rural Pennsylvania and inadvertently uncover all kinds of corruption: corporate, political and ultimately publishing. The final result is a mixed bag, though ultimately the stadium stands to this day and baseball is played there. But everything else that goes on is seedy,
For years, I'd always intended (and still do intend) to read Bouton's classic baseball book, Ball Four. But I hadn't even heard of his new book until I received it as a Christmas gift from my father. Foul Ball is not simply a great book for people who love baseball and what makes the game so wonderful (hint: it's not skyboxes or retractable roofs). It's one of those rare books that takes a relatively small story (small-town corruption and greed) and ends up revealing an awful lot about human nat ...more
If you like uplifting stories about people triumphing over the odds and hard work paying off in the end, then this isn't the book for you. This book will make you angry. This book is about The Man winning. You know, when that guy who already has tons of money & doesn't care nearly as much as you do about that thing he wants gets it anyway? That is this book in a nutshell.

Jim Bouton is no stranger to controversial writing. His first book Ball Four is essential reading for any and all basebal
Jim Bouton has a way of writing about civil corruption that makes you want to laugh instead of cry. This is his account of his attempts to renovate a historical ballpark in New England and field a locally owned team that would not be able to hold the city hostage for amenities such as a new stadium. The town had voted four times against building a new stadium. When Bouton and his partners offer to invest their own money in the city owned park and promise to keep baseball in Pittsfield they expec ...more
Brian Ayres
I encourage all young idealists who want to get into government to "help" people or to "make a difference" to read Jim Bouten's experience trying to do business with the corrupt government of Pittsfield, Mass. This is the state of the government that special interests and lobbyists have created.

Bouten wants to BUY the ballpark and use his own money (along with two other investors) to keep an historic field alive. However, as the mayor of Pittsfield says, "the fix is in." The mayor and other powe
Jim Gullo
I was pretty sure that I would read and love just about anything that the old Yankee Bulldog wrote -- Ball Four continues to be the best book about baseball ever -- but sadly, not in this case. His account of trying to save an iconic, old minor-league park is dreary and self-serving. Written in a diary form, with little of the Bouton wit or knack for capturing the essence of moments, we're dragged through meetings with the mayor and council and opponents to his plan. Everyone who disagrees with ...more
This was a "can't put it down" kinda book. I've been meaning to read Ball Four for years but never got around to it. My grand daughters gave me this one for Christmas and it's a doozey! It combines baseball, small town politics and big business coverups in an incredible story that you wouldn't believe, except that you have absolutely no trouble believing it. Bouton and two partners hope to save an historic ballfield in Pittsfield MA by bringing in an independent league. The town is in favor, the ...more
Benjamin Kahn
The story is a good one and very interesting. But I did find, and I think I found this when I read Ball Four as well, that I'm not crazy about his style. The story of backroom dealings and his efforts to try to save a historic ball park were compelling, but the frequent breaks so he can reveal his conversations with his partner or with his wife where he takes shots at his opponents breaks up the flow of the book and don't really add anything. Also, he comes off as a little to full of himself, es ...more
Nate Hendrix
I got 50 pages in and gave up. I loved his previous 2 books. They made me laugh out loud. This one not so much.
Not the classic that Ball Four became, but still a worthwhile read. Bouton's still an iconoclastic diarist, fighting the establishment -- this time a city council and other allied business execs who value their own interests over that of ordinary citizens. A bit long and overly detailed, with an inevitably downbeat ending, but for Ball Four fans, it's worth catching up with an older-but-still-fiesty Bouton.
I enjoyed this book and reading this story. I wish I could say I was surprised at the ridiculousness of the self-destructive actions of the city fathers here, but I have seen nearly as crazy things happen in my life.

Bouton is a lot of fun to read, because he writes simply from what he sees and does. Unfortunately, this story got pretty long.
Nancy Graham

Bouton is in true form as he confronts the maddening, corrupt symbiotic powers of local government and big business -- who continually thumb their noses at citizens. Bouton is still hilarious and he awakens a thirst for justice in the midst of his unflagging zeal for baseball and a historic ballpark.
Greed and corruption run rampant as Jim Bouton work to save Wahconah Park -- an historic ballpark in Pittsfield, Massachusetts. It's sad to see the level of corruption present in Pittsfield's leaders as they seek to better their own situations rather than looking out for the best interests of the town and the people.
I decided to read this book after reading and enjoying the author's first book, "Ball Four". This book was more political then sports based. I'm sure if I lived, or had a connection, in the area the story takes place it would be more meaningful.
Mar 18, 2008 Erin marked it as to-read
This book is about a ballpark I know and love well, Waconah Park in Pittsfield, MA. I loved Ball Four and can't wait to tackle a book about my local baseball haven!
More about local politics than baseball, but has Bouton's great flair for writing in a way that makes you feel like you know him personally. Amazing ending!
How can I not love a book about a silly government messing with baseball?
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