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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

3.62  ·  Rating Details ·  167 Ratings  ·  20 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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Nov 02, 2008 Alex rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction, memoir
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
Jan 07, 2008 Wayne rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Oct 17, 2014 Tom rated it it was amazing
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,
Sep 18, 2009 Scott rated it really liked it
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 Gullo
Apr 20, 2012 Jim Gullo rated it it was ok
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
Brian Ayres
Jul 15, 2007 Brian Ayres rated it really liked it
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
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
Brent Ecenbarger
Feb 23, 2016 Brent Ecenbarger rated it it was amazing
**This review has been updated following the reading of Part Two**

Three books in and I am still a big fan of Jim Bouton's writing. The retired baseball player's style foreshadowed the invention of the blog and once again kept me entertained in this page turner about his attempt to get a lease on a local minor league ballpark. The resulting struggle against the local government comes off as a one sided rant by a jilted lover with enough details mixed in that you end up wondering how this is a sto
Jan 03, 2014 David rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Nov 06, 2012 Marvin rated it liked it
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.
Michael Cohen
Oct 25, 2016 Michael Cohen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Another call for Pittsfield, MA Political Reform w/ Baseball as the Backdrop

A real story about the berkshires, a beautiful old ballpark and the corrupt company town that resisted its renovation due to bullshit politics and corruption. A little long in the details but important to support the journalism. Some personal details of the author's life at home at times seems distracting and detracting from the tome.
Nancy Graham
Jun 06, 2012 Nancy Graham rated it it was amazing

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.
Sep 08, 2012 Calvin rated it liked it
Shelves: society
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.
Jan 12, 2012 Pete rated it liked it
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.
Mar 17, 2013 Michael rated it it was ok
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.
Nate Hendrix
Jun 02, 2014 Nate Hendrix rated it did not like it
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.
Apr 13, 2016 Pablo rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Part memoir, part investigative journalism, Bouton reveals the big-time politics that take place even in small-town America. Lift enough rocks and you'll find more slugs than you ever imagined.
May 21, 2009 Elisabeth rated it really liked it
How can I not love a book about a silly government messing with baseball?
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!
Sep 16, 2009 Mike rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: baseball, planning
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!
Roger rated it it was ok
Oct 18, 2008
Lou rated it really liked it
Dec 06, 2008
Thomas rated it really liked it
Jul 05, 2016
A.E. L.
A.E. L. rated it really liked it
Apr 16, 2013
A.W. rated it really liked it
Feb 26, 2008
Garland Kemper
Garland Kemper rated it really liked it
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Martin rated it liked it
Jun 05, 2015
Nardo Baldisimo
Nardo Baldisimo rated it liked it
Feb 15, 2016
Ben Wideman
Ben Wideman rated it liked it
Sep 10, 2013
Zachary rated it really liked it
Mar 20, 2012
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