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The Long Season

3.92  ·  Rating details ·  284 Ratings  ·  30 Reviews
The classic inside account of a baseball year by a major league pitcher. It begins, appropriately, with the winter doldrums and "sweating out" a new contract, then follows the author and his family to spring training in Florida and through the full season s schedule to October. "One of the best baseball books ever written. It is probably one of the best American diaries as ...more
Paperback, 268 pages
Published December 11th 2001 by Ivan R. Dee Publisher (first published 1960)
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Jun 25, 2017 rated it really liked it
What a fabulous baseball book. Well-written, insightful, thoughtful, and down to earth. To think that it was written about a season close to 60 years ago is amazing to me, as it still rings modern.

We can set aside the contractual issues over $20,000 a year, and no agents, and a few other things, but the core of the game comes to light. Brosnan put together a great diary that ranks up there with the best diaries of any subject.

I would add that those looking for the kind of story that Jim Bouton
James Klagge
Mar 08, 2013 rated it really liked it
My annual pre-season baseball book--to get me in the mood.
The author is a highly literate baseball player, which is not common. He began the book--a memoir of his 1959 season as a pitcher--with a glossary of terms. Most were familiar to me, but it indicated his interest in the language of baseball. Kathy and I have also commented on this when watching TV coverage of the Washington Nationals. The color commentator seems to always come up with new phrases, like: "He's sittin' dead red." I think t
Nov 03, 2007 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Real Baseball fans
Shelves: strand, beisbol
Ah, the pernicious persistence of preconceived notions: whether because of Ted Williams' famously ventilated dicta regarding the stupidity of Major League pitchers, or from being exposed to BULL DURHAM at an impressionable age, I have always found myself surprised to find that my favorite Baseball memoirs have been written by pitchers rather than catchers. Satchel Paige, Jim Bouton, and especially Bill (Spaceman) Lee have written the memoirs that have drawn me closest into the mysteries of the N ...more
Matt Moran
Jul 22, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: baseball
"Catchers, of course have underdeveloped brains or they would never have chosen that particular job, but X-rays of their heads would probably be useless. Masochists are what they are. A man must love to get banged up if he deliberately chooses to be a catcher."

Insightful at times and a fun book, an obvious precursor to 'Ball Four.' Unlike Bouton (who I think really was a social outcast) Brosnan comes across as cerebral (for a baseball player) but still personable, and without a ghostwriter or an
Dec 27, 2009 rated it it was ok
I was torn whether to rate this as a 2 or a 3. It is definitely an interesting look into mid 20th century baseball, from an insider's perspective, but it often gets bogged down in unnecessary details. What I found most surprising was the way that baseball was portrayed as a fairly unathletic endeavor. Most of the players are more concerned with chewing tobacco, drinking, and fooling around. There rarely any instances where players exercise or train. In the end though, I found myself struggling t ...more
Shay Caroline
Nov 17, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: baseball
Very entertaining behind the scenes look at the 1959 baseball season written by a middling relief pitcher named Jim Brosnan. Brosnan sounds to me like a cross between Ring Lardner and the back of a bubble gum card, if the bubble gum card were being used as a book mark inside a volume of Twain.

It's less about scores and all the usual Joe Shlobotnik Story stuff than it is about the way players look at the world, spend their time, and experience the ups and downs of their profession which is surpr
Dan Lalande
Apr 02, 2018 rated it liked it
A dozen years before Jim Bouton's lid-lifting 'Ball Four,' another nervy Jim - Brosnan, a middling middle-reliever- wrote this boldly factual account of life in the trenches of major league baseball. A working class sometime-hero, Brosnan tenaciously captured the seasonal grind of the late pre-free agency era, adding day in-day out tarnish to the golden mantle of 1950's baseball. He comes at you on paper as he did on the mound: plainly but doggedly, with occasional snap.
Oct 19, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: baseball
An enjoyable book. I first started getting interested in MLB about this time and many of the players mentioned in the book brought back memories of that time.
Jim Gold
Mar 11, 2017 rated it really liked it
The Long Season is pitcher Jim Brosnan's diary of the 1959 season that he started with St. Louis before being traded midseason to the Redlegs. The focus is less on the games and more on the interactions with teammates, coaches, the manager, and trainer. The book is candid in its unflattering portrayal of, among others, the Cardinal manager Solly Hemus and broadcaster Harry Caray.

My dad took me to my first baseball game in September 1958 when I was almost 7 years old and I had a lot of baseball
Mar 10, 2017 rated it really liked it
I had a baseball card of Jim Brosnan in a Cincinnati Reds uniform. He was a spectacled fellow with horn rim glasses. His teammates called him the professor. He was always talking about words and their meanings. Turns out he was a fair baseball pitcher and a pretty good writer. He starts the season with the St. Louis Cardinals and is eventually traded to the Reds. This book is his diary of the 1959 baseball season and paints a very realistic picture of what it was to be a ball player in that era. ...more
Jul 02, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: baseball
This is a remarkable book; I was more than a little surprised. I had not heard of this book - somehow I thought Ball Four by Jim Bouton, published in 1970, was the first tell-all first person memoir by a starting major league pitcher - but no, there is this.

Bouton was much criticized at the name for revealing certain truths about specific players and baseball players more generally, which is why there is a Wikipedia article about the book. Brosnan's revelations were of a much lesser level but a
Jan 12, 2008 rated it it was amazing
This must be about the seventh or eighth time I've read this book (along with Brosnan's other book, Pennant Race) since my childhood, but it's probably been about 10 years since the last time.

The Long Season and Pennant Race are wonderful memoirs of Brosnan's 1959 and 1961 seasons, respectively. Really the first of the true, insider's diary, it pre-dates (and undoubtedly inspired) Jim Bouton's Ball Four, but it isn't a seamy tell-all like Bouton's book.

Even without the scandalous stories that Bo
Richard Agemo
Jun 19, 2010 rated it liked it
Brosnan is a rare bird: an intellectual who was a professional baseball pitcher for the Chicago Cubs, St. Louis Cardinals, and Cincinnati Reds. His teammates called him "professor." The book, which chronicles his 1959 season, is funny throughout. I thought it was humorous, for instance, how his team was struggling to end up in fourth place. Just two quibbles: there's no big finish here, and there's a lot of detailed description about how he's going to pitch certain hitters, which becomes a bit r ...more
Aug 15, 2014 rated it really liked it
I had never heard about this book until the author passed away in the last year. It's an enjoyable read for baseball fans - it really is Ball Four written 10 years earlier, although rated PG, perhaps appropriate to the time. It's remarkable to see how unscientific the approach to managing pitchers as starters vs relievers is compared to the approach utilized today, but that's more of a side-light to what's generally the story of a life in the year of a guy who happened to play baseball for a liv ...more
Brian Dempsey
Apr 03, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Clearly paved the way for Jim Bouton and Ball Four. The descriptions of Brosnan's interactions with fellow players, managers and coaches are fascinating. His honesty in how quickly confidence comes and goes-- sometimes from batter to batter--is something that anyone who has played at any level can relate to. I wish the book did not come to such an abrupt end. It would have been nice if there was some sort of conclusion or post mortem on the season. The writing is very literary! It rightly takes ...more
Jul 06, 2014 rated it liked it
Brosnan's diary of his '59 season with the Cards and then the Reds is breezy, candid, conversational. Players like Musial and Aaron and Torre, among many others, breeze in and out, but the most distinctive impression made (other than by Brosnan himself, of course) was then pitching coach Clyde King. Baseball fans will find this an appealing read (it was a forerunner to Bounton's "Ball Four"), others may not find it terribly involving.
Paul Miller
A genuine first of its kind at the time - a major league pitcher's candid diary of the 1959 season. Gives a fascinating look at the basic day by day existence of a ballplayer in the days when they were 'just like us', working for a living. Focuses on the feelings and experience of a player, not so much game details or the like. Highly recommended for anyone who enjoys baseball and history.
Dec 20, 2016 rated it liked it
Reminiscent of Jim Bouton's Ball Four, which I read many years ago. The latter is more irreverent, but this one, which preceded Bouton's book, is also good for providing an insider look into baseball. The main entertainment of this one for me was the era--Brosnan played with many great players whom I remember from my childhood--Mays, Musial, Robinson.... Recommended for baseball fans.
Chris Gager
Jan 14, 2012 rated it liked it
I don't remember reading it but I'm sure I must have. Brosnan was Bouton before Bouton came along. I'm not sure I read his second book. Interesting that the two pitcher-writers have such similar names. Brosnan was definitely more contemplative and serious than Bouton. Date read is a guess.
Sep 20, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Widely considered one of the all time classic baseball books -- and deservedly so. The book provides a unique glimpse into baseball at mid-point of the 20th century. It is a valuable addition to the rich history of the game and of the country.
Gary Geiger
Dec 29, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: sports, baseball, memoir
Bouton before Bouton and better than Bouton.
Oct 28, 2013 added it
Best Baseball memoir of all time!
Jan 24, 2016 rated it really liked it
A classic older baseball book. I curled up and read it on a cold winter weekend. Was not disappointed.
Jun 22, 2013 rated it it was ok
I know a lot of people love this book but I couldn't stand the author's odd writing style. Didn't finish.
Aug 11, 2012 rated it it was amazing
"Ball Four" before "Ball Four"... and a baseball book that was actually written by the athlete. Highly recommended.
Steve Shilstone
Sep 07, 2012 rated it really liked it
A really fine baseball memoir by an actual major league pitcher.
Jun 14, 2015 rated it did not like it
Just not very interesting.
Jan 21, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: 20th, baseball, funny
Good insider view of major league baseball in 1959. Jim Brosnan's wit struck Joe Garagiola as subversive, an indication that it is better than the average ballplayer's.
rated it really liked it
Aug 02, 2016
Mike Osterman
rated it liked it
Apr 04, 2013
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