this was a great book made all the more enjoyable by the emotions that came through as Bouton read his own words
Loved that the writer himself narrarated the story. His own emotion had me laughing and crying. Very rare to have that kind of emotional investment and sensitivity on an audio book. Thank you Jim Bouton.
Including something of interest.
Did you ever have that conversation with an elderly relative who gave you every unimportant detail that you didn't care about? Jim Bouton compiled that daily and read it out loud.
Jim Bouton is still one of the most divisive baseball players in history. Considering all we know now about the personal lives of today's sports stars, this book is almost quaint. But what Bouton did was to pull aside the curtain that hid the players from the view of the public. Just as what John F. Kennedy did in his personal life was hidden from the public (the same era that Bouton pitched in), the New York Yankees made sure that the sexual and drug-fueled careers of their players (particularly stars like Whitey Ford and Mickey Mantle) was off limits to the press. Actually, the press in both the cases of JFK and the Yankees were willing conspirators to keep up appearances. Bouton writes a story that tells it all. Most notoriously, we learn about the bed hopping antics of Mantle et al, and the dependence that players had for "greenies" (amphetamines). The story is funny at parts but also sad because Bouton later tried to regenerate his career as a junk ball pitcher after blowing out his arm early into his career.
I am also grateful to Bouton for not only serving as his own narrator (he frequently begins laughing halfway through a story) but also for courageously including the coda to his story. Bouton lost his daughter to a tragic accident and his overwhelming sense of loss is powerfully presented here. I wept as I drove, listening to this man unfold his sense of absolute despair. I hope that this does not spoil the book for anyone--this is not an ordinary sports book (it's actually one of Time's 100 most important books of the 20th Century). You will laugh and you will cry. Bouton is one of the true giants of baseball and hopefully one day the Yankees, if they haven't already, will reconcile themselves to his story.
it took a while to get into but he's got some gems in there. if you wanted to hear about how ball players were like in the 60s then this is for you
With Jim Bouton actually reading the book, complete with appropriate inflection, the listener can really get a better notion of what he was feeling at the time.
Hearing an interested and involved onlooker actually cut down some of the great players of the day. Today sports interviews are generally so staid and trite, with a litany of cliches, that met out very little actual information
The whole book was pretty interesting, especially when Bouton makes his comeback years after his career was ostensibly over.
This is a pretty interesting insiders look behind the scenes. My one criticism would be that while Bouton does mention some of his own misgivings, others, that my own reading outside of this book, are glossed over or ignored. I'm pretty sure I was paying attention throughout and there is no mention of his retirement in the 70's.
donald t wardlow
I read this book at some point in the '70s when it was relatively new. I had to smother my laughter, lest my Mom ask me what I was laughing about. A lot of the stories here weren't the kind you told to Mother-not then, not now. How could this book get any funnier? Have the author read his own work. Awesome move. Bouton has been a motivational speaker for some time, and kindly sent me a recording of one of his speeches when I was a baseball broadcaster. I knew from hearing it how good his delivery was for jokes. I didn't know that a 70-year-old Bouton could still laugh at jokes he wrote 40 years earlier. He did. What a romp through baseball's past this is.
This is a bit too long for me with a lot of repetition. as a diary, it works really well, delving into the day to day lives of baseball players. I can see why it was shocking to the public when it came out and why other players might have been upset. But these days, none of this is shocking or much news. I will probably pick up where I left off at some point, but for now I will set it aside.