From Michael Hopps at The Hardball Times on February 13, 2020:
Recently I reread Jim Bouton’s Ball Four (after nearly 50 years!). Then I read Jim Brosnan’s The Long Season, because I had heard several times that Brosnan’s book was the best (and first) book ever written by a major league baseball player.
First, perhaps. But certainly not the best. Ball Four is better by the distance of a Mickey Mantle home run. The New York Public Library thought so too. In 1996 it named Ball Four one of its best books of the preceding century. Think of that. When Bouton died last year, his obituaries praised the work, which I hadn’t recalled as being so rich.
If Rotten Tomatoes rated literature, Ball Four would score 98. More about that later. First a little about Brosnan’s The Long Season: The Classic Inside Account of a Baseball Year, 1959 (available on Amazon in paperback, for $9.99 before shipping).
Read the full article here: https://tht.fangraphs.com/baseball-as-workplace-documentary/
- Related link: Read our SABR biography of Ball Four, by Mark Armour
Originally published: February 13, 2020. Last Updated: February 13, 2020.