'Ball Four': The Book That Changed Baseball | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

'Ball Four': The Book That Changed Baseball

Fifty years ago, a young pitcher won his first major league game for the New York Yankees. Jim Bouton went on to become a top-flight player.

But he became famous, or notorious, for Ball Four, a memoir that described the petty jealousies on the team as well as camaraderie, raucous tomcatting, game-winning heroics, routine drug use, and the pain professional athletes endure.

The book broke the code of silence that kept what really happened in the locker room, on the bus, and on the road off limits. It also contained an immortal line: "You spend your life gripping a baseball," Jim Bouton wrote, "and it turns out that it was the other way around all along."

NPR's Neal Conan talks with Bouton about how he chose what to include and what to leave out, the controversy when Ball Four was published, and how Major League Baseball has changed in the 50 years since that first win.

Copyright 2012 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

NPR

Not My Job: Skier Mikaela Shiffrin Gets Quizzed On Downhill Cheese Races

If you think downhill ski racing is dangerous, then you've never seen the Gloucestershire Cheese Rolling Races, in which competitors hurl their bodies down a steep hill, chasing a wheel of cheese.
NPR

Spread Of Palm Oil Production Into Africa Threatens Great Apes

Palm oil growers are setting their sights on Africa as they amp up production. More than half of the land that's been set aside for plantations in Africa overlaps with ape habitats, researchers say.
WAMU 88.5

Democrats Push To Overturn Hobby Lobby Ruling

Virginia's Tim Kaine and other Democrats are trying to overturn the ruling with legislation they say will protect female workers.
NPR

Friday Feline Fun: A Ranking Of The Most Famous Internet Cats

Forget the Forbes Celebrity 100. This is the Friskies 50 — the new definitive guide of the most influential cats on the Internet. The list is based on a measure of the cats' social media reach.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.