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Ball Four

Bits and pieces, Nov. 18, 2015

November 18, 2015

Been a bit busy lately with the two author events, so I know I’ve fallen behind. You never know where inspiration will come from. According to this public radio story, Haruki Murakami came up with the idea for his first novel, Hear the Wind Sing, as the result of a 1978 pro game in Japan, […]

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Happy Cinco de Mayo, everyone. Trying clear out the old new links box (as opposed to the old old links I post on Thursdays now). ‘Tis the season when reviews, excerpts, lists, and author appearance are sprouting like flowers. * From Men’s Journal, this list of “The 10 Baseball Books Every Fan Should Read.” (Hmm, […]

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Since I posted the first of these on a Thursday, which is known on social media as a time of reflection, I thought to make it a regular thing under this rubric. As a reminder, I highly recommend Pocket as a way to hold onto links you come that you want to keep. Unlike bookmarks, […]

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The top-ten baseball books as per Amazon.com. Caveat 1: Print editions only (at least for now); I’m old fashioned that way. Caveat 2: Since the rankings are updated every hour, these lists might not longer be 100 percent accurate by the time you read it. But it’ll be close enough for government work. Caveat 3: […]

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* The New York Times published this review about Ballplayer: Pelotero, a film documentary about baseball in the Dominican Republic. Upshot: “Forget feel-good boys-of-summer tales. This film shows a shady business in which scouts and the teams they represent try to manipulate teenage players, and to some extent the players do some manipulating of their […]

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Davidson, a defensive end for the rough and tumble Oakland Raiders in the 1960s, passed away Monday at the age of 72. So what does the hulking football player have to do with baseball you ask? Well, after he left the game, he turned to acting (not unlike Merlin Olsen and Alex Karas). He appeared […]

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And the hits just keep coming. Recent author interviews on NPR programs include: This Q&A with Jim Bouton, was the guest for a segment on “‘Ball Four’: The Book That Changed Baseball,” from Northwest Public Radio (an NPR “double threat”). Hart Seely, author of The Juju Rules: Or, How to Win Ballgames from Your Couch: A […]

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The airwaves sure have been busy over the past few days. ♦ Jim Abbott (Imperfect: An Improbable Life) was a guest on yesterday’s Leonard Lopate Show. I find it interesting that the subtitle does not include “Baseball,” as in “An Improbable Baseball Life.” ♦ John Grisham, author of Calico Joe  was a guest on Only […]

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Review roundup, April 11

April 11, 2012

♦ Tom Hoffarth’s latest in his 30 books.30 days series: High Fives, Pennant Drives and Fermandomania: A Fan’s History of the Los Angeles Dodgers’ Glory Years 1977-1981, by Paul Haddad. ♦They’re not exactly timely, but by waiting more than 40 years since the publication of Jim Bouton’s Ball Four, this review on Paste has a  […]

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TWIBB: Oct. 8, 2010

October 8, 2010

The top baseball books, according to Amazon.com as of 10 a.m. on Friday, Oct. 8. Title Rank General The Last Boy: Mickey Mantle and the End of America’s Childhood, by Jane Leavy 1 Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game by Michael Lewis 2 Hub Fans Bid Kid Adieu: John Updike on Ted Williams, […]

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TWIBB: Oct. 1, 2010

October 1, 2010

Can’t believe the season is almost over. The top baseball books, according to Amazon.com as of 2 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 1. Title Rank General Hub Fans Bid Kid Adieu: John Updike on Ted Williams, by John Updike 1 The Last Boy: Mickey Mantle and the End of America’s Childhood, by Jane Leavy 2 Moneyball: […]

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The recent program at the Burbank Library seems to have sparked national attention to Bouton’s classic. Here are a few more items for your consideration: Our friend, Tom Hoffarth penned this nice wrap-up of the event. “It’s not a stretch to think today of Bouton as a J.D. Sallinger of sports literature,” he writes. “In […]

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Bits and pieces

September 17, 2010

Spurred on by the hubbub around the 40th anniversary of Ball Four, Delia Cabe, who hosts the Creative Type blog at Boston.com, had this piece about the best baseball books, not just from her POV, but from those of local celebrities and others. And as the Baseball Reliquary program heralding that anniversary beckons, look for […]

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TWIBB: Sept. 17, 2010

September 17, 2010

The top baseball books, according to Amazon.com as of Noon on Friday, Sept. 27. Title Rank General Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game, by Michael Lewis 1 Ball Four, by Jim Bouton 2 The Baseball Codes: Beanballs, Sign Stealing, and Bench-Clearing Brawls: The Unwritten Rules of America’s Pastime by Jason Turbow and Michael […]

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Herewith the final schedule for BALL FOUR TURNS FORTY, presented by The Baseball Reliquary at the Burbank Central Library, on Saturday, Sept. 18. If you go, tell Jim that I said “Hey.” 11:00 am — 12:30 pm Introduction by Terry Cannon and Jon Leonoudakis Opening remarks by Jim Bouton Panel discussion with Q&A on Ball […]

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In the recent entry on the Jim Bouton interview, I wrote about the book’s inclusion in a list of the New York Public Library’s Books of the Century. I mistakenly referred to it as a list of the top 100 books. In fact, the total is closer to 175. Bouton’s contribution to literature is included […]

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Since the nature of the blog is to print the most recent entry first, I’m presenting the three-part interview with Jim Bouton in reverse order. http://www.ronkaplansbaseballbookshelf.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/08/JimBoutonPart2.mp3Podcast: Play in new window | DownloadSubscribe: iTunes | Android | RSS

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Since the nature of the blog is to present the most recent item first, I’m presenting the three-part interview in reverse order. http://www.ronkaplansbaseballbookshelf.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/08/JimBoutonPart3.mp3Podcast: Play in new window | DownloadSubscribe: iTunes | Android | RSS

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As mentioned in previous entries, Ball Four celebrates its 40th anniversary this year. The Baseball Reliquary will host a special program to mark the auspicious occasion at the Burbank Public Library on Sept. 18. Jim Bouton was kind enough to spend some time talking about his watershed contribution to American pop culture and his other […]

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I can still picture it in my mind: Reading Ball Four during summer camp days back in 1970. In fact I still have that original volume in my library. So it’s shocking to me that it’s been 40 years since Jim Bouton’s watershed memoir was published. Bouton was quite generous with his time in speaking […]

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