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The History of Ball Four

In 1969 Bouton kept a diary of his season with the Seattle Pilots and Houston Astros, writing on little notebooks he carried in his pocket. When those filled up he wrote on whatever he could find - hotel stationery, scorecards, popcorn boxes, laundry receipts, cocktail napkins, menus, ticket stubs, travel itineraries, air sickness bags, even toilet paper.

At the end of each day he'd speak his notes into a tape recorder, adding details jogged from memory
by the notes. The tapes were transcribed on a typewriter and returned to Bouton for re-use. The double-spaced pages totaled 1,500, or about 450,000 words. This was edited down to a 650 page draft, and then reduced again to a final manuscript of 520 pages.

The original notes, re-used tapes, double-spaced pages, first draft and final manuscript are now in permanent storage.

 

Previous Editions

1970 - BALL FOUR: My Life and Hard Times Throwing the Knuckleball in the Big Leagues.

Original hardcover.
Published by World.
Out of print.

Cover price: $6.95

 

1971 - BALL FOUR: My Life and Hard Times Throwing the Knuckleball in the Big Leagues.

Mass market paperback. Published by Dell.
Out of print.

Cover price: $1.75

1978 - BALL FOUR: My Life and Hard Times Throwing the Knuckleball in the Big Leagues.

Japanese translation. Paperback. Published by Kobun-sha.

Cover price: 1500 yen

 

1980 - BALL FOUR: Plus Ball Five.

Updated. Hardcover.
Published by Stein & Day.
Out of print.

Cover price: $14. 95

1981 - BALL FOUR: Plus Ball Five.

Updated trade paperback. Published by Stein & Day.
Out of print.

Cover price: $10. 95

 

1985 - BALL FOUR: Plus Ball Five.

Mass-market paperback. Published by Stein & Day.
Out of print.

Cover price: $4. 95

1988 - BALL FOUR: My Life and Hard Times Throwing the Knuckleball in the Big Leagues.

Taiwanese knock-off. 20% smaller
Publisher unknown

Cover price: Very cheap

 

1990 - BALL FOUR: Twentieth Anniversary Edition.

2nd Update. Trade paperback.
Published by MacMillan.
Still in print.

Cover price: $15.00

2000 - BALL FOUR: The Final Pitch.

3rd update. Hardcover only. Originally published by Sports Publishing, Inc.

Now published by the author under Bulldog Publishing imprint.

Cover price:$24.95

 

2001 - BALL FOUR: The Final Pitch.

Special leather bound collector's edition.
Published by Easton Press.
Available direct mail only.

Cover price:$90.00


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