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DREAMING IN BASEBALL: Jim Bouton, Ball Four, and a Life on the Outside (coming in spring, 2020)

A few years ago, former New York Times columnist Robert Lipsyte proclaimed that in order to understand the various ups, downs, twists and turns of the roller coaster that was twentieth century baseball, all one really needed to know were the stories of five iconic Yankees.  Three of them are Hall of Famers: Babe Ruth, Joe DiMaggio and Mickey Mantle.  The fourth was perhaps the most infamous owner in the history of the game: George Steinbrenner.  The fifth was Jim Bouton

 

"DREAMING IN BASEBALL: Jim Bouton, Ball Four and a Life on the Outside" is a full and unvarnished look at Bouton's remarkable life but also the unlikely story of how his revolutionary book came into being, how it was received, and how it forever changed the way we view not only sports books but professional sports itself. Bouton was a minor figure as a ballplayer, not much more than an everyman pitcher, but his impact on professional sports – the way they're run as well as the way we understand them as fans – dwarfs that of the countless athletes who could throw harder or run faster.  DREAMING IN BASEBALL tells the story of a man whose constitutional inability to stop himself from telling the world the truth as he saw it changed nearly everything he touched but who perpetually remained on the outside looking in because he insisted on turning his dreams into reality, consequences be damned.

 

From the day he first stepped into the Yankee clubhouse Jim Bouton has been the sports world's deceptive revolutionary.  Behind the jokes and All American good looks lurked a radical spirit that challenged the establishment at every turn, pulling it as if by sheer will out of the dark.  As a player and later as a broadcaster Bouton confronted the conservative sports world and compelled it to catch up with a rapidly changing American society.  The gate-keepers cringed at every turn but despite their efforts to beat him back, Bouton succeeded in modernizing professional sports in countless ways.  DREAMING IN BASEBALL shows how he did it, along with the price he paid along the way.