In writing about the art of sport, and the potential poetics of these games, there is a temptation to chase secret mechanics in the language of memoirs, biographies, histories, and the like. I’m always looking for a captivating, well-written book that will offer insights not merely into the experiences of athletes – teamwork, practice, composure – but the hard data of the game. How to Throw a Curveball, How to Rebound, How to Render an Opponent Unconscious. This pursuit is […]
This is an essay about Ball Four, a tell-all memoir of Major and Minor League Baseball published in 1970 by author/major league knuckleballer Jim Bouton. More specifically it is about why pitchers are often enigmatic. Most specifically of all it is about Bouton’s pained desire – common among achievers – to be perfect by his own standards when he was already excellent by those of the universe at large. But first, let’s go crazy.