In his first diary since Ball Four, Jim Bouton recounts his amazing adventure trying to save an historic ballpark in Pittsfield, Massachusetts. Host to organized baseball since 1892, Wahconah Park was soon to be abandoned by the owner of the Pittsfield Mets who would move his team to a new stadium in another town---an all too familiar story. ...
In his first diary since Ball Four, Jim Bouton recounts his amazing adventure trying to save an historic ballpark in Pittsfield, Massachusetts. Host to organized baseball since 1892, Wahconah Park was soon to be abandoned by the owner of the Pittsfield Mets who would move his team to a new stadium in another town---an all too familiar story. Enter Bouton and his partners with the best deal ever offered to a community---a locally owned professional baseball team and a privately restored city owned ballpark at no cost to the taxpayers. It was a dream come true for the vast majority of the people of Pittsfield. But Bouton's plan was opposed by an elite group of power brokers who wanted to build a new $18.5 million baseball stadium---a stadium that the people had voted against three different times! In what one reviewer called that same humane, sarcastic voice, Bouton unmasks a mayor who brags that the fix is in, a newspaper that lies to its readers, and a city government that operates out of a bar. And that's just Part l. Part ll is the even more amazing story of what happened after this book as self published---a story in itself---in hardcover. Invited back to Pittsfield by newly elected city officials, Bouton and his partners raise $1.2 million, help uncover a document that dates Pittsfield's baseball origins to 1791, and stage a vintage baseball game that is broadcast live on national television. Who could have guessed what would happen next? And that this time it would involve the Massachusetts Attorney General.
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Publishers Weekly, 2003-05-19 This former Yankee pitcher, who wrote the sports tell-all template Ball Four, has a self-conscious voice that almost stifles this compelling story of Pittsfield, Mass., residents resisting a new stadium in order to renovate historic Wahconah Park instead. Bouton fancies himself both "pariah" and U.S. marshal, and writes one public official, "we have always tried to be respectful.... Go take a shower." But he accomplishes his goal of making the oldest minor league ballpark in America a metaphor for business interests run amok whatever the costs politically, environmentally and, yes, financially. When he points to former New York City mayor Rudolph Giuliani's nearly successful (yet minority-view) efforts to build new stadiums for the Mets and the Yankees despite a multibillion-dollar budget gap, Bouton is persuasive. But when Bouton declares his own motives are to "save an old ballpark, make some money, have fun," he is less so because he seems to delight in all the chicanery. Still, his commitment is beyond question; the book includes not only news accounts and e-mails, but even instant-messaging exchanges. At 354 pages,it's exhausting, but also heartfelt. (June) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
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