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Jim Bouton’s personal Ball Four archive offers the sophisticated collector a unique opportunity to acquire a trove of manuscripts, correspondence, documents and artifacts, which span the critical moment in baseball history when the game moved from lifetime contracts to free agency. The collection also includes Bouton's comeback with the Atlanta Braves after seven years in television, all of which was documented in the 1980, 1990, and 2000 updates to Ball Four.
The Ball Four collection includes but is not limited to:
• The complete hand written notes, audio tape transcripts, manuscripts, drafts and revisions of the classic Ball Four, including all material not included in the final published version of the book.
• The edited manuscript detailing the publisher's attempt to gut the book of every tough, revealing, or sexual passage.
• The letter from the publisher's lawyer identifying 42 instances of potential libel, and Bouton's final edits that addressed only 4 of them.
• The exchange of letters which show the near impossibility of trying to negotiate a fair salary in an industry where management held all the cards,
• The complete file of baseball contracts and administrative transfers.
• The exquisitely maintained scrapbooks which Bouton's mother kept to record his entire career, from junior high school to the major leagues, including the furor that erupted when Ball Four was first published.
• The scrapbooks which trace Bouton's semi-pro baseball years, from 1971 to 1977, and his 1978 comeback with the Atlanta Braves after seven years as a television sportscaster, sitcom writer and actor.
There is nothing to equal the Ball Four collection anywhere else in the world. At no other time or place has an athlete had the combination of skills to produce it - the observation, the articulation, the humor, the intelligence and the access, not to mention the necessary habit of saving everything. All in excellent condition, the documents will provide a rich source of material for historians and devoted fans of the game for decades to come.