All spread out, it looks like the stuff your mom would have tossed away years ago having stumbled across it boxed in the back of a closet — right along with your baseball cards.
It’s much closer to an exhilarating archeological excavation. A sweet, hilarious and priceless insight into one the greatest sports books of all time that somehow has been preserved in pack-rat Jim Bouton’s storage unit for years.
Almost 50 years later, everything that went into the making of “Ball Four” was ready to be deciphered.
This had been lot No. #468 of an extensive winter sale conducted by Laguna Niguel’s SCP Auctions that began on Jan. 4, but it closed early Sunday morning without resolution.
The highest of 22 bids for what amounted to a bunch of notes scribbled on index cards, airline sickness bags and hotel stationery envelopes, a dozen old cassette tapes, stacks of typewritten sheets with corrections made in the margins, and threatening letters to stop production of the 1970 controversial piece of non-fiction was more than $300,000. But it failed to meet the auction house reserve number (which was not disclosed).
Now what happens?
Out with the old (David Stern) and in with the new (Adam Silver) NBA style, in 2014.
The congenial transfer of power happens all the time in the sports world.
No great displays of angst. Very little conflagrating egos.
C-SPAN doesn’t even bother to cover it, as the whole process comes off as even too phlegmatic for them.
Just nothing more than a rubber stamp and a press release. The public apparently not need to concern itself with how its favorite pro sports leagues altered the course of their future.
From commissioner to commissioner, the mission is to keep things peaceful, prudent and profitable. And private.
Apparently, that’s transparency at its finest?
When do the fans who are most invested with time, ticket purchases and crocodile tears become an essential part of this important process?
It all seems rigged. More at this link ….
If a fire, earthquake, flood or another insane Act of God ever threatened the foundation of my home, and there appeared to be just a couple of minutes to grab some prized possessions before bolting out the door, I’d spend more than a few seconds contemplating how many of the seven hard- and paper-back editions of Jim Bouton’s “Ball Four” books could be carried out with care.
They have maintained an esteemed spot on the book shelf over the decades. Most of them are personally signed.
There are mix emotions reading that that Bouton’s family has decided to sell off a collection of the quirky materials he used to take notes on during the writing process involved in the 1970 classic — not just cassette tapes, but notes taken on air-sickness bags from airplanes, napkins, cereal boxes, index cards, whatever was available.
But more disheartening is to also read that the 77-year-old Bouton suffered a recent stroke and is unable to correspond well — something I fully appreciated in a back-and-fourth of emails correspondences over the years. And something that just seems impossible based on his personality and curiosity about life and society.
Less than three years ago, the Boston Globe had this story about how Bouton was still “opinionated as ever.” Now … Continue reading →
From the Feb. 11, 1967 issue of “The Beat” produced by KRLA, the 1110-AM rock station in L.A. (http://krlabeat.sakionline.net/issue/11feb67.pdf)
Some of Sunday’s media column marking the 50th anniversary of the NFL-AFL championship played at the Coliseum on Jan. 15, 1967 includes remembrances from those who saw the game.
Or try not to misremember things they saw that day versus things they’ve seen in video and film and photographs since then. I was just a 5-year-old, not sure I even knew how to operate the black-and-white TV at our L.A. home with the needle nosed pliers fully engaged in changing the channels.
In addition to those in the column, we have these submissions:
== Lance Barrow, CBS Sports producer who has been the producer of four Super Bowl broadcasts and part of another eight as an assistant to Pat Summerall:
Remember that scene in the movie “La La Land,” where the Rams’ magnificent mascot, Rampage, trips the night fantastic in a flamboyant ballroom dance number with the Chargers’ macho mascot, Boltman?
They drift across the starlit sky above the Griffith Park Observatory, observing everything and nothing wrong about what they’re doing.
All loosely based on a true horror story. City of stars, are you shining for the NFL? City of stars, two deplorables now — what the hell?