FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Tom Goldstein
An Evening with Jim Bouton
SAINT PAUL, MNFormer Yankee pitcher and bestselling author Jim Bouton will be appearing in the Twin Cities on Wednesday, April 28th at Ruminator Books in St. Paul to receive Elysian Fields Quarterly's annual Dave Moore Award (for the "most important book on baseball" published in 2003, Foul Ball: My Life and Hard Times Trying to Save an Old Ballpark), discuss the current state of baseball stadium politics, and conduct a book signing. This lively event will also include music by Minneapolis singer-songwriter Jeff Arundel, who will perform his classic single, "Harmon Killebrew."
Time and date: Wednesday, April 28, 7:30 PM (Doors open at 7).
Place: Ruminator Books, 1648 Grand Avenue, St. Paul, MN 55105
TICKETS: $5.00 (refundable with purchase of FOUL BALL or the current edition of BALL FOUR.)
Seating is limited. Tickets available through Ruminator Books and Elysian Fields Quarterly
Jim Bouton has been raising hell with the baseball establishment
since 1970, when his landmark book BALL FOUR revealed the frat-party side
of the grand old game. Now, in FOUL BALL: MY LIFE AND HARD TIMES TRYING
TO SAVE AN OLD BALLPARK, he lines up against the economic lynch pin of
pro sports: publicly funded stadia (a topic that has particular resonance
for us here in Minnesota).
Pittsfield, Massachusetts, is the site of venerable Wahconah Park, home to various minor-league teams since 1892. Bouton and most of the area's citizenry felt the stadium should be repaired, updated, and preserved. The city government, however, along with various business interests, wanted to build a new $18 million stadium--at taxpayer expense.
This relatively small skirmish is portrayed by Bouton as a microcosm
of the publicly funded sports facility battles that have been fought around
the country. Typically, taxpayers foot the bill--under the pressure of team
abandonment--so owners and players can get rich. Bouton, humor intact and
sense of irony sharpened, chronicles the battle between the forces of fiscal
responsibility and those who would build the new stadium (on a toxic waste
dump). The good guys win this time, as the old ballpark is saved, at least
temporarily, but Bouton paints a distinctly disturbing picture of corporate
taxpayer exploitation. Interestingly, Bouton's original publisher pulled out under pressure from pro-stadium business interests, leaving the author to publish his expose himself.
About the Author: Jim Bouton is the bestselling author of Ball Four, a baseball classic about his 1969 season with the Seattle Pilots that was selected as one of the "Books of the Century" by the New York Public Library in 1995. An All-Star pitcher for the New York Yankees, he won twenty-one games (six by shutout) in 1963, eighteen in 1964, and twice beat the Cardinals in the 1964 World Series. A successful entrepreneur whose post-career endeavors have involved the creation of the popular Big League Chew bubble gum and marketing personalized baseball cards (Big League Cards), Bouton is now a motivational speaker living in North Egremont, Massachusetts, with his wife, Paula Kurman.
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