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A 1970 book, by baseball vet Jim Bouton, part of a wave of "insider" sports diaries and memoirs, e.g. Jerry Kramer's Instant Replay, Brad Park's Play the Man, and Dave Meggyesy's Out of Their League. But Ball Four was different (as was, to some extent, Meggyesy's book). Bouton took great glee in trashing both the "dumb jock" stereotype and the image of ballplayers as American saints: these guys were horny, pill-popping, beer-swilling bastards fluent in profanity. Human beings, many of whom were quite intelligent.

It led to sequels, media-figure-hood and, later, a sitcom co-starring Bouton - the show was awful, since there was no way to translate the book into a half-hour of Family Hour viewing without neutering it.

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