Picks and Pans Review: The Sally and Tommy John Story

UPDATED 05/23/1983 at 01:00 AM EDT Originally published 05/23/1983 at 01:00 AM EDT

by Sally and Tommy John

If ex-wives are to be believed, professional ballplayers treat women as a throwaway commodity. Torrez (Met pitcher Mike's ex), Bouton (former Yankee Jim's) and Marshall (onetime Dodger Mike's) portray the boys of summer as egotistical boozehounds who abuse the women they marry. Danielle was 19, a pert model and local TV celebrity, when she met Torrez, then pitching for Montreal. They seemed an ideal couple. Mike ended up with the Yankees and after winning the 1977 World Series in the sixth game, changed dramatically. The old ballplayer's joke, "You ever talk to your wife during sex?" "Only when I'm near a phone," didn't sound so funny. They divorced in 1980. The Marshall-Bouton book is harder-hitting. In fact, Nancy Marshall, who confesses to infidelity herself, may be a meaner slugger than any faced by Mike in his 19-year career. Bobbie Bouton is no pushover, either. But she was left for a time with a flat zero, her children resenting her and her husband residing in the arms of a flashier woman. Dedicated to their daughters (Nancy has three; Bobbie has one, plus two sons she doesn't cite), Home Games stresses that women can't live their lives through men. Sally John must be appalled by all these embittered ex-baseball wives, but then she remains married to her co-author. Part of their book, due out officially in June, describes the public outpouring of sympathy that occurred after the Johns' 2-year-old son, Travis, suffered a near-fatal fall from a window. The rest chronicles how the little Hoosier girl managed to marry the pitcher Tommy John! Tommy can pitch a mean curve, and Sally is obviously a loving mother and wife, but as authors they are Little League caliber. (Torrez: Putnam's, $13.95; Bouton-Marshall: St. Martin's/Marek, $12.95; John: Macmillan, $13.95)

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