“Jim O’Toole and I started out even in the spring. He wound up with the Ross Eversoles and I with a new lease on life. And as I daydreamed of being fireman of the year in 1970 I wondered what the dreams of Jim O’Toole are like these days. Then I thought, would I ever do that? When it’s over for me, would I be hanging on with Ross Eversoles? I went down deep and the answer I came up with was yes. Yes I would. You see, you spend a good piece of your life gripping a baseball and in the end it turns out that it was the other way around the whole time” (Bouton 398).
In the passage, Bouton talks about his perspective on life and where he is currently in his career and how much he doesn’t want it to be out of his life. The passage is very important because he talks about what he would do after his career in the Major Leagues, which would be to play in the minor leagues like Jim O’Toole. Just before the passage, Bouton is summarizing what happened throughout the course of the year and how he is in the situation to win an award while Jim O’Toole is just hanging on in the minor league. Although Bouton didn’t win any awards, he went to a sports banquet and he got astanding ovation. He was very shocked when he got it because he didn’t know he was respected by the other athletes.
This passage also displays a metaphor; the last sentence is comparing the grip on a baseball to baseball’s grip on his life. This metaphor is saying that baseball is controlling his whole life, but he is supposed to be directing his own course in life. Jim realizes that baseball is his life and is controlling him. For example: Baseball has affected his family and where they had lived. He should have made big changes to his life instead of baseball making changes for him because family matters more than baseball. This passage is a summary of his baseball career as a whole.