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RIP Jim Bouton Yankee 20 game winner and author of Ball Four

Defenderdawg : 7/10/2019 8:09 pm
“Ex-Yankees pitcher Jim Bouton was a 20-game winner, won two World Series games, spent 10 years in the big leagues — and made a bigger impact with a pen in his hand than a baseball.
The author of the groundbreaking hardball tell-all “Ball Four” died Wednesday following a battle with a brain disease linked to dementia, according to friends of the family. The Newark, N.J., native was in the Massachusetts home he shared with his wife Paula Kurman after weeks of hospice care. He was 80.”
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man, what a lightning rod  
Bill in UT : 7/10/2019 8:13 pm : link
Jimbo was back in the day. Fine pitcher, tho, for a while. I remember one year the Yanks bullpen was so bad that he and Downing were the main starters, and on their second day off after starting, each would come out of the bullpen to pitch relief. Read Ball Four when it came out, and although he trashed some of my heroes, I thought it was a good book and probably spot on.
hard thrower, on the mound and in print  
ColHowPepper : 7/10/2019 8:16 pm : link
a bit like Seaver in his motion and delivery, as I recall. Man, where does this time go? I had no idea he was struggling with the mind killer. May he RIP
Before my time as a player, but Ball Four is one of my  
mfsd : 7/10/2019 8:41 pm : link
all time favorite books.

Considering how public players' lives are now with social media, it's interesting to think about how his book was really the first 'inside the clubhouse' view of the game...and how he was blackballed for a long time because of it.

"The older they get, the better they get when they were younger." - Jim Bouton. RIP
.  
Del Shofner : 7/10/2019 8:52 pm : link
In comment 14496286 mfsd said:
Quote:
Considering how public players' lives are now with social media, it's interesting to think about how his book was really the first 'inside the clubhouse' view of the game...and how he was blackballed for a long time because of it.


It absolutely was the first "inside the clubhouse" book and, yes, he was reviled in many quarters for doing that.

As a pitcher, he had only two really good seasons, '63 and '64, but they were two very good seasons. He was an All-Star in '63 and pitched well in both World Series those years. RIP.
Met him once when I was probably in elementary school  
BillT : 7/10/2019 8:55 pm : link
Lived in my hometown. Tried to comeback as a knuckleballer. Quite the character.
Ball Four was I think  
bluepepper : 7/10/2019 9:11 pm : link
the first adult book I ever read. I was probably 10 or 11. When I re-read it years later I was amazed my parents didn't take it away from me. I guess they thought it was just another one of the many baseball books I read like "Hammerin Hank of the Braves"...lol.

He also did the sports on one of the local stations for several years - I think channel 2. Had a good sense of humor. RIP.
How sad  
Jay in Toronto : 7/10/2019 9:19 pm : link
he was special. When he first came up, he used to chat with us fans in the RF bleachers. He was genuine and open and not patronizing. I believe that he invited members of his first 'fan club' to his home.

Eventually I believe he reinvented himself as a knuckleball pitcher.

On many levels, he was one-of-a-kind.

RIP
A  
AcidTest : 7/10/2019 9:24 pm : link
special player and author. Thanks for the memories on and off the field. RIP. God bless. Prayers to him and his family.
I read Ball Four and the sequel  
81_Great_Dane : 7/10/2019 11:21 pm : link
both are great, though of course Ball Four is sort of on another level. In the sequel he mentioned the book "The Glory of Their Times," also a great book.

Bouton really, really loved baseball. A lot of people didn't like him, didn't approve of what he did, but nobody could argue with his love of the game.
Also was the co-inventor of Big League Chew  
Greg from LI : 7/11/2019 12:25 am : link
While playing for the independent minor league Portland Mavericks, owned by Kurt Russell's dad
met him once  
Stu11 : 7/11/2019 12:38 am : link
I was working at a synagogue in Teaneck, NJ as a youth director. It had a gym that had a basketball court/pool. He knew the AD and would come down to shoot some hoops. it was in the mid 90's. Weird dude. Didn't say much. I remember coming away thinking this is the guy that created all that hoopla?
What a hoot he was.  
Big Blue '56 : 7/11/2019 6:31 am : link
RIP
.  
winoguy : 7/11/2019 7:26 am : link
" shooting beaver " Remember that?
Best sports book of all time  
averagejoe : 7/11/2019 11:33 am : link
made me a MLB fan for life. Rest easy Bulldog !!!
People forget  
Stan in LA : 7/11/2019 12:04 pm : link
He was also a sports anchor for a local NYC TV station for a while. Funny guy.
Great book...  
Metnut : 7/11/2019 12:09 pm : link
RIP
I think there was a period  
Jay in Toronto : 7/11/2019 12:42 pm : link
where he retreated somewhere inMA and I think made jewelry
This is a pretty comprehensive  
Jay in Toronto : 7/11/2019 12:45 pm : link
obit.

The Pete Rose quote is my favorite.


Bulldog - ( New Window )
RIP Jim Bouton  
The Greek : 7/11/2019 1:10 pm : link
I have a home in the Berkshires and saw Jim at several local benefits etc. A very nice and humble guy. Even though I grew up idolizing Mickey Mantle, I had no gripe against Jim's accounts of the Yankees team in Ball Four. I also vividly remember the year he won 21 games and earned his stripes on the Yankee team. Sorry to learn of his passing.
Ball Four  
Medic36th : 7/11/2019 4:28 pm : link
In 1970 I was serving as an Army medic in Vietnam. At that time my mother-in-law (a real peach) got her hair styled in the same hair salon in Wyckoff NJ as Jim Bouton's wife. My mother-in-law got a copy of Jim's book "Ball Four," and asked Jim Bouton's wife to get it signed by Jim. Jim signed and inscribed the book: "Smoke em inside." If you read the book, you understand the significance of the quote. My wife sent the book to me in Vietnam.

I read and reread that book. It was a piece of home and gave me something additional besides my wife's letters to anchor me.

Mr.Bouton was certainly an accomplished man. What he did for me might sound less significant than some of his other accomplishments, but from the perspective of a 22 year old kid in a dark place, he was a giant (small g).

I still have and treasure the book.

May you rest in peace Mr. Bouton.
When doing the evening sports segment for local CBS TV affiliate  
GeofromNJ : 7/11/2019 6:27 pm : link
he once said that baseball teams should hire Johnny Sain as their pitching coach and then let Sain hire the manager. In Bouton's opinion, Sain made that much of a difference and the manager made that little of a difference.
RE: Ball Four  
mfsd : 7/11/2019 6:32 pm : link
In comment 14496819 Medic36th said:
Quote:
In 1970 I was serving as an Army medic in Vietnam. At that time my mother-in-law (a real peach) got her hair styled in the same hair salon in Wyckoff NJ as Jim Bouton's wife. My mother-in-law got a copy of Jim's book "Ball Four," and asked Jim Bouton's wife to get it signed by Jim. Jim signed and inscribed the book: "Smoke em inside." If you read the book, you understand the significance of the quote. My wife sent the book to me in Vietnam.

I read and reread that book. It was a piece of home and gave me something additional besides my wife's letters to anchor me.

Mr.Bouton was certainly an accomplished man. What he did for me might sound less significant than some of his other accomplishments, but from the perspective of a 22 year old kid in a dark place, he was a giant (small g).

I still have and treasure the book.

May you rest in peace Mr. Bouton.


Great story, thanks for sharing
Jim also invented Big League Chew  
since1925 : 7/11/2019 6:36 pm : link
Shredded bubble gum in a pouch so that kids could pretend they were chewing tobacco.
RIP Mr Bouton  
Bluesbreaker : 7/13/2019 1:11 am : link
Quite the player and Yankee always like him ...
RE: Ball Four  
Someguy1978 : 7/13/2019 1:49 am : link
In comment 14496819 Medic36th said:
Quote:
In 1970 I was serving as an Army medic in Vietnam. At that time my mother-in-law (a real peach) got her hair styled in the same hair salon in Wyckoff NJ as Jim Bouton's wife. My mother-in-law got a copy of Jim's book "Ball Four," and asked Jim Bouton's wife to get it signed by Jim. Jim signed and inscribed the book: "Smoke em inside." If you read the book, you understand the significance of the quote. My wife sent the book to me in Vietnam.

I read and reread that book. It was a piece of home and gave me something additional besides my wife's letters to anchor me.

Mr.Bouton was certainly an accomplished man. What he did for me might sound less significant than some of his other accomplishments, but from the perspective of a 22 year old kid in a dark place, he was a giant (small g).

I still have and treasure the book.

May you rest in peace Mr. Bouton.




Awesome story....Thank you for your service.

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