Former Yankees Pitcher and 'Ball Four' Author Jim Bouton Dies at 80

11 Juillet, 2019, 15:22 | Auteur: Adelaide Bullion
  • Former Yankees Pitcher and 'Ball Four' Author Jim Bouton Dies at 80

Former New York Yankees pitcher Jim Bouton, whose irreverent, raunchy baseball memoir, 'Ball Four, ' attracted both hostility and acclaim, died on Wednesday at his home in MA at the age of 80. He made it to the majors in 1962, going 7-7, but didn't appear in the Yankees' World Series victory over the San Francisco Giants. He finished his career with a record of 62-63 with a 3.57 ERS.

Pitcher Jim Bouton #56 of the New York Yankees pitches against the Washington Senators during an Major League Baseball game circa 1964 at D.C. Stadium in Washington, D.C. Bouton played for the Yankees from 1962-68.

In "Ball Four", he described the widespread use of stimulants on game days, the vulgar-at-best tirades of Pilots manager Joe Schultz, and most famously the behavior of Yankees legend Mickey Mantle around women, around alcohol and around both. According to the Society for American Baseball Research, Bouton negotiated a new contract each year and told the media details of the talks. In his 1963 All-Star campaign, Bouton won 21 games while posting a 2.53 ERA with a 1.115 WHIP. However, the memories and thoughts shared with the pages generated controversy and the book wasn't received well by many of Bouton's former teammates and coaches for its raw and accurate depiction of life behind the scenes in professional sports.

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New York Yankee pitcher Jim Bouton wearing his glove and holding a baseball.

The next season, his last as a player, Bouton was signed by Atlanta Braves owner Ted Turner as a 39-year-old in May 1978.

"Ball Four" eventually led to Bouton being blacklisted by Major League clubs from 1970 until he was signed by the Chicago White Sox in April 1977, but he didn't get back to the big leagues that season, as he was released in May of that season after going 0-6 with a 5.26 ERA over 10 Double-A outings. That year, he started out in Double-A and this time he pitched his way back to the big leagues only to go 1-3 with a 4.97 ERA over five seasons. He pitched in two World Series for the Yankees.

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