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Encyclopedia > Jim Bouton
Jim Bouton
Jim Bouton

James Alan Bouton (born March 8, 1939 in Newark, New Jersey, USA) is a former Major League Baseball player, and author of the controversial baseball book Ball Four, which was a combination diary of his 1969 season and memoir of his years with the New York Yankees. Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ... Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ... March 8 is the 67th day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar (68th in leap years). ... 1939 (MCMXXXIX) was a common year starting on Sunday (link will display full year calendar). ... Nickname: The Brick City Map of Newark in Essex County Coordinates: County Essex Founded/Incorporated 1666/1836  - Mayor Cory Booker, term of office 2006–2010 Area [1]    - City 67. ... This article or section does not adequately cite its references or sources. ... The term writer can apply to anyone who creates a written work, but the word more usually designates those who write creatively or professionally, or those who have written in many different forms. ... See also: 1968 in sports, other events of 1969, 1970 in sports and the list of years in sports. // Auto Racing Stock car racing: LeeRoy Yarborough won the Daytona 500 NASCAR Championship - David Pearson Indianapolis 500 - Mario Andretti USAC Racing - Mario Andretti won the season championship Formula One Championship - Jackie... Major league affiliations American League (1901–present) East Division (1969–present) Current uniform Retired Numbers 1, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 8, 9, 10, 15, 16, 23, 32, 37, 44, 49 Name New York Yankees (1913–present) New York Highlanders (1903-1912) Baltimore Orioles (1901-1902) (Also referred to as...

Contents

Precareer

While attending high school, Bouton was nicknamed "Warm-Up Bouton" because he never got to play in a school game, serving much of his time as a benchwarmer. As a high school pitcher he didn't throw particularly hard, and got batters out by mixing conventional stuff with the knuckleball that he'd experimented with since childhood. Bouton played baseball while he attended Western Michigan University before he played professional baseball. Also a pround relative of the Stimola family. Main article: Secondary education High school is a name used in some parts of the world, and particularly in North America, to describe the last segment of compulsory education. ... // A nickname is a short, clever, cute, derogatory, or otherwise substitute name for a person or things real name (for example, Bob, Rob, Robby, Robbie, Robi, Robin, Bobby, Rab, Rabbie, Bert, Bertie, Butch, Bobbers, Bobert, Beto, Bobadito, and Robban (in Sweden), are all nicknames for Robert). ... A knuckleball (or knuckler for short) is a baseball pitch thrown so as to minimize the spin of the ball in flight. ... Western Michigan University (abbr. ...


Professional career

Bouton started his major league career in 1962 with the Yankees, where his tenacity earned him the nickname "Bulldog." He also came to be known for his cap flying off his head at the completion of his delivery to the plate. In his subsequent two seasons, the hard-throwing right-hander won 21 and 18 games and appeared in the 1963 All Star Game. He was 2-1 with a 1.48 ERA in World Series play. See also: 1961 in sports, other events of 1962, 1963 in sports and the list of years in sports. // Auto Racing Stock car racing: Fireball Roberts won the Daytona 500 NASCAR Championship - Joe Weatherly Indianapolis 500 - Rodger Ward USAC Racing - Rodger Ward won the season championship Formula One Championship - Graham...


Bouton's hard throwing and heavy use by the Yankees during these years (in 1964 he led the league with 37 starts) probably contributed to his subsequent arm troubles. In 1965, an arm injury slowed his fastball and ended his status as a pitching phenomenon. Relegated mostly to bullpen duty, Bouton began to throw the knuckleball again, in an effort to lengthen his career. By 1968, Bouton was a reliever for the minor league Seattle Rainiers. See also: 1964 in sports, other events of 1965, 1966 in sports and the list of years in sports. // Auto Racing Stock car racing: Fred Lorenzen wins the Daytona 500 NASCAR Championship - Ned Jarrett Indianapolis 500 - Jimmy Clark USAC Racing - Mario Andretti Formula One Champion - Jimmy Clark of Great Britain... A knuckleball (or knuckler for short) is a baseball pitch thrown so as to minimize the spin of the ball in flight. ... See also: 1967 in sports, other events of 1968, 1969 in sports and the list of years in sports. // General sporting events 1968 Summer Olympics takes place in Mexico City, Mexico United States wins the most medals (107), and the most gold medals (45). ... The Seattle Rainiers, originally named the Seattle Indians, were a minor league baseball team which played in the Pacific Coast League from 1903 through 1906, and from 1919 though 1968. ...


In October 1968, he joined a committee of American sportsmen who traveled to the 1968 Summer Olympics, in Mexico City, to protest the involvement of apartheid South Africa. Around the same time, sportswriter Leonard Shecter—who had befriended Bouton during his time with the Yankees—approached him with the idea of writing and publishing a season-long diary. Bouton, who had taken some notes during the 1968 season after having a similar idea, readily agreed. The 1968 Summer Olympics, officially known as the Games of the XIX Olympiad, were held in Mexico City in 1968. ... Nickname: Ciudad de los Palacios Location of Mexico City in central Mexico Coordinates: Country Mexico Federal entity Federal District Boroughs The 16 delegaciones Founded (as Tenochtitlan) c. ... A segregated beach in South Africa, 1982. ...


This was by no means the first baseball diary. Cincinnati Reds pitcher Jim Brosnan had written two such books, about his 1960 and 1961 seasons, called The Long Season and Pennant Race respectively. Those books were much more open than the typical G-rated and ghost-written athletes' "diaries", a literary technique dating at least as far back as Christy Mathewson. Brosnan had also encountered some resistance. Joe Garagiola made a point in his own autobiography, Baseball Is a Funny Game, to criticize Brosnan for writing them. But Bouton's effort would become much more widely known, debated and discussed. Major league affiliations National League (1890–present) Central Division (1994–present) Current uniform Retired Numbers 1, 5, 8, 10, 18, 20, 24, 42 Name Cincinnati Reds (1958–present) Cincinnati Redlegs (1953-1958) Cincinnati Reds (1869-1953) Ballpark Great American Ball Park (2003–present) Riverfront Stadium (1970-2002) a. ... Christopher Christy Mathewson (August 12, 1880 - October 7, 1925), nicknamed Big Six, The Christian Gentleman, or Matty, was a right-handed pitcher in Major League Baseball. ... Joseph Henry Garagiola, Sr. ...


Ball Four

What Bouton came up with during the 1969 season was a frank, no-holds-barred insider's look at a professional sports team. The backdrop for the book was the Seattle Pilots' one and only operating season. Unlike previous sports tomes, Ball Four named names and made no attempt to protect the innocent or the guilty. Bouton did this by writing with almost complete honesty about the way a professional baseball team actually interacts—not only the heroic game-winning home runs, but also the petty jealousies, the obscene jokes, the drunken tomcatting of the players, and the routine drug use. Bouton and Shecter wrote with candor about Bouton's anxiety about his pitching role on the team. Bouton detailed his unsatisfactory relationships with teammates and management alike, his sparring sessions with Pilots manager Joe Schultz and pitching coach Sal Maglie, and the lies and minor cheating that has gone on in sports seemingly from time immemorial. Ball Four revealed publicly for the first time the degree of womanizing prevalent in the major leagues (including "beaver shooting," the spying on women from rooftops or from under the stands). Bouton also disclosed how rampant amphetamine or "greenies" usage was among players. Also revealed was the heavy drinking of Yankee legend Mickey Mantle, which had been almost entirely kept out of the press. (For the circa-1900 major league baseball team once known as the Milwaukee Brewers, see Baltimore Orioles. ... Joseph Charles Dode Schultz Jr. ... Salvatore Anthony Maglie (April 26, 1917 - December 28, 1992) was a Major League Baseball player for the New York Giants, Cleveland Indians, Brooklyn Dodgers, New York Yankees, and St. ... Voyeurism is a practice in which an individual derives sexual pleasure from observing other people. ... Amphetamine (alpha-methyl-phenethylamine), is a stimulant that is now primarily used to treat narcolepsy and attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder. ... Mickey Charles Mantle (October 20, 1931 – August 13, 1995) was an American baseball player who was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1974. ...


The fact that Bouton had a mediocre pitching year in 1969 even by his more modest recent standards is not minimized—Ball Four can also be viewed as the decline and fall of a former star pitcher. Arguing with the coaches (usually about his role with the team, his opinion that he should use the knuckleball exclusively, and his desire to throw between outings) and his outspoken views on politics (and everything else) meant that many considered him a malcontent and a subversive in the clubhouse. Early in the season he was sent to Seattle's minor-league affiliate in Vancouver, British Columbia, and was later traded during the season to the Houston Astros. Vancouver (pronounced: ) is a city in south-western British Columbia, Canada. ... Astros redirects here, for other uses see Astros (disambiguation) Major league affiliations National League (1962–present) Central Division (1994–present) Current uniform Retired Numbers 24,25,32,33,34,40,49,42 Name Houston Astros (1965–present) Houston Colt . ...


Baseball commissioner Bowie Kuhn called Ball Four "detrimental to baseball," and tried to force Bouton to sign a statement saying that the book was completely fictional. Bouton, however, refused to deny any of Ball Four's revelations. Many of Bouton's teammates never forgave him for publicly airing what he had learned in private about their flaws and foibles. The book made Bouton unpopular with many players, coaches and officials on other teams as well, as they felt he had betrayed the long-standing rule: "What you see here, what you say here, what you do here, let it stay here." Pete Rose took to yelling "F--- you, Shakespeare!" from the dugout whenever Bouton was pitching. Many traditional sportswriters also denounced Bouton, with Dick Young leading the way, calling Bouton and Shecter "social lepers" Bowie Kent Kuhn (born October 28, 1926 in Takoma Park, Maryland) was commissioner of Major League Baseball from February 4, 1969 to September 30, 1984. ... Peter Edward Pete Rose, Sr. ... Hansens disease, commonly known as leprosy, is an infectious disease caused by infection by Mycobacterium leprae. ...


Bouton seemed rather pleased by the commotion his book had kicked up, and the following year described the fallout from Ball Four and his ensuing battles with Commissioner Kuhn and others in another diary, entitled I'm Glad You Didn't Take It Personally.


The largest measure of Ball Four's impact is that many of the athletes who seemed most offended by Bouton's candor in 1969, including Mickey Mantle, went on to write memoirs of their own which were, in some respects, just as candid as Bouton's had been.


Retirement

Bouton retired midway through the 1970 season after the Astros sent him down to the minor leagues. He immediately became a local sports anchor for New York station WABC-TV, as part of Eyewitness News; he later had the same job for WCBS-TV. He appeared as an actor, playing the part of "Terry Lennox" in Robert Altman's The Long Goodbye (1973), and had the lead role in the 1976 CBS television series Ball Four, which was loosely adapted from the book and was cancelled after only a few episodes. By this time the book had a cult audience of fans who saw it as an honest and comic portrayal of the ups and downs of baseball life. Bouton went on the college lecture circuit, delivering humorous talks revolving around baseball, broadcasting, and his experiences with the book. See also: 1969 in sports, other events of 1970, 1971 in sports and the list of years in sports. // Auto Racing Stock car racing: Pete Hamilton won the Daytona 500 NASCAR Championship - Bobby Isaac Indianapolis 500 - Al Unser, Sr. ... WABC-TV, Channel 7, is the flagship station of the Walt Disney Company-owned American Broadcasting Company, located in New York City. ... Eyewitness News is a local television newscast format, widely used in different markets across the United States. ... It has been suggested that W2XAB be merged into this article or section. ... Robert Bernard Altman (February 20, 1925 – November 20, 2006) was an American film director known for making films that are highly naturalistic, but with a stylized perspective. ... The Long Goodbye is a 1973 film adaptation of Raymond Chandlers novel The Long Goodbye. ... CBS is one of the largest radio and television networks in the United States. ...


Bouton and his first wife, Bobbie (they divorced in the '80s) had two children together, Michael and Laurie, and adopted a Korean orphan, Kyong Jo, who was renamed David at the boy's own request. Bouton's ex-wife, Bobbie, teamed up with Nancy Marshall, the former wife of pitcher Mike Marshall to write a tell-all book called "Home Games." Bouton is now remarried to Paula Kurman [1]. Mike Marshall can refer to different people: Mike Marshall: a Major League Baseball outfielder (from 1981-1991) Mike Marshall: a Major League Baseball pitcher (from 1967-81) Mike Marshall: a Bluegrass musician Mike Marshall: an Inventor (Footbag, Wham-O) This is a disambiguation page — a navigational aid which lists...


Return

The urge to play baseball would not leave him. He launched his comeback bid with the Class A Portland Mavericks in 1975, compiling a 5-1 record. He skipped the 1976 season to work on the television series, but returned to the diamond in 1977 when Bill Veeck signed him to a minor league contract with the Chicago White Sox. Bouton was winless for a White Sox farm club; a stint in the Mexican League and a return to Portland followed. The Portland Mavericks were a minor league baseball team in Portland, Oregon, USA. They were a Class A team in the Northwest League from 1973 to 1977. ... See also: 1976 in sports, other events of 1977, 1978 in sports and the list of years in sports. // Auto racing Stock car racing: NASCAR Championship - Cale Yarborough Cale Yarborough won the Daytona 500 USAC Racing - Tom Sneva wins the season championship Indianapolis 500 - won by A.J. Foyt. ... William Louis Veeck Jr. ... Major league affiliations American League (1901–present) Central Division (1994–present) Current uniform Retired Numbers 2,3,4,9,11,16,19,72,42 Name Chicago White Sox (1904–present) White Stockings (1900-1903) St. ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ...


Bouton's quest to return to the majors might have ended there, but in 1978 Ted Turner signed him to a contract with the Atlanta Braves. After a successful season with the Savannah Braves (AA), he was called up to join the Atlanta rotation in September, and compiled a 1-3 record in five starts. His winding return to the majors was chronicled in a book by sportswriter Terry Pluto, entitled "The Greatest Summer." Bouton also detailed his comeback in a third book, titled Ball Five as well as adding a Ball Six, updating the stories of the players in Ball Four, for the 20th anniversary edition. These were collected (in 2000) with the original as Ball Four: The Final Pitch, along with a new coda that detailed his reconciliation with the Yankees following the death of his daughter in a road traffic accident. See also: 1977 in sports, other events of 1978, 1979 in sports and the list of years in sports. // Auto racing USAC - A J Foyt won final season championship under USAC. CART, Championship Auto Racing Teams open wheel racing established in the United States. ... Robert Edward Turner III (born November 19, 1938 in Cincinnati, Ohio) is an American media mogul and philanthropist. ... Major league affiliations National League (1876–present) East Division (1994–present) Current uniform Retired Numbers 3,21,35,41,42,44 Name Atlanta Braves (1966–present) Milwaukee Braves (1953-1965) Boston Braves (1941-1952) Boston Bees (1936-1940) Boston Braves (1912-1935) Boston Rustlers (1911) Boston Doves (1907-1910) Boston... Terry Pluto is an award winning sports writer living in Akron, Ohio who primarily writes columns for the Akron Beacon Journal mostly about Cleveland Sports and religion. ... 2000 (MM) was a leap year starting on Saturday of the Gregorian calendar. ...


After his return to the majors, Bouton continued to pitch at the semi-pro level for a Bergen County, New Jersey team called The Merchants. Bergen County is the most populous county of the state of New Jersey, United States. ...


After his baseball career ended a second time, Bouton was one of the inventors of "Big League Chew," a shredded bubblegum designed to resemble chewing tobacco and sold in a tobacco-like pouch. He has also co-authored Strike Zone (a baseball novel) and edited an anthology about managers, entitled I Managed Good, But Boy Did They Play Bad. His most recent book is Foul Ball (published 2003) a non-fiction account of his (ultimately unsuccessful) attempt to save Wahconah Park, a historic minor league baseball stadium in Pittsfield, Massachusetts. Big League Chew is a brand of bubble gum that is shredded and packaged like chewing tobacco. ... Bubblegum is a type of chewing gum that is especially designed for blowing bubbles. ... Species Nicotiana acuminata Nicotiana alata Nicotiana attenuata Nicotiana benthamiana Nicotiana clevelandii Nicotiana excelsior Nicotiana forgetiana Nicotiana glauca Nicotiana glutinosa Nicotiana langsdorffii Nicotiana longiflora Nicotiana obtusifolia Nicotiana paniculata Nicotiana plumbagifolia Nicotiana quadrivalvis Nicotiana repanda Nicotiana rustica Nicotianasuaveolens Nicotiana sylvestris Nicotiana tabacum Nicotiana tomentosa Ref: ITIS 30562 as of August 26, 2005... 2003 (MMIII) was a common year starting on Wednesday of the Gregorian calendar. ... Wahconah Park is a city-owned baseball park located in Pittsfield, Massachusetts and nestled in a working class neighborhood. ... A Class A California League game in San Jose, California (1994) Minor baseball leagues are North American professional baseball leagues that compete at a level below that of Major League Baseball. ... Pittsfield redirects here. ...


Vindication and reconciliation

Although Bouton had never been officially declared persona non grata by the Yankees or any other team as a result of Ball Four's revelations, he was excluded from most baseball-related functions, including Old-Timer's Games. It was rumored that Mickey Mantle himself had told the Yankees that he would never attend an Old-Timer's Game to which Bouton was invited (a charge that Mantle subsequently denied, especially during a lengthy answering-machine message to Bouton while Mantle was hospitalized shortly before his death). This changed in June 1998, when Bouton's oldest son Michael wrote an eloquent open letter to the Yankees which was published in the New York Times. In the letter, Michael described the agony of his father following the August 1997 death of Michael's sister Laurie at age 31, and begged the Yankees to give a special Father's Day present by ending his father's exile. The Yankees acceded, and in July 1998, Jim Bouton was received with thunderous applause at Yankee Stadium, both in appreciation for his candor in writing Ball Four and for weathering his personal tribulations since. Coincidentally, Bouton's first Old-Timer's Game would also be Joe DiMaggio's last—the Yankee Clipper would die seven months later. Mickey Charles Mantle (October 20, 1931 – August 13, 1995) was an American baseball player who was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1974. ... The New York Times is an internationally known daily newspaper published in New York City and distributed in the United States and many other nations worldwide. ... James Alan Bouton (born March 8, 1939 in Newark, New Jersey) was a Major League Baseball player and author of the controversial baseball book Ball Four, which was a combination diary of his 1969 season and memoir of his years with the New York Yankees. ... Joseph Paul DiMaggio, born Giuseppe Paolo DiMaggio, Jr. ...


Following this, Bouton has become a regular fixture at Yankee Old-Timer's Games.


Writings

  • Ball Four has been through numerous significantly revised editions, the most recent being Ball Four: The Final Pitch, Bulldog Publishing. (April 2001), ISBN 0-9709117-0-X.
  • I'm Glad You Didn't Take It Personally
  • I Managed Good, But Boy Did They Play Bad -- edited and annotated by Bouton, compiled by Neil Offen.
  • Foul Ball, Bulldog Publishing. (June 2003), ISBN 0-9709117-1-8.
  • Strike Zone, Signet Books. (March 1995), ISBN 0-451-18334-7.

Quotes

"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 all the time."


"This winter (1977) I'm working out every day, throwing against a wall. I'm 11-0 against the wall."


External links

  • Baseball-Reference.com - career statistics and analysis
  • Jim Bouton's official homepage

  Results from FactBites:
 
Jim Bouton - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (1475 words)
James Alan Bouton (born March 8, 1939 in Newark, New Jersey) was a Major League Baseball player and author of the controversial baseball book Ball Four, which was a combination diary of his 1969 season and memoir of his years with the New York Yankees.
Bouton started his major league career in 1962 with the Yankees, where his tenacity earned him the nickname "Bulldog." In the subsequent two seasons the hard-throwing right-hander, known for his cap flying off at the completion of his delivery to the plate, won 21 and 18 games and appeared in the 1963 All Star Game.
Bouton was winless for a White Sox farm club; a stint in the Mexican League and a return to Portland followed.
downstreet.net-Jim Bouton (1342 words)
Early in his account Bouton explores in some detail the recent history of the clever, but mostly cynical way, rival baseball club owners and public officials have whipsawed communities into believing that their only hope for having a team was to spend scarce public funds on building new parks.
As the journal relates the story from Bouton’s singular perspective during that summer and fall until the last entry on October 4, it seems clear that the deck is stacked against Bouton and his grand design for baseball in the Berkshires.
Bouton’s book is Exhibit A, B and C of the bitter consequences for a community of a newspaper without principles.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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