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Discussion in 'Baseball' started by Hideo Gump Jr., Jul 11, 2019.
“It makes a fellow proud to be an Astro.”
Bouton, ex-Yankee and 'Ball Four' author, dies
Just noticed this thread. I read Ball Four when I was a child. I loved the book. It was a real eye-opener to me as a kid because it made the players human. It was racy too. I don't think my Mom knew what I was reading. She thought it was one of those typical hype biographies full of happy talk.
Way to age a lot of us that lived through his playing career.
A lot of people remember him for Ball Four (and the sequel, Ball Four plus Ball Five, that covered the period between 1970 and 1980), but few are aware that he was one of the brains behind Big League Chew.
And, even fewer likely realize he had been an Astro for parts of two seasons (1969/1970)...
Jim Bouton was a speaker at a sales conference my company hosted back in 1986. I picked him up at the Jacksonville airport and of course quizzed him on Ball Four and his baseball career. Being a big Astro fan, Ball Four gave me a close up look at many of my heroes (Larry Dierker, Doug Rader, Norm Miller...and many others) and Bouton was more than happy to share other stories with me on the drive to the resort. He was a great guy and at the conference introduced us to "Big League Chew".
Sad to hear that he passed.
Jim Bouton shaped my worldview, starting when I was 16 and read Ball Four for the first time. I read it every year during Spring Training. I never fail to appreciate its greatness.
He was my hero.
Jim also wrote I’m Glad You Didn’t Take It Personally, in which he describes the backlash after Ball Four came out. He was a pariah. Baseball can forgive rapists, drug abusers, serial cheaters, and self-above-team types, but couldn’t forgive a writer who told the truth. It was only after his daughter Laurie died in a car wreck in 1997 that he was invited back to Yankee Stadium for Old
Timers Day. His son Michael convinced the Yankees that Him should be welcomed back.
Jim also put together a wonderful anthology about managers called I Managed Good, But Boy, Did They Play Bad, which is a quote from minor league manager Rocky Bridges. If you can find a copy, I highly recommend it.