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Jim Bouton, 1939-2019
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puckerman Offline
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Jim Bouton, 1939-2019
It was a more innocent and guarded time when Jim Bouton pitched for the New York Yankees in the early 1960's. You only had a few stations on your television, and there was no Internet. You didn't know the scores of the game from last night until you got the morning paper. And there was only so much time to give to sports.

Then Jim Bouton kept a diary of his 1969 Major League season with the Seattle Pilots. His book Ball Four was published in 1970. It was one of the first tell-all books in the history of sports, and he was one of the most controversial athletes of his time.

Bouton wrote about the antics of players in the dugout and the bullpen. He told stories of the players' practical jokes, their use of "greenies" and other performance-enhancing drugs, their sexcapades, their talk in the locker room. He was the first person to write about Mickey Mantle's alcoholism.

Baseball commissioner Bowie Kuhn called Bouton into his office. He wanted Bouton to sign a statement retracting everything. Bouton refused. Kuhn's efforts to stop the book just made people more interested in reading it.

Ball Four even tapped into a market which doesn't have many readers. Teenage boys loved the book, even though some parents wouldn't allow them to read it because it contained a lot of "dirty words." At the same time, Bouton said he got one letter from a mother who thanked him for getting her son to read.

Many players hated Bouton for revealing the truth. Pete Rose would call out and say, "Fuck you, Shakespeare." For many years, he wasn't invited back to old-timers' games. This changed in the mid 1990's.

Jim Bouton's book doesn't seem like a big deal nowadays, but it changed sports journalism in many ways. So many tell-all books have written since then that we take them for granted. They should all give some of their royalties to Jim Bouton. He died last Friday.

Here he is on David Letterman in 1982:





Here he is on Speaking Freely (date unknown):





Here he is with Johnny Carson in 1977:





Here is another interview, date unknown:



(This post was last modified: 07-19-2019 10:42 PM by puckerman.)
07-19-2019 10:42 PM
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TigerMandingo Offline
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RE: Jim Bouton, 1939-2019
Who??
07-19-2019 10:55 PM
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puckerman Offline
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RE: Jim Bouton, 1939-2019
(07-19-2019 10:55 PM)TigerMandingo Wrote:  Who??

I am sorry if my post didn't answer that question. Here is an excellent place to go for the answer to that question. Maybe you've heard of this site?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jim_Bouton
07-21-2019 08:40 AM
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