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  1. #1
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    Yankees pitcher, "Ball Four" author Jim Bouton dies

    https://www.nydailynews.com/sports/b...zpm-story.html

    The author of the groundbreaking hardball tell-all “Ball Four” died Wednesday following a battle with a brain disease linked to dementia. The Newark, N.J., native was in the home he shared with his wife Paula Kurman after weeks of hospice care. He was 80.
    "This game has a heartbeat, Brian." -- Joe Torre

  2. #2
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    Re: Yankees pitcher, "Ball Four" author Jim Bouton dies

    His 1963 season was a gem. I was not a fan of him when his book came out and damaged the the reputation of Mantle. Years later I read the book and thought it funny. I also remember that he was the sports guy on ABC eyewitness news
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ubeFmHEVzQ0

  3. #3
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    Re: Yankees pitcher, "Ball Four" author Jim Bouton dies

    First great baseball book I ever read, and still one of my top three. I practically memorized it when I was a teenager.

    Bouton also played Terry Lennox in the Robert Altman version of The Long Goodbye.
    A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds, adored by little statesmen and philosophers and divines.
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  4. #4
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    Re: Yankees pitcher, "Ball Four" author Jim Bouton dies

    Quote Originally Posted by JL25and3 View Post
    First great baseball book I ever read, and still one of my top three. I practically memorized it when I was a teenager.
    Indeed.

    Joe Schultz will forever be in my thoughts.
    The Good News: The rested Yankees will be ready for the Pennant Race that resting the Yankees will create!

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    Tends to be difficult JL25and3's Avatar
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    Re: Yankees pitcher, "Ball Four" author Jim Bouton dies

    Quote Originally Posted by JDPNYY View Post
    Indeed.

    Joe Schultz will forever be in my thoughts.
    His two favorite words were both compound words, and I can't use either one in this post.
    A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds, adored by little statesmen and philosophers and divines.
    - Barry Manilow

  6. #6
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    Re: Yankees pitcher, "Ball Four" author Jim Bouton dies

    Quote Originally Posted by JL25and3 View Post
    His two favorite words were both compound words, and I can't use either one in this post.
    So great. RIP Jim.
    The Good News: The rested Yankees will be ready for the Pennant Race that resting the Yankees will create!

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    Re: Yankees pitcher, "Ball Four" author Jim Bouton dies

    Quote Originally Posted by JL25and3 View Post
    His two favorite words were both compound words, and I can't use either one in this post.
    I thought his favorite words were "pound that Budweiser."
    "This game has a heartbeat, Brian." -- Joe Torre

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    Re: Yankees pitcher, "Ball Four" author Jim Bouton dies

    Quote Originally Posted by Messerwhitescooter View Post
    I also remember that he was the sports guy on ABC eyewitness news
    Probably his most memorable moment there was taking a particularly banal interview with Giants coach Alex Webster and playing the audio backwards.
    "This game has a heartbeat, Brian." -- Joe Torre

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    Tends to be difficult JL25and3's Avatar
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    Re: Yankees pitcher, "Ball Four" author Jim Bouton dies

    A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds, adored by little statesmen and philosophers and divines.
    - Barry Manilow

  10. #10
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    Re: Yankees pitcher, "Ball Four" author Jim Bouton dies

    It always amazed me that major league ballplayers in 1969 would know a Tom Lehrer song well enough to parody it.
    "This game has a heartbeat, Brian." -- Joe Torre

  11. #11
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    Re: Yankees pitcher, "Ball Four" author Jim Bouton dies

    Quote Originally Posted by HelloNewman View Post
    It always amazed me that major league ballplayers in 1969 would know a Tom Lehrer song well enough to parody it.
    https://bill37mccurdy.com/2018/11/16...o-be-an-astro/

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    Re: Yankees pitcher, "Ball Four" author Jim Bouton dies

    Bouton was a fun loving character. His book initially was criticized by many because it exposed inner workings inside the clubhouse.


    Bouton was there and as far as I can tell every word rang true.


    He had a full life


    Andy
    Yogi is a National Treasure. Let's put him in a National Hall of Fame. The man has no peers.

  13. #13
    Tends to be difficult JL25and3's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HelloNewman View Post
    It always amazed me that major league ballplayers in 1969 would know a Tom Lehrer song well enough to parody it.
    Maybe if the song had been from That Was the Year That Was, a hugely popular album. But it was off one of Lehrer's other albums, so it does get hard to imagine Oklahoma boys parodying it.

    I suspect there are a lot of anecdotes in Ball Four that could best be described in Ken Kesey's words: "It’s the truth even if it didn’t happen."

  14. #14
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    Re: Yankees pitcher, "Ball Four" author Jim Bouton dies

    A great book. People knocked it when it came out but for the most part they were people who had not actually read it. And he said a lot of nice things about Mantle in it. Wasn't Jim at least season's OTD?

  15. #15
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    Re: Yankees pitcher, "Ball Four" author Jim Bouton dies

    Rip
    ..
    Baseball is life;
    the rest is just details.

  16. #16
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    Re: Yankees pitcher, "Ball Four" author Jim Bouton dies

    as kid liked the ball four sitcom with jim bouton. unfortunately only lasted 4 or 5 episodes (summer of 1976 I think).

  17. #17
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    Re: Yankees pitcher, "Ball Four" author Jim Bouton dies

    Quote Originally Posted by OFcoombs113 View Post
    as kid liked the ball four sitcom with jim bouton. unfortunately only lasted 4 or 5 episodes (summer of 1976 I think).
    Yes. I remember that show.

  18. #18
    Tends to be difficult JL25and3's Avatar
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    Re: Yankees pitcher, "Ball Four" author Jim Bouton dies

    And let’s not forget Bouton's other great business venture: Big League Chew.

  19. #19
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    Re: Yankees pitcher, "Ball Four" author Jim Bouton dies

    Quote Originally Posted by JL25and3 View Post
    And let’s not forget Bouton's other great business venture: Big League Chew.
    Great documentary on Netflix called Battered Bastards of Baseball about Portland minor league baseball team owned by Bing Russell (Kurt’s father). Bouton was on team and several of the players came up with idea for big league chew

  20. #20
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    Re: Yankees pitcher, "Ball Four" author Jim Bouton dies

    Speaking of documentaries, here's one on the Seattle Pilots that was done about a decade ago. Bouton is featured extensively throughout.

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  21. #21
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    Re: Yankees pitcher, "Ball Four" author Jim Bouton dies

    I think "Ball Four" had a big impact on a lot of us Baby Boomers, coming out when it did. I can remember the shock and outrage on the part of the baseball establishment. Bowie Kuhn thought it would tarnish baseball forever. But it didn't make us think less of our baseball heroes,; it made us think they were doing the same crazy stuff we did or wished we could do when we were teenagers. I go back and re-read it every few years because it is so refreshing.

    For the last 25 years or so, Jim Bouton lived in a little town the southwest corner of Massachusetts and he loved showing up at local baseball events and just being one of the guys.
    "Any day is a good day when you can play baseball."

  22. #22
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    Re: Yankees pitcher, "Ball Four" author Jim Bouton dies

    Quote Originally Posted by JimmyA View Post
    I think "Ball Four" had a big impact on a lot of us Baby Boomers, coming out when it did. I can remember the shock and outrage on the part of the baseball establishment. Bowie Kuhn thought it would tarnish baseball forever. But it didn't make us think less of our baseball heroes,; it made us think they were doing the same crazy stuff we did or wished we could do when we were teenagers. I go back and re-read it every few years because it is so refreshing.

    For the last 25 years or so, Jim Bouton lived in a little town the southwest corner of Massachusetts and he loved showing up at local baseball events and just being one of the guys.
    I often wonder what baseball would have been if a book like “Ball Four” had been written during the Roaring Twenties with Ruth, Cobb and many others .

  23. #23
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    Re: Yankees pitcher, "Ball Four" author Jim Bouton dies

    Quote Originally Posted by Sixty one View Post
    I often wonder what baseball would have been if a book like “Ball Four” had been written during the Roaring Twenties with Ruth, Cobb and many others .
    No publisher in the 1920s would have taken it. None.

    Quote Originally Posted by JL25and3 View Post
    Maybe if the song had been from That Was the Year That Was, a hugely popular album. But it was off one of Lehrer's other albums, so it does get hard to imagine Oklahoma boys parodying it.

    I suspect there are a lot of anecdotes in Ball Four that could best be described in Ken Kesey's words: "It’s the truth even if it didn’t happen."
    I think "That Was The Year That Was" came out around 1965, four years before "Ball Four" was in the writing stage. Even in 1965, I doubt that its following included many pro baseball players. As Mayo Smith said, in language acceptable for the times, when he was asked what you might find if you cut open the head of a typical baseball player: "Eleven little broads and a jazz band."

    I don't doubt the parody existed, though. It's been ages since I re-read "Ball Four" but I have a vague memory of then-Astros ace Larry Dierker being one of the guys handing out the lyrics sheet on the team bus? ... I believe he's a pretty literate guy so maybe that's your author and it all is not as remarkable as I thought. Just takes one to write it, if the Oklahoma boys like the words, away you go. I'll amend: Most of the guys singing along on the Astros team bus likely didn't know it was a parody of Tom Lehrer. Bouton might have been the only one who did.
    "This game has a heartbeat, Brian." -- Joe Torre

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