Jim Bouton has died

Jim Bouton, pitcher and ‘Ball Four’ author, dies

He was very unique and looked at things from a different point of view… we seem to have lost so many of the characters in todays sport’s world of big money.

I have been a Yankee fan my entire life…one of a few from this state. CBS used to own the Yankees, so they were on national television almost every Saturday on the game of the week with Pee Wee Reese and Dizzy Dean.

I digress…Jim Bouton was a heck of a pitcher in his prime… He was a hard throwing right hander and one of the best in the American League for a short time. He reminded me a little of Tom Seaver in his build and the way he threw the ball. He was an unusual guy for his day, no doubt.

I loved both “Ball Four” and it’s follow up, “I’m Glad You Didn’t Take It Personally.”

The title of the second book came from an encounter Jim Bouton had with Dick Young. Young, who knew Bouton from his Yankees days, was an old-school NYC sports columnist who ripped the pitcher as a “social leper” for violating the sanctity baseball club house with his tell-all book. They ran into each other after the column published and it came up in their conversation. Bouton was cordial to Young despite the nastiness of Young’s column. As they parted, Young said, “Well, I’m glad you didn’t take in personally.”

I was a Yankee fan for the same reasons as you Jhawg. As a young boy in the Fairgrounds in Pine Bluff I was glued to the CBS game of the week every Saturday. My best friend who grew up with me in the Fairgrounds agrees with me that they were the best announcing pair of all time. My buddy was in broadcasting himself for years and became friends with Pee Wee while he lived in Louisville. He said he was a class act.

Bouton’s book was an eye opener for sure. Prayers for his family.