Bouton, former pitcher and author, dies

By Anthony Caruso III | Publisher

Former pitcher Jim Bouton has died. He was 80.

He died at his Massachusetts home that he shared with his wife Pam after being in hospice care weeks prior with cerebral amyloid angiopathy. He died on Wednesday.

Death Candle
Death Candle (Photo by

Bouton was born in Newark, New Jersey, then attended Bloom High School in Chicago Heights, Illinois. He also attended college at Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo, Michigan.

He spent 10 seasons in the Big Leagues with the New York Yankees, Houston Astros, Seattle Pilots, and the Atlanta Braves. He played in the Majors from 1962 through 1970, then came back in 1978 with the Braves.

In his career, he went 62-63 with a 3.57 ERA in 304 appearances, including 1344 starts. He also had 57 games finished and 34 complete games with 11 shout outs. Bouton also had six saves.

He also allowed 566 runs (492 earned runs), including 127 home runs, on 1,131 hits on 1,238 2/3 innings. Bouton also had 720 strikeouts and 435 walks.

His book “Ball Four,” which had four editions, which the last came out in 2001, Bouton initially chronicled his experiences with the Pilots. It also included his experience at the Triple-A level with the Vancouver Mounties, along with his trade to the Astros.

The insider’s look into the pro baseball also covered off-the-field things that he experienced. It had obscene jokes, routine drug use, including by Bouton, among other things. At the time, MLB Commissioner Bowie Kuhn did not like the book and called it “detrimental to baseball” — who tried to get Bouton to allege that the book was fictional.

Bouton refused Kuhn’s offer. He also received backlash from his teammates, who never forgave him for the things in the book. This also happened on other teams, as other players and coaches did not like it, not just his own at the time.

Because of the book, he was blacklisted from the sport.

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