Former Yankees pitcher and author of the critically acclaimed book “Ball Four” Jim Bouton has passed away at the age of 80 after battling brain disease that had been linked to dementia.
Bouton pitched seven of his 10 big league seasons in Yankees pinstripes from 1962-68, winning 21 games and earning an All-Star nod in 1963. He won 55 games overall with the Yankees, posting a 3.36 ERA, and was a part of the 1962 World Series championship group.
Despite a lengthy career as pitcher, Bouton is more widely known for being the author of “Ball Four”, one of the most acclaimed sports books ever written.
In the book, Bouton chronicles his 1969 season with the Seattle Pilots, offering a behind-the-curtain look at some of the less desirable parts of Major League Baseball at the time, including rampant amphetamine use, womanizing within the clubhouse, and ways teams would attempt to cheat the rules of the game.
As a result of Bouton pulling back the curtain, Bouton irked many of his former teammates and the organizations that he played for, resulting in him being blacklisted by most of baseball. It was not until 2018 that Bouton was invited back to be a part of Yankees Old-Timers’ Day.
The right-hander finished his career with an overall record of 62-63 with a 3.57 ERA.