Publicado: Sol, Julio 14, 2019
Deportes | Por Godofredo Marrero

‘Ball Four’ author, ex-Yankees pitcher Jim Bouton dies at 80

‘Ball Four’ author, ex-Yankees pitcher Jim Bouton dies at 80

The former New York Yankees pitcher who wrote the most famous tell-all book in baseball history has died.

The release of "Ball Four" in 1970 was met with anger in baseball circles, but became widely acclaimed for the candid view it provided into the world of baseball.

In the early part of his career, Bouton was a hard-throwing force for the Yankees - becoming an All-Star, a 20-game victor and a World Series starter for NY in 1963.

As a player, Bouton compiled a 62-63 record with a 3.57 ERA and 1.264 WHIP over 304 appearances.

"Ball Four" was a diary of Bouton's 1969 season pitching for the expansion Pilots and Astros, plus it famously included stories from his time with the Yankees.

According to the Daily News, the controversial smash hit was the "only sports book cited when the New York Public Library drew up its list of the best books of the 20th century".

The baseball legend suffered a stroke back in 2012, having battled cerebral amyloid angiopathy for a number of years, which can lead to brain damage and dementia.

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The Yankees blackballed him from baseball events for nearly 50 years before relenting and inviting him to an old-timer's event last season where he received a standing ovation, according to The Daily News. A year later, Bouton's record was 18-13 with a 3.02 ERA and he won a pair of World Series starts against the St. Louis Cardinals.

Bouton was also one of the creators of Big League Chew bubble gum and worked as a sportscaster for both Channel 2 and Channel 7 in NY.

Mr. Bouton injured his right arm in 1965, going 4-15 that season, and saw limited action the next three seasons with NY.

While pitching in college at Western Michigan, Bouton impressed Yankees scouts and he signed with team as an amateur free agent in 1959 for $30,000.

Bouton was approached in 1968 by New York Post sports writer Leonard Shecter about writing a tell-all book, and he agreed.

Mr. Bouton's career ended after the 1970 season with the Astros, though he returned for a five-game cameo with the Braves in 1978, going 1-3 at age 39.

After he retired, Bouton took up broadcasting and helped invent "Big League Chew", a bubble-gum product that resembles chewing tobacco and is packaged in a tobacco-like pouch.

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