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Jim Bouton Newsbeat

Thursday, July 11, 2019

Extra Innings (1978)

Jim Bouton, former sportscaster, former actor, former author, former 20-game winner for the New York Yankees, arrives at his usual post at the edge of the bleachers’ behind the Richmond dugout. He can’t go on the field and he’s not willing to sit in the stands, so he loiters around the hot dog concession, looking around absently like a man who’s lost his bearings. At the age of 39, Bouton no longer resembles a fresh-faced Army recruit, as he did in 1964 when he won two games in the World Series. The hair is short again, but it’s graying, and the eyes are attracting crow’s feet. To the fans in Richmond, he must look like somebody’s dad trying to get a peek in the bullpen to see if his son is warming up. But it’s his own youth that Bouton is searching for, and tomorrow night when the anthem concludes before the exhibition game with the Atlanta Braves, Jim Bouton will walk to the mound and face a major league club for the first time in eight years.

Folks around here probably know of Alex Belth for his long-running blog Bronx Banter. More recently, he’s been doing The Stacks Reader, a site devoted to curating great print journalism from the past. This is a 1978 NY Times piece on Jim Bouton’s attempted comeback as a knuckleball pitcher.

Lowry Seasoning Salt Posted: July 11, 2019 at 07:58 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: alex belth, jim bouton, ted turner

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Ball Four Author Bouton Dies at Age 80

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 died in the home he shared with his wife Paula Kurman after weeks of hospice care. He was 80.

SoSH U at work Posted: July 10, 2019 at 09:07 PM | 38 comment(s)
  Beats: ball four, jim bouton, obituary

Sunday, May 05, 2019

Mental Floss: “Spit Take: The Story of Big League Chew”

Despite a lack of a viable prototype gum, [Jim] Bouton did his part by pitching the idea to several baseball-affiliated companies. (The former Yankee put his own likeness on the mock-up pouch.) Topps and Fleer, which produced bubblegum cards, politely rejected him. He eventually ended up at Amurol, a subsidiary of the Wrigley Company, one of the largest chewing gum conglomerates in the world. In a coincidence, Amurol engineer Ron Ream had been working on a shredded-gum project for several years. Rather than brush Bouton off, the company embraced the idea of a gum that would be sold in a pouch and was a play on kid-friendly chewing tobacco. They even liked the name [Bouton’s partner] Nelson had settled on: Big League Chew.

bobm Posted: May 05, 2019 at 09:55 PM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: big league chew, jim bouton

 

 

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