In "Ball Four", he described the widespread use of stimulants on game days, the vulgar-at-best tirades of Pilots manager Joe Schultz, and most famously the behavior of Yankees legend Mickey Mantle around women, around alcohol and around both. Bouton told stories of Roger Maris, Mantle, Ford and other teammates' in-season partying.
Bouton was born in Newark in 1939 and he spent most of his childhood living in Rochelle Park, N.J., until his family moved to Ridgewood, N.J., when he was 13 and then Chicago Heights, Ill., when he was 15.
But while the book, co-written with Leonard Shecter of the New York Post, was a critical hit, the amusing tales angered the baseball establishment and many former teammates.
On the diamond, Bouton debuted in 1962, and was known for his cap flying off his head as he delivered his fastball. He pitched at Western Michigan University before signing with the Yankees in 1958. Bouton went 21-7 with a 2.53 ERA in 1963, a performance that earned him a trip to the All-Star Game. Bouton was the winning pitcher in his two starts, Game 3 and Game 6.
Arm problems derailed his career, and Bouton developed a knuckleball to hang on for a few more seasons.
"Everybody thought I was writing a regular sports book, "Bouton told the L.A. Times in 1990".
New York Yankee pitcher Jim Bouton wearing his glove and holding a baseball. Major League Baseball commissioner Bowie Kuhn was very upset, too, and attempted to force Bouton to sign a letter stating "Ball Four" was fiction. He joined the Braves in 1978, at the age of 39 after developing a knuckle ball and after having been out of the majors since 1970.
Bouton also attended the Old-Timers Day game in 2018 and was given a standing ovation in front of 54 guests, including six of his grandchildren who had never before seen their grandfather in his Yankees pinstripes.