04 Jun Jim Bouton
Speaker: Jim Bouton
Former Yankee Pitcher & Author of Ball Four
- Ball Four
On his high school junior varsity baseball team his nickname was “Warm Up Bouton” because all he ever did was warm up and never played in the games. The goal of becoming a major league pitcher was “unrealistic”, so he did his Career Week essay on becoming a forest ranger. People are still having trouble predicting what Jim Bouton will do next.
In 1963 he won 21 games for the New York Yankees and made the All-Star team. In 1964 he won 18 games and beat the Cardinals twice in the World Series.
In 1969 he wrote Ball Four, the funny, irreverent, all-time bestseller that revealed baseball players as human beings. Ball Four was recently selected by the New York Public Library as one of the “Books of the Century.” The latest update, called Ball Four: The Final Pitch, is now entertaining a new generation.
In 1996 Bouton received the highest honor of his career when he was featured in The Sports 100: The One Hundred Most Popular People in American Sports History, published by Macmillan. This book, which covers 150 years, contains only 21 people from the world of baseball. In 1997 Bouton wrote his first novel, Strike Zone, which is now in paperback.
In 2003 Bouton self-published Foul Ball: My Life and Hard Times Trying to Save an Old Ballpark-his first diary since Ball Four. Bouton published the book himself rather than remove certain passages ordered by his first publisher.
As an all-star athlete, best-selling author, and successful businessman, he combines anecdotes and personal experience to create customized inspirational presentations.
Baseball players are human beings too!