Thursday, July 11, 2019

Goodbye, Bulldog


9 comments:

Ceeja said...

Smoke 'em inside and then go pound those Budweisers

JM said...

The line that made me spit Orange Crush when I was a teenager: "Wow, that's some erection."

JM said...

“You spend a good piece of your life gripping a baseball and in the end it turns out that it was the other way around all the time.”

HoraceClarke66 said...

Great picture, great pitcher, in his prime.

Anonymous said...

As I've said before on this blog, I don't have that many people that I admire but he was absolutely one of them.

So last night I went to buy a Bouton Yankee T-Shirt because that's one I would wear but they only had them for the Braves and the Astros. The Yankees should issue one.

Truly bummed at his passing. Great writer, Great ball player, great baseball guy. While Ball Four is of course a masterpiece, I pretty much enjoyed his others as well.

The two Non Ball Four ones that I liked best were. From wikipedia...

Foul Ball (published 2003), a non-fiction account of his unsuccessful attempt to save Wahconah Park, a historic minor league baseball stadium in Pittsfield, Massachusetts.

and Strike Zone with Eliot Asinof which some reader on Amazon summarizes as:

Bouton and Asinof's "Strike Zone" is a surprisingly good book. I didn't think that a novel written in alternating chapters by two authors would even be readable, much less absorbing, but this book is both. The two parallel story-lines are simple but affecting: a journeyman pitcher's efforts in a crucial game and the plate umpire's moral dilemma about whether or not to define the strike zone in a way that will "throw" the game and thus allow an old friend to pay off a gambling debt. The action takes place in one 24-hour period, but with flashbacks effectively worked in to fill out the two men's lives."

I agree.

He will be missed but at least now he'll get to see if Joe Jackson can hit the knuckler.

Doug K.


https://www.amazon.com/Strike-Zone-Jim-Bouton/dp/0451183347

Mike Fan Cessa said...

The man was bad-ass in The Long Goodbye both after and before pitching in the majors.

He made me a purveyor of the Joe Schultz swear collection ("Fuckshit" and "Shitfuck").

He helped invent Big League Chew, which meant much to me decades ago.

He wrote a few good books that told about baseball from the inside...oddly he was the second Jim B. to do so, but I digress.

He was a dilettante or a polymath or maybe just a well timed fuckup. Whatever; he won't be forgotten.

Rest in peace, sir.

Anonymous said...

These comments miss the real key to Jim Bouton: his fearless iconoclasm. At a time when professional athletes, journalists, and sportscasters were expected to serve as stenographers for management and discreetly overlook the seamy underside of big-money sports, Bouton was a sports pioneer in what was, at that time, a novel and shocking endeavor: telling the truth. He also burst the stereotype of the jock as pious philistine, speaking out on key political and cultural issues of his day. I recall meeting him during my senior year in college, when I somehow managed to recruit him to speak at a an antiwar rally at our campus. I met him at the main hotel in our college town and walked him to the campus--he couldn't have been nicer and more gracious, or more passionate and eloquent in his denunciation of the brutal US aggression in Vietnam.

When people on this blog hurl derision and abuse at Clint Frazier for daring to speak his mind and break the mold of the well-tempered Stepford Player, they should think of Jim Bouton, and how much our culture has lost--not only with his physical death, but with the increasing rarity, among the polished PR-schooled doubletalkers who predominate in today's game, of the brash, wayward soul for whom truth and authenticity are higher values than looking and sounding "right." On today's Yankees, Bouton would be buried at Scranton.

JM said...

Hear, hear, Anon. Very well said.

Mike Fan Cessa said...

I agree completely, Anonymous, and appreciate your mention of iconoclasm. It wasn't mentioned outright and I sense its implication in all the comments but you are absolutely right to point it out as the impetus of all our memories of what we thought or saw or read about the man. He humanized icons, which might be some of the best work out there.

I'm on record saying I will dump this bunch of bums (The Steinspawn and their likes and foolish admirers) the second Mr. Frazier is traded or sold or released. It's not iconoclasm, I will grant you, but I've made tougher decisions and stand by them.