GREAT BARRINGTON, Mass. (AP) — Jim Bouton, the former New York Yankees pitcher who shocked and angered the conservative baseball world with the tell-all book “Ball Four,” has died. He was 80.
Bouton’s family said he died Wednesday at the Great Barrington home he shared with wife Paula Kurman. He fought a brain disease linked to dementia and was in hospice care. Bouton also had two strokes in 2012.
Published in 1970, “Ball Four” detailed Yankees great Mickey Mantle’s carousing and the use of stimulants in the major leagues. Bouton’s revealing look at baseball off the field made for eye-opening and entertaining reading, but he paid a big price for the best-seller when former teammates and players and executives across baseball ostracized him for exposing their secrets. He wasn’t invited to the Yankees’ Old-Timers’ Day until 1998.