I read Bouton's Ball Four  when I was in 8th grade.  Changed my baseball life.  Tried to learn a knuckleball because of it (which later evolved into a fairly effective forkball).  Changed my vocabulary because of it, which got me in trouble at school because for a day or two I couldn't stop saying "f..ks..t".  Made me realize ball players were human, but I was too young to think of it that way.

Bouton pulled back the veil on baseball, for better or worse.

 

Was she very beautiful?  She was Queen of the Netherlands....  Buckaroo Banzai

 

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Whenever I see a reference to Jim Boutin I always think of Joe Schultz’s two favorite words, s***f*** and f***s*** and she looked like Joe Torre with (breasts). I was fifteen when I read Ball Four. I kept the book hidden as if it were a Playboy.

In 1963 Boutin won 21 games. He asked for a raise. He was told he pitches for the Yankees. He’s supposed to win 20 games. Think players appreciate free agency? 

Also read Ball Four when I was in 8th or 9th grade. At the time I had never read anything like it and it had a big impact on me. I found the stories to be hilarious and at times almost unbelievable. But what I took away from it was that big leaguers were hardly any different than me and my friends. 

Just watched the "Battered Bastards of Baseball" on Netflix, about an independent league single A team based in Portland in the 70's. One of the many colorful players on the team was Bouton, who was attempting a comeback. No other team would give him a chance because of the book.

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