Jim Bouton, ex-pitcher and author, dies at 80


Jim Bouton, ex-pitcher and author, dies at 80

GREAT BARRINGTON, Mass.

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 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, other players and executives across the big leagues ostracized him for exposing their secrets.

Throwing so hard that his cap flew off his head, Bouton was 21-8 with six shutouts in 1963 — his second season in the majors — and went 18-13 with four more shutouts in 1964. The Yankees lost the World Series both years, with Bouton losing his lone start in 1963 in New York’s loss to the Los Angeles Dodgers, and winning twice the following year in the Yankees’ loss to the St. Louis Cardinals.

Bouton injured his right arm in 1965, going 4-15 that season, and saw limited action the next three seasons with New York. He worked on “Ball Four” in 1969, a season spent with the expansion Seattle Pilots and Houston Astros, his fastball replaced by a knuckleball as he tried to prolong his career.

Bouton also pitched for Houston in 1970, and made a comeback with the Atlanta Braves in 1978, going 1-3 at age 39. He finished his 10-year career with a 62-63 record and 3.57 ERA.

Junior golf tournament set at Mill Creek G.C.

BOARDMAN

The Independent Insurance Agents of Mahoning County Junior Golf Classic will be July 31 at Mill Creek Golf Course.

Any golfer not yet attending college and who won’t be 19 on July 31 is eligible.

Cost is free as Rainbow International Restoration is the sponsor.

The tournament is 18 holes for ages 14 and older and nine holes for ages 13 and younger.

To register, contact Mark Daprile at 330-757-7757 or daprileinsurance@gmail.com. Registration deadline is July 29.

Two former players to become NFL officials

NEW YORK

Two former NFL players are among the six new officials for the upcoming NFL season.

Field judge Nate Jones joins the NFL officiating staff from the Pac-12, following an eight-year pro career as a defensive back. Umpire Terry Killens was a linebacker during his seven NFL seasons before officiating in the American Athletic Conference.

The other first-year officials are side judges Dave Hawkshaw and Jimmy Russell, down judge Patrick Holt and line judge Tripp Sutter.

Referees Walt Coleman, John Parry and Pete Morelli retired after last season. Line judge Jeff Bergman, entering his 28th NFL season, is now the longest-serving official.

The roster also includes two other former NFL players. Back judge Steve Freeman was a defensive back for 13 seasons and down judge Phil McKinnely was an offensive lineman for seven years.

Former Titans DL says he needs transplant

Former Tennessee Titans All-Pro defensive lineman Albert Haynesworth says on social media that he needs a kidney transplant.

The 38-year-old Haynesworth posted on Instagram that he’s been battling kidney disease for a few years. He shared a photo of himself in a hospital bed and wrote that his kidneys failed him Sunday and he’s looking for a donor.

“It’s hard to believe from being a professional athlete to only 8 [seasons into] retirement that my body has taken another major blow,” Haynesworth said in the post.

Staff/wire report

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