Pitcher/Author/Actor Jim Bouton Shocker! “Ball Four” Writer Has Brain Disease!

A Sad Day For Sports Fans – And Fans Of GREAT Memoirs!

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

I grew up in Seattle, and in a city that for man-years had NO major league teams, there was the legendary pro baseball team, The Seattle Pilots – who only lasted one season – 1969 – before moving to Milwaukee to become the Brewers…a black eye on the sport…

Luckily for Seattle sports fans, former Yankee Pitcher Jim Bouton wrote a diary about his year with the expansion Seattle Pilots, as he was trying to make a comeback in baseball.

The result is the greatest sports book ever written – that also happened to be a “history” of the team, which moved to Milwaukee after a single season – on April Fools Day!

The Brilliant “Ball Four!”

This candid book about major league baseball tore the cover off the sport – this was a time when there were NO “tell-all” books about sports…but Bouton was honest, acerbic, candid and revealing.

Mickey Mantle’s Hangover Home Run!

Baseball fans were outraged when Bouton revealed that the great Mickey Mantle once hit a home run after a night of binge-drinking – his hangover was massive, and after he rounded the bases he went into the dugout and said, “they’ll never know how tough that was.”

Tragic News About Bouton Revealed:

Bouton has always been honest about his life – and The New York Times has just published a poignant and honest story about the Pitcher’s recent stroke – and the news that he has revealed that he is locked in a losing battle with brain disease:

Bouton has publicly revealed a degenerative brain disease – just five years after he acknowledged having a stroke.

The NY Times story is beautifully reported – and very sad – here is an excerpt, beginning as the Reporter visits Bouton at his home:

“It is good for Bouton to have company, said his wife, Paula Kurman, who has a doctorate in interpersonal communications from Columbia. They have been married for 35 years and have lived here for more than 20, among the foxes and black bears, surrounded by pine trees. A cloud might roll by, straight through the screened-in porch, and there are no other homes in sight. Their children are grown and live elsewhere.

Bouton had a stroke five years ago this Aug. 15. They know the date because it was the 15th anniversary of the death of Bouton’s daughter, Laurie, in a car accident.”

“The body knows, you know?” Kurman said, softly. “The body knows.”

The wife’s candid comment sets up the latest bad news to hit Bouton:

“Bouton’s body was largely unaffected by the stroke. But his mind, the one whose pointed and poignant observations produced the classic memoir “Ball Four” in 1970, will never be the same. This weekend in New York, at the convention for the Society of American Baseball Research, Bouton went public about his brain disease: cerebral amyloid angiopathy, which is linked to dementia.”

The Pitcher/Author/Actor is fighting a brain disease that leads to dementia – a horrible fate for anyone – but always shocking to see happen to someone who has faced so many tragedies in the past already.

It’s another great piece of reporting from The New York Times – you can see the entire story at their website:


As I said, “Ball Four” tore the cover off of baseball – and it’s hilariously self-deprecating as well – as when Bouton finds out the Pilots traded him to Houston for Pitcher Dooley Womack.

“Wait – THE DOOLEY WOMACK??!?!?!?”

Bouton also writes about trying to sneak a fast ball by one hitter and the result:

“He snuck it over the fence.”

Here is a look at this book, and the fallout that followed its release:


Bouton also did acting, like the great Robert Altman take on “The Long Goodbye” – check out this classic movie poster, which references Bouton and his baseball book:

Altman’s updated take on the Raymond Chandler novel is a quirky masterpiece, starring Elliott Gould. The movie was filmed in one of LA’s great locations: the famous Hollywood Hightower:

See more about the film – and this iconic location – here:


Here’s wishing the best for Jim Bouton and his wife…

Categories: 70's Cinema, Action Films, Art, Awards, Books / Media, Cult Movies, Film Fight Club, Film Noir, Great Films, Hollywood, Independent Cinema, Los Angeles, Memoirs, Movies, New York, Obscure Movies, Revenge Movies, Sports, Talent/Celebrities

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

10 replies

  1. I remember attending the game when the Pilots played the Yankees at Sicks Stadium! I still like baseball and need to read Ball Four. Sorry about his diagnosis.

  2. I have never heard of the man, as I know nothing about baseball. But I am sorry to hear that his retirement has been blighted by this disease.
    Best wishes, Pete.

  3. Lovely tribute, John. I love baseball and the book is something I’d probably read!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


Travel, Coffee & Lifestyle Blog

Travel with Intent

A photographer's view of the world - words and images to inspire your travels and your dreams

Movie Reviews 101

Reviews, Trailers, Top5's, Star Focus

Hugh's Views & News

A man with dyslexia writing about this and that and everything else!

Cindy Bruchman

Films. Travel. Photography. Books. Let's talk.

lazy day project

slow down or you’ll miss the best part

From Michigan to Germany

A family from Michigan living abroad in Germany.

Singular Sarah

Humor, Attempted. Clumsiness, Guaranteed.


The world's wildest movies from an era of "everything goes!"

A Little Life Rounded

A blog about making and being inspired by theatre

Eclectic Alli

A bit of this, a bit of that, the meandering thoughts of a dreamer.


Little Things Make Us Happy


words and scribble.

Rust Belt Girl

reading and writing the Rust Belt

Cult Of The Cinema

Exploring Cinematic Diversity

Retired? No one told me!

Tonight I Dream. Tomorrow I Do!


The musings of a Londoner, now living in Norfolk

The Bloomin Brilliant Blog

A little lifestyle blog

Suzie Speaks

The Adventures Of a Thirty-Something Life

The Phil Factor

Where Sarcasm Gets Drunk and Let's Its Hair Down

Cats and Trails and Garden Tales

Musings on cats, travel, gardens and life

The BookWorm Drinketh

Give Tea to the Tillerman, But Booze to the Bookworm!

Tranquil Dreams

Watching, Reading, Cooking & Travelling

Esme Salon

Share, Care & Inspire

An Historian About Town

History in the Making

Live, Love & Voyage

Living How I Know Best

First Night History

How can we improve our future if we don't understand the past?

Susie Lindau's Wild Ride

Come for Adventure. Stay for the Ride!

Gin & Lemonade

...with a twist

Robbie's inspiration

Ideas on writing and baking

a mindful traveler

explore, live, love...

Half Baked In Paradise

Searching, settling, sauteeing and spritzing

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine

Blog magazine for lovers of health, food, books, music, humour and life in general

It Rains... You Get Wet

Still more lazy thoughts from this one...

By Hook Or By Book

Book Reviews, News, and Other Stuff


Flaming Goats Heads of Terror

Admit One Film Addict

Psychotronic Cinema

Let's Go To The Movies

Film and Theatre Lover!

Susartandfood's Blog

A taste of humor about life, art and food

emmakwall (explains it all)

Film & soundtrack reviews, good humour and lists


Do Yourself a Favour

You hear that?!?

An electronic record of learning of things

Tangled Up In Music

Music Reviews (and other things)

The Immortal Jukebox

A Blog about Music and Popular Culture

Rogues & Vagabonds

theatre, film & tv past and present 2001-2008 & 2013...


Travels in Paradise

%d bloggers like this: