Sunday, November 1, 2009

Final Card: Jim Bouton

The career peak for Jim Bouton (#562) was in 1963 and 1964. He won 21 games in 1963, and won 2 games in the 1964 World Series.

This is Bouton's last baseball card (although blogger WhiteSoxCards has thankfully corrected that situation). The reason for this may be that he spent most of 1968 in the minors. After appearing in 12 games for the Yankees, he was sent to the Angels' triple-A team in Seattle, where he spent the remainder of 1968 (going 4-7 in 27 games).

As you may know, 1968 was not Bouton's last major-league season. He stayed in Seattle, as a relief pitcher for the expansion Seattle Pilots. He made 57 appearances before being traded to the Astros in late August. Bouton documented this season in his best-selling book Ball Four. For anyone who hasn't read it, Bouton kept a daily diary of the season, and turned it into a book. His recollections of manager Joe Schultz, outfielder Wayne Comer, and the other animals in this Seattle zoo make for great reading.

Bouton continued with the Astros for most of the 1970 season, until being released in mid-August. After his book was published, he pretty much put himself on the blacklist regarding future employment.

He had a brief comeback in the late 1970s, playing A and double-A ball from 1975-78, and appearing in 5 games for the Braves in 1978.

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