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Jim Bouton


Last month, the Mariners had a game-long celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Seattle Pilots I attended, which compelled me to re-read Ball Four for the first time in a while. I just finished last night, which makes it spooky to see that Jim Bouton has passed away.

Parts of the book have dated, of course — it’s a useful reminder that misogyny was hardly limited to one point on the political spectrum — but it’s still very funny and very insightful about the game and the people he encountered. And while the book is best known for its soon-to-be-banal observations about the lifestyles of the players, its greater historical importance lies elsewhere:

Don’t be afraid to climb those golden stairs! R.I.P.

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