Friday, March 14, 2008

Happy Belated Birthday to Good Old Number 56

I have been remiss in failing to mention that Jim Bouton turned 69 on March 8. Well, now I've mentioned it. And I feel much better.

Here's a foto of Bouton beside yers trooly, STDPM, at the Vintage Base Ball World Series in Westfield, Massachusetts, last August. I know I look bloated and sick in this foto, but that's mainly because I was bloated and sick, having just narrowly survived a rusty-knife fight with a plate of One O Ball's habanero burritos the night before. Also, I was on vacation. I always look bloated and sick on vacation. Wouldn't you?

Out of the many interesting items of trivia from Bouton's life, this one is possibly my favorite:

[After the publication of Bouton's groundbreaking name-naming season diary, Ball Four,] Pete Rose took to yelling "Fuck you, Shakespeare!" from the dugout whenever Bouton was pitching.

And I believe this Bouton quote brings an end to a longstanding debate between various George Will and Andy Rooney contingents:

Baseball players are smarter than football players. How often do you see a baseball team penalized for too many men on the field?

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