Rarely will I read a book twice, but one that I have read and am wanting to revisit is Jim Bouton's classic Ball Four. I was in either sixth or seventh grade when I first read the memoir and do not remember anything from it (we're talking 36, 37 years ago, folks). But thanks to the magic of the world wide web, I was able to glean at least enough information from it to use for today's post. We're now only 17 days from the release of 2017 Topps 1.
"Talbot was the book's biggest victim-of Bouton's putdowns and of regional prejudice, but nothing more so than clubhouse pranks."~ David J. Markowitz
I don't know much about former major league pitcher Jim Bouton, but I do know this: he must be (or at least, was at one time) insecure about himself. Why else would he constantly denigrate and demean Fred Talbot, his
Bouton wasn't alone in busting Talbot's balls. One particularly cruel prank that had been attributed to Bouton was later revealed to have Merritt Ranew behind it. In this hoax, a policeman hand delivered a letter (on attorney stationary) informing the Pilots pitcher that he was recipient of a paternity suit.
According to Bouton, Talbot was mentioned 48 times in Ball Four. I only hope that he (Talbot) was able to get beyond any grudges he might have held before his death three years ago.