MLB NETWORK’S BOB COSTAS TO HOST Q&A WITH FORMER MLB PITCHER & BALL FOUR AUTHOR JIM BOUTON ON AUGUST 23
Interview to discuss Bouton’s MLB career and his memoir Ball Four
August 20, 2009 – MLB Network’s Studio 42 with Bob Costas will host a conversation with former Major League pitcher and author Jim Bouton on Sunday, August 23 at 8:00 p.m. ET on MLB Network. Throughout the interview, Bouton discusses his MLB career as well as his relationship with Mickey Mantle, his reason for writing the controversial memoir Ball Four, the reception the book received and what led to his return to Yankee Stadium for Old Timers’ Day in 1998.
Highlights of the interview include:
ON WHY BOUTON WROTE BALL FOUR
I really wanted to share the fun in baseball. That was my purpose for writing it. It wasn't really a tell-all book. I didn't have racial comments, all the sexy stories are anonymous. It really was a great environment to be part of, a Major League Baseball team. I got lucky, I was with the right bunch of guys and I kept good notes.
ON WHY BALL FOUR CONNECTED WITH PEOPLE IN 1970
It was a time in our history where people were questioning things, questioning authority, doing things in different ways. You had the Vietnam War, you had men landing on the moon that year, and it [the Seattle Pilots] was a wonderful team. It was an expansion team, the Seattle Pilots. These guys were getting to know each other because they haven't played with each other. They were always telling stories about their careers and I was sitting there with my notepad.
ON THE WAY MICKEY MANTLE IS DEPICTED IN BALL FOUR
I don't think it makes Mickey Mantle look bad at all. He hit a home run with a hangover. It was more a story about what a great ball player he was than about what an awful thing it was.
ON RETURNING TO YANKEE STADIUM FOR OLD TIMERS’ DAY IN 1998
I got into the clubhouse and the players were great. It was a really good feeling. I spent so much time in the clubhouse that I got onto the field late. I didn't get a chance to run around the field and get that feeling. But it was some day.
Prior to the interview, MLB Network will re-air episodes of Studio 42 with Bob Costas featuring Major League Baseball umpires Don Denkinger, Bruce Froemming and Steve Palermo at 3:00 p.m. ET and Cal Ripken Jr. at 4:00 p.m.
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