Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Cards That Never Were #14

1969 Topps - Jim Bouton

Jim Bouton is a strange case. His last card appeared in 1968, as a Yankee. He played for the Seattle Pilots in 1969, the Houston Astros from 1969 until 1970, and the Atlanta Braves in 1978, all after his last Topps card.

Bouton is most notably known for his book, Ball Four, which mainly chronicled the Seattle Pilots in their only season. That book initially burned a lot of bridges, which were repaired many years later.

There are famous stories about Jim not signing his Topps contract, but the most likely culprit in not having a card in the 1969 set would be Jim's career arc. Bouton spent a good chunk of 1968 in the minor leagues, in the Angels AAA club in Seattle trying to resurrect his career after arm soreness.

To correct this oversight, here is how Jim Bouton's 1969 Topps card could have looked.


TTG said...

Love me some Bouton... did you catch his recent "Studio 42" interview with Costas?

LAMikey said...

after reading BALL FOUR as a teenager,
probably 25-30 years ago, I went in search of a '69 Bouton, only to find it never existed, did find most of his Yankee cards, got them & my paperback signed when I met JB about 5 years ago....

the reason I suggested b4 is that you wrote that earlier post as if it was some kind of recent revelation.
I shoulda known better.
now go pound that Budweiser

Steve Gierman said...

I didn't catch the "Studio 42" interview, but I'll look out for it! Eventually I see all the baseball interviews that Costas does.

I was writing that part of the post from the perspective I had when I first acquired a Pilots card, many years ago. The Pilots have been a fascination ever since. Enjoy the Budweiser! :)

Anonymous said...
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deal said...

well done - looking for the Houston card and the Braves card now.

Johngy said...

Love it, although looking for the rest, too!

Steve Gierman said...

The Astros card will come out at some point, but I'm still looking for a Braves photo.

James S said...

I thought that book was excellent and such an eye-opener for the kid in the 70's that I was. I remember finding a book in the library of my seventh grade school by Detroit Tigers catcher Bill Freehan, done in the same diary-style as 'Ball Four', chronicling the 1968 Detroit season.

Then a few years later finding Sparky Lyle's 'The Bronx Zoo', another diary-style chronicle, this time of Reggie's first year with the Yanks, 1977.

Graig Nettles also wrote one about 1978.

The modern ball players need to read these books and take a cue and write some more of these fascinating books.

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