Jim Bouton, Author and Former Pitcher, Struggles With Brain Disease

Jim Bouton, Author and Former Pitcher, Struggles With Brain Disease


Great Barrington, Massachusetts. – The knotted age grabbed his preferred not with three nails. Most pitchers use two, but for the one that makes the ground flicker, impossible to control. Jim Bouton, 78, also uses his finger. This is the mango showed Johnny Carson four decades ago on the set of “The Tonight Show” and the mango showed a recent visitor in his backyard, high in the Berkshires.

Button still runs several times a week. He built a guard of concrete blocks in a sunlit corner, which hits the strike zone most of the time. His hat falls, as he did in his Yankees days, when he threw himself and hit St. Louis twice in the 1964 World Series. In a 15 minute game catching the knife hits the glove every time.

It is the ideal, exactly; The best knuckleballs are often zigzag and away from the miter. But if this is not quite the dance he did for the Seattle Drivers, he kept the field button – slower, but with authenticity.

It’s good for the button for a company, said Paula Kurman, his wife, who holds a doctorate in interpersonal Colombia. They were married for 35 years and have lived here for over 20 years, of black foxes and bears, surrounded by pine trees. A cloud can dump directly through the porch, and there are no other houses in sight. Her children have grown up and live elsewhere.

Button had a stroke five years ago on Aug. 15. They know the date because it was the 15th anniversary of the daughter’s death of button, Laurie, in a car accident.

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“The body knows, you know?” Kurman said softly. “The body knows.”

The body button was not reached by the shot. But his mind, one whose sharp and sharp observations produced the classic memory “Four Ball” in 1970, will never be the same. This weekend in New York, at the convention of the American Baseball Research Society, Button plans to make his brain disease: cerebral amyloid angiopathy, which is linked to dementia.

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