I read Ball Four in 1970 while playing high school baseball in Midland, TX. Ball Four made realize that ballplayers weren't gods with super human talents, they were just men who played hard and enjoyed life - as a result, my dream was to become a professional ballplayer. A couple years later I was drafted by the Brewers (later traded to the Braves) and realized my dream. In 1978, Jim made a comeback in the Atlanta Braves organization, and Jim became my roommate in Savannah (Braves AA). That summer, Jim was my mentor, my inspiration, and my friend. He was 39 years old, but worked harder and out hustled all of his twenty something teammates - including me! That summer, Jim was my mentor, my inspiration, and my friend. We stayed in touch over the years, and I last visited Jim and Paula at their home North Egremont and watched some of his old timers league games.
Jim was a talented individual, but more than talent, he had heart! He put his heart and soul into everything he did. I am a better man for having known Jim Bouton.