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RIP Jim Bouton

Discussion in 'Sports and News' started by Della9250, Jul 10, 2019.

  1. Baron Scicluna

    Baron Scicluna Well-Known Member

    “Boys, I had all the ingredients for a great piece of ass last night. Plenty of time, and a hard-on. All I lacked was a broad,” — Ray Oyler
    UNCGrad and justgladtobehere like this.
  2. Slacker

    Slacker Well-Known Member

    The prank on Fred Talbot was an all-timer.
  3. ChrisLong

    ChrisLong Well-Known Member

    I'm gonna have to read the book again. The one prank I remember is when they fill Joe Pepitone's hair dryer with talcum power.
  4. mpcincal

    mpcincal Well-Known Member

    BOTH pranks on Talbot were all-timers.
  5. Slacker

    Slacker Well-Known Member

    Good point. I had forgotten about the paternity suit.

    Talbot was the book’s biggest victim — of Bouton’s putdowns and of regional prejudice, but nothing moreso than clubhouse pranks.

    It was Talbot who was the recipient of a fake paternity suit. Bouton called it one of the Seattle Pilots’ “finest hours.” Perhaps it was — for everyone but Talbot. As Talbot read it, his despair increased as if it were his ERA.

    “(Talbot) opened the letter,” wrote Bouton, “looked at it, put his head down, looked at the floor for a while, gazed up into the air, shook his head slowly from side to side, started to read the letter again. Then he folded it, put it back in the envelope, tossed it onto the shelf in his locker, lit a cigarette and stared around the room . . .

    “Talbot stomped out his cigarette, reached up into his locker, opened the envelope and read the letter again, as though he was hoping it would say something different this time. Finally after he’d devoured both pages, put them back in the envelope and thrown it on the floor of his locker, (teammate Gene) Brabender felt he had to tell him it was a joke.”

    The reaction? Tommy Davis: “I didn’t think you Caucasian guys could get any whiter.” Ray Oyler: “You couldn’t have pulled a needle out of his ass with a tractor.”

    That was the first great prank. The second was a telegram Talbot received, allegedly from Donald Dubois of Gladstone, Ore., promising him a share of the $27,000 Dubois won with Talbot’s grand slam home run in the Pilots’ Home Run For the Money inning. (As a pitcher, Talbot wasn’t a bad hitter. He homered twice and slugged .317 for the 1969 season, or 40 points more than teammate and shortstop Oyler, whose contributions to the gag were far greater than those to the Pilots’ offense).

    The telegram was, of course, a fake, written by Bouton (he said he didn’t write the paternity suit, though he was blamed for it): “Thank you very much for making our lives so happy Mr. Talbert. We feel we must share our good fortune with you. A check for $5,000 will be sent to you when the money arrives.”

    Talbot showed the telegram to Oyler, who asked if it was legit. Talbot said it was. “If one of the guys had done it, he wouldn’t have misspelled my name,” Talbot said.

    Which was, of course, exactly why they did — to prove its legitimacy. As the season went on, though, the money never arrived, and there was no more communication from Dubois — no tweets, no emails, no PayPal.

    Bouton asked one time too many, and Talbot realized, like the poker player who can’t find the easy mark at the table, that the joke was on him. When catcher Jim Pagliaroni’s homer won $2,700 for another contestant, he really did get a check for $100, which only compounded Talbot’s bitterness (Pagliaroni immediately thought he was being played, and suspected Bouton). When asked what he hoped Dubois did with his money, Talbot said: “I hope he gets drunk on it, wrecks his car and kills himself.”

    Fred Talbot and Ball Four
  6. Slacker

    Slacker Well-Known Member

    And, by the way, thanks to "Ball Four," I still use this line once in a while.
  7. Baron Scicluna

    Baron Scicluna Well-Known Member

    I’ve often wondered if Dubois (if Bouton used his real name instead of a pseudonym) ever knew he was in the book and wondered what his reaction was.
  8. Baron Scicluna

    Baron Scicluna Well-Known Member

    I still chuckle at Pepitone putting a piece of popcorn in his foreskin and going to the trainer claiming he had a new veneral disease.
  9. CD Boogie

    CD Boogie Well-Known Member

    You couldn’t have pulled a needle out of his ass with a tractor.”

  10. micropolitan guy

    micropolitan guy Well-Known Member

    Was it Gary Bell who told everyone upon returning from a road trip, "Alright boys, look horny."
  11. Jake from State Farm

    Jake from State Farm Well-Known Member

    I like the story of Peptone shaking his head no when Bouton wanted to throw to first
  12. mpcincal

    mpcincal Well-Known Member

    Jim Pagliaroni IIRC
    ChrisLong likes this.
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