1968 Topps #562 Jim Bouton
I thought I'd try out a new idea I had last night.
As I've said before, if I couldn't collect baseball cards, I'd probably collect records. I'm an avid music fan.
So I came up with an idea that could link baseball and music. With my MP3 player set on random, I'd write about a baseball card that came out the year the random song that comes up was released.
Even though I'm a younger college student, I don't listen to much from recent years. So you're not going to see many cards from after 2000 or so.
The first song that came up today was "Build Me Up Buttercup" by The Foundations, released in 1968.
I figured since I'm currently reading Ball Four, what better card to use than a Jim Bouton?
Bouton's 1968 Topps card would be his final one as a player. He'd spend 1969 with the Pilots and Astros (which is the premise for his book) after spending much of '68 in the minors, developing his knuckleball. He'd retire after the 1970 season, but he'd make a brief comeback with the Braves in 1978 before hanging them up for good.
His glory days came with the Yankees in the 1960's. He'd win a combined 39 games in '63 and '64. He'd win 21 games in '63 to go along with a 2.53 ERA and two victories in the '63 World Series. He also set an obscure World Series record that season by having his hat fall of his head 37 times in a single game. (Look it up.)
He'd certainly "build up" the Yankees in those two years just to "let them down". (Ha ha ha, get it?) After his 18-13, 3.02 1964 season, he'd go 4-15 with a 4.83 ERA in '65. Those four games would be the most he'd win in a single season for the rest of his Yankees career. (He'd win just five combined from 1966 to 1968).
But he'd gain immortal fame for what was the first baseball tell-all book with Ball Four. And a lot of hatred as well.
Well, there's my first "MP3 madness" post. Hope you enjoyed it! I'll try to mix more of these in from time to time.