James "Jim" Bouton was born on March 8, 1939 in Newark, New Jersey. He was a former Major League Baseball pitcher whose competitive nature earned him the nickname, "Bulldog." Bouton started his career with the New York Yankees in 1962. Bouton appeared in 36 games during the 1962 season, including 16 starts, and had a win-loss record of 7-7. By 1965, arm injuries unfortunately started to slow him down. In 1968, Bouton left the Yankees and played for the Seattle Pilots in 1969 and then moved on to play for the Houston Astros from 1969-1970.
Bouton retired midway through the 1970 season after the Astros sent him to the minor leagues. He moved on to local sports anchor jobs, as well as acting in a few movies and television shows. Bouton returned to baseball in 1975 with the Portland Mavericks, skipped the 1976 season, and returned in 1977 when Bill Veeck signed him to a contract with the Chicago White Sox. Bouton then went on to play for the Atlanta Braves in 1978.
Bouton is the author of Ball Four, a controversial baseball book that is a memoir of his 1969 season, along with his years with the Yankees, Pilots, and Astros. His national bestseller revealed habits and exploits of ballplayers and exposed a side of baseball that was previously unseen. Bouton is also known for being one of the inventors of "Big League Chew," a shredded bubble gum designed to resemble chewing tobacco.
On September 10, 1934, Roger Maris was born in Hibbing, Minnesota. He was the son of Croatian immigrants and his birth name was Roger Eugene Maras, which he later changed to Maris. Maris played with four teams during his twelve year Major League career -- the Cleveland Indians, Kansas City Athletics, New York Yankees, and St. Louis Cardinals. He appeared in seven World Series and won three World Series Championships in 1961, 1962, and 1967.
Maris was the New York Yankees right fielder from 1960-1966 and he helped lead the Yankees to five straight pennants. Maris is primarily remembered for breaking Babe Ruth's home run record. On the last day of the Yankees' 1961 season, Maris broke Babe Ruth's 60 single-season home run record (which had been in place for 34 years) by hitting his 61st against the Boston Red Sox. Maris hit the homer into right field stands in Yankee Stadium against Boston's Tracy Stallard in the fourth inning. In 1966, the Yankees sent Maris to St. Louis, where he played two seasons before retiring in 1968 and settled in Gainesville, Florida.
On July 21, 1984, the Yankees retired Maris' number 9 and dedicated a plaque in his honor to hang in Monument Park in Yankee Stadium.
"When he (Roger Maris) hit it (home run #61 in 1961), he came into the dugout and they were all applauding. I mean, this is something that's only happened once in baseball, right? And the people were all applauding. They wanted him to come back out. He wouldn't come out, so the players had to push him back out. They forced him to come out and take a bow. That's the kind of guy he was. He was great, and I really liked him." -- Mickey Mantle
On October 8, 1956 in game five of the World Series, Don Larsen pitched a perfect game. We are offering his jersey, Yogi Berra's (his catcher in that game) and, for the first time in a long time, Phil Rizzuto's. The Yankees won the World Series in 1956 beating the Dodgers in seven games.
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