While Jim Bouton’s arm was unable to withstand excessive use during his seven seasons in the Bronx, his memory endured and provided ample anecdotes in his tell-all Ball Four book. This New York Yankees home jersey was worn and signed by the pitcher-turned-controversial author during the 1968 season. The gray flannel button-down garment features “NEW YORK” arched across the chest in blue felt and proper “Wilson” tagging. On the left breast, Bouton has signed in blue marker (“8-9” strength; full JSA). Full photo LOA from Dave Miedema. More on our website.
Within the collar, “Bouton” is stitched to a strip tag. The tapered left front tail is home to a “Wilson” size “42” label and a tag denoting “1968 SET 1.” On the back, outlines remain from Bouton’s since-removed number “56” (a number usually given in spring training to players destined for the minors and subsequently embraced by Bouton as a reminder of how close he came to not making the team). Stitching outlines of an additional number are visible, as well, suggesting minor league recycling. There are six holes (as tailored) under each arm to facilitate ventilation. The all-original garment shows moderate wear with perspiration-induced discoloration along the collar. Bouton made 12 appearances for the 1968 Yankees before being purchased by the expansion Seattle Pilots on June 15.