MLB pitcher was a student at the Art Institute of Chicago, invented Big League Chew

Did you know there is a MLB player who went to the Art Institute of Chicago? Jim Bouton. A pitcher from 1962 to 1970. Baseball-Reference lists him as the only MLB player to go to the Art Institute of Chicago.

Jim Bouton Signed 1988 Pacific Baseball Legends #20 New York Yankees Autograph

Sabr wrote a long bio on him, “Ball Four at 50 and the Legacy of Jim Bouton.” About his time at the Art Institute of Chicago, it says, “Born in Newark, New Jersey, in 1939, Bouton attracted attention as a pitcher after moving to the Chicago suburbs in his teens. He studied painting briefly at the Art Institute of Chicago, attended Western Michigan University for a year, and signed a contract with the New York Yankees in 1958.”

I plan on reading the full bio at some point. In the meantime, Baseball-Reference’s Bullpen has a shorter biography.

Wikipedia lists the actual Chicago suburb, Homewood. And it includes the trivia point that Jim Bouton is one of the creators of Big League Chew. Bouton authored the 1970 baseball book Ball Four, which was a combination diary of his 1969 season and memoir of his years with the Yankees, Pilots, and Astros.

More to come as I dig into Jim Bouton’s life.

Summary of interesting points so far about Jim Bouton

  • Went to Art Institute of Chicago
  • From Chicago suburb, Homewood
  • Published a baseball diary that many in baseball hated
  • Invented Big League Chew
  • Knuckleball pitcher
  • MLB All-Star
  • Activist against apartheid South Africa

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