The author of one of the most controversial (at the time) and influential sports books in history, former MLB pitcher and WMU alum, Jim Bouton is auctioning off his original "Ball Four" manuscript.

"Ball Four" was the most controversial sports book of it's time, a memoir and diary of Bouton's 1969 season with the expansion team, the Seattle Pilots, then the Houston Astros, and, of course, stories of his days with the New York Yankees. Baseball establishment vilified Bouton for breaking the sanctity of the locker room. The book went to the top of the best seller's lists.

In a release, SCP Auctions’ Vice President Dan Imler, said “these documents and artifacts comprise a literary diary that changed the landscape of sports and journalism forever.”

Bouton told ESPN in 2003: “The idea of Ball Four came to me after my first year in the minor leagues. I would spend all day long with a notebook in my pocket. I’d fill it with notes, sometimes the whole book in one day if it was a really good day. But then I’d run out of note paper and I’d write on whatever was available. If I was on an airplane I’d write on an air-sickness bag. If I was in the bullpen I’d write on a popcorn box, a peanut bag….I was constantly writing. I was a writing maniac.”

I was an impressionable teen when I first read "Ball Four" and then, the follow-up, "I'm Glad You Didn't Take It Personally".

The auction ends January 21st.

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