Published in 1970, Ball Four detailed Yankees great Mickey Mantle’s carousing, and the use of stimulants in the major leagues. Bouton’s revealing look at baseball off the field made for eye-opening and entertaining reading, but he paid a big price for the best-seller when former teammates and players and executives across baseball ostracized him for exposing their secrets.
His career on stage and screen spanned seven decades, ranging from an early career of dark, threatening roles to iconic comedic performances later in life, including an Emmy-winning performance as the bombastic, ethically challenged television producer in the HBO talk show spoof The Larry Sanders Show.
He played the German soldier Wolfgang (“Verrry interesting”) and the lecherous old man who hassled Ruth Buzzi in the park on the popular 1960s NBC comedy show.
In his 32-year career at Ford and then Chrysler, Iacocca helped launch some of Detroit’s best-selling and most significant vehicles, including the minivan, the Chrysler K-cars and the Ford Escort. Iacocca reached a level of celebrity matched by few auto moguls. During the peak of his popularity in the ’80s, he was famous for his TV ads and catchy tagline: “If you can find a better car, buy it!” He was 94.