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Jim Bouton talks Mantle, 'Ball Four' with Bob Costas

7 | MICKEY MANTLE | Number retired: June

7 | MICKEY MANTLE | Number retired: June 8, 1969

Yankee/Career stats: .298 AVG, 2,415 H, 536 HR, 1,509 RBI

When baseball historians look back at Mantle's career, they all say the same thing: If only he took better care of himself. His lifestyle off the field hurt his 18 seasons in the Bronx, yet he still put up Hall of Fame numbers. His 536 home runs are second in franchise history to Ruth's 659. The 16-time All-Star played in 2,401 games, the most in team history. He will forever be remembered for the 1961 season when he and Roger Maris chased Ruth's single-season home run record. (Credit: AP)

(Commack) Bob Costas sits down with Jim Bouton for an episode of "Studio 42 with Bob Costas" debuting on the MLB Network Sunday night.

Bouton discusses his groundbreaking book, "Ball Four," his return to Yankee Stadium in 1998, his relationship with Mickey Mantle, performance enhancing drugs and other matters.

On the reaction to "Ball Four" from baseball writers:

"The baseball establishment had been pretty well protected by the writers that covered the teams. In those days, the writers felt they were an extension of the team's publicity department.

"There would be a fight on the bus for example, and the writers would be sitting there and they would decide not to get off the bus and wire that story and send it in there. They'd agree not to write about it, they'd agree not to tell these things. These were all boy scouts."

On returning to Yankee Stadium in 1998:

"I was worried about how I would be perceived in the clubhouse. But when I walked into the Stadium I got, 'Hey Bulldog!,' and all that stuff so I said ‘I'm ok with the fans, I think.’ I got into the clubhouse and the players were great. It was a really good feeling.

"I spent so much time in the clubhouse that I got onto the field late. I didn't get a chance to run around the field and get that feeling. But it was some day."

Photo: AP

Tags: MLB Network

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