Jim Bouton’s family, including his wife, Paula Kurman, and children David, Lee, Hollis, and Michael, named a seat at the Mahaiwe in his memory. Jim is known by the greater community as the former New York Yankee pitcher with an eight-year career in the major leagues, an award-winning sportscaster, and the author of the bestselling sports book of all time, Ball Four, chosen by the New York Public Library as one of the 100 Most Influential Books of the 20th Century. Jim wasn’t simply a professional ballplayer or a writer; he was an activist and an iconic figure of his time, whose archives are now part of the permanent collection at the Library of Congress. Within the Mahaiwe community, Jim was known as a warm and inviting presence who played a major role in the restoration of the Mahaiwe in 2005. Many who visited with Jim at Mahaiwe events commented on his willingness to discuss his storied life and career though never seeking to be the center of attention. Mahaiwe staff witnessed first-hand his dedication to the art of dance during the many years when he attended all dance events with Paula.
Jim’s family views his named seat as a natural extension of the family’s relationship with the Mahaiwe, as his seat will join the seat tribute for Laurie Bouton – one of the first seats to be named at the time of the Mahaiwe’s restoration in honor of Jim and Paula’s daughter, who passed away in 1997. Jim was an outstanding member of the Berkshire community and the Mahaiwe is honored to have him represented in our theater.