Former Major Leaguer Jim Piersall Dies at 87
BOSTON (AP) — Former major leaguer Jim Piersall, who bared his soul about his struggles with mental illness in his book "Fear Strikes Out," has died. He was 87.
The Boston Red Sox, for whom Piersall played for seven of his 17 seasons in the majors, say Piersall died Saturday at a care facility in Wheaton, Illinois, after a monthslong illness.
Piersall played 56 games in the majors in 1952 before being admitted to a mental hospital with what was later diagnosed as bipolar disorder. He wrote in his book that he had almost no memory of the season or his time in the hospital. He returned to the majors the next year, going public to shatter society's stereotypes of the mentally ill.
An outfielder known more for his fielding skills than his bat, he played in the majors until 1967 for the Red Sox, Cleveland Indians, Washington Senators, New York Mets and Los Angeles/California Angels. He compiled a lifetime .272 average, played in two All-Star Games and won two Gold Gloves.
Following his playing career, he tried his hand at broadcasting. He was fired from the Chicago White Sox radio crew in 1983 for being too critical of the players and manager Tony LaRussa on air.