NEW YORK — Ex-Yankees pitcher Jim Bouton was a 20-game winner, won two World Series games, spent 10 years in the big leagues — and made a bigger impact with a pen in his hand than a baseball.

The author of the groundbreaking hardball tell-all “Ball Four” died Wednesday following a battle with a brain disease linked to dementia, according to friends of the family. The Newark, New Jersey, native was in the Massachusetts home he shared with his wife, Paula Kurman, after weeks of hospice care. He was 80.

Bouton, who made his Major League debut in 1962, threw so hard in his early years that his cap routinely flew off his head as he released the ball. By the time he reached the expansion Seattle Pilots in 1969, the sore-armed Bouton reinvented himself as a knuckleballer.

Bouton spent that season collecting quotes, notes and anecdotes about life in the big leagues for his acclaimed book “Ball Four.”

Released amid a storm of controversy, the account of Bouton’s tumultuous year was the only sports book cited when the New York Public Library drew up its list of the best books of the 20th century.

In “Ball Four,” Bouton exposed in great detail the carousing of Yankees legend Mickey Mantle, the widespread use of stimulants (known as “greenies”) in Major League locker rooms, and the spectacularly foul mouth of Seattle Pilots Manager Joe Schultz.

“Amphetamines improved my performance about five percent,” Bouton once observed. “Unfortunately, in my case that wasn’t enough.”

But the book caused most of his old teammates to ostracize him, and he was blackballed from Yankees events for nearly 50 years until the team made amends last season by inviting Bouton to the annual Old-Timers Day event, where he was given an emotional standing ovation.

Bouton, across his 10-year pro career, posted a mediocre lifetime record of 62-63, with an ERA of 3.57.

But for two seasons, on the last of the great 1960s Yankees teams of Mantle, Maris, Berra and Ford, Bouton emerged as a top-flight pitcher.

In 1963, he went 21-7 with six shutouts and lost a 1-0 World Series decision to the Los Angeles Dodgers’ Don Drysdale. A year later, Bouton’s record was 18-13 with a 3.02 ERA and he won a pair of World Series starts against the St. Louis Cardinals.

And then he developed a sore arm in 1965 that derailed a promising career that started just three years earlier. Bouton’s career ended after the 1970 season with the Houston Astros, although he returned for a five-game cameo with the Atlanta Braves in 1978.

After baseball, Bouton became a local sportscaster with WABC-TV and then WCBS-TV on the evening news, enjoying ratings success at both stops.

Bouton also suffered a pair of strokes in 2012.

WHITE SOX: Work crews have begun extending the protective netting to the foul poles at Guaranteed Rate Field, a step the Chicago White Sox are taking following a couple of high-profile injuries this season.

The White Sox said the netting will be in place when the team returns home July 22 to host the Miami Marlins.

The White Sox became the first major league team to take the step after a liner by Cubs outfielder Albert Almora Jr. struck a 4-year-old girl in Houston in May. A woman was hit by a foul ball off the bat of White Sox slugger Eloy Jiménez in Chicago on June 10.

Commissioner Rob Manfred has said extending protective netting down foul lines is a ballpark-to-ballpark decision because of differing configurations. Major League Baseball mandated ahead of the 2018 season that netting extend to the far end of each dugout.

The Pittsburgh Pirates, Texas Rangers and Washington Nationals are among the other teams that have announced they’ll extend netting.

THE ONLY errors on the scoreboard at the All-Star Game were by the scoreboard.

At least one player noticed — and wasn’t too pleased.

The giant board at Progressive Field was filled with mistakes Tuesday night, including a couple of misspelled names, a wrong picture and a pair of incorrect team logos.

“They had what, two weeks to get ready for this? That can’t happen,” New York Mets sparkplug Jeff McNeil said.

McNeil is leading the majors with a .349 batting average, an impressive feat seeing how he made his major league debut less than a year ago.

A late sub, he came up for the National League in the eighth inning and noticed the headshot on the scoreboard wasn’t of him. Instead, it was of Mets teammate Jacob deGrom.

“That was tough, to see deGrom’s picture up there,” McNeil said. “I didn’t really like that.”

“I wanted to see my picture up there. I know my family did, too. What are you going to do, I guess, but I don’t think that should happen,” he said.

David Dahl didn’t fare any better. The Colorado outfielder batted right before McNeil and was listed on the scoreboard as “Davis Dahl.”

Same for Chicago Cubs catcher Willson Contreras. A starter, his first name was missing a letter and spelled “Wilson.”

Big-hitting Cody Bellinger plays for the Los Angeles Dodgers and Ketel Marte is with the Arizona Diamondbacks, but when the starting lineups were shown, they both appeared with the logo of the Atlanta Braves.

The American League won 4-3 and neither team was charged with an error.

ATLANTIC LEAGUE: The independent Atlantic League became the first American professional baseball league to let a computer call balls and strikes Wednesday night at its All-Star Game at York, Pennsylvania. Plate umpire Brian deBrauwere wore an earpiece connected to an iPhone in his pocket and relayed the call upon receiving it from a TrackMan computer system that uses Doppler radar.

He crouched in his normal position behind the catcher and signaled balls and strikes.

“Until we can trust this system 100 percent, I still have to go back there with the intention of getting a pitch correct because if the system fails, it doesn’t pick a pitch up or if it registers a pitch that’s a foot-and-a-half off the plate as a strike, I have to be prepared to correct that,” deBrauwere said before the game.

It didn’t appear deBrauwere had any delay receiving the calls at first but players noticed a big difference.

“One time I already had caught the ball back from the catcher and he signaled strike,” said pitcher Daryl Thompson, who didn’t realize the technology was being used until after he disagreed with a call.

Infielder L.J. Mazzilli said a few times hitters who struck out lingered an extra second or so in the batter’s box waiting on a called third strike.

“The future is crazy but it’s cool to see the direction of baseball,” Mazzilli said.

The umpires have the ability to override the computer, which considers a pitch a strike when the ball bounces and then crosses the zone. TrackMan also does not evaluate check swings.

Former big leaguer Kirk Nieuwenhuis doesn’t like the idea of giving umps veto power.

“If the umpire still has discretion, it defeats the purpose,” said Nieuwenhuis, who batted .221 with 31 homers in 978 at-bats with the Mets, Angels and Brewers.

About 45 minutes before first pitch, the public address announcer directed fans to look up at the black screen hanging off the face of the upper level behind the plate and joked they could blame the computer for any disagreements over calls.

“This is an exciting night for MLB, the Atlantic League, baseball generally,” said Morgan Sword, MLB’s executive vice president of economics and operations. “This idea has been around for a long time and it’s the first time it’s been brought to life in a comprehensive way.”

The experiment with radar-tracking technology to call balls and strikes was originally expected to begin at the start of the season but experienced some delays.

Atlantic League President Rick White said it’s going to be implemented league-wide over the next few weeks.

“After that, we’re relatively confident that’s it’s going to spread through organized baseball,” White said. “We’re very excited about what this portends not only for our league but for the future of baseball. What we know is technology can help umpires be more accurate and we’re committed to that. We think the Atlantic League is being a pioneer for all of the sport.”

Sword said MLB hasn’t received much pushback from umpires.

“One of our focuses is not to replace the umpire,” Sword said. “In fact, we’re trying empower the umpire with technology. The home plate umpire has a lot more to do than call balls and strikes and he’s going to be asked to do all of that. We’re in touch with our umpires union and this is the first step of the process.”

DeBrauwere had no issue with it.

“This is just another plate job and I just get a little help on this one so I feel very relaxed going into this one,” he said.

Strike zones are determined according to the average for players of that height unless there’s already information on a player’s particular strike zone if they’ve played in the majors at some point.

“It’s too early to say and no decisions have been made about our plan,” Sword said about a timeline for use in the major leagues. “Our directive here is to create a system that works.”

Pitcher Mitch Atkins noticed pitches higher in the strike zone were called.

“Technically, they’re strikes but umpires never called them,” Atkins said.