Tuesday, March 27, 2012

DAHOF Top 100 -- #11 Jim Abbott

I'm going to post a fairytale today:

Once upon a time, in a far away land called Michigan, there was a little boy born to a lovely couple. Their new arrival was perfect to them in every way possible. However, sadly to the rest of the world he was somewhat less than perfect... because he arrived with an incomplete right arm.

Encouraged by his parents, this special young boy with an incomplete right arm loved sports, especially baseball. With the help of his father he learned how to throw and catch using a unique single hand technique. He practiced day and night throwing the ball against the garage until he wore out the door. As he grew, he developed into a strong and skilled athlete.

Overcoming taunts and stares while seeking no special accommodation, the boy with an incomplete right arm played with "normal" little league teams. First as an outfielder, then as a pitcher where his years of throwing a ball against that garage started to pay off. He tossed a no-hitter in his first start. His first season, he struck out at least 2 batters per inning. Soon he was the first person selected, not the last.

The boy with an incomplete right arm also played on his high school football team, not as a lineman where his missing hand would not be noticed. But as a successful and celebrated quarterback.

However it was baseball that the boy with an incomplete right arm loved. In high school he foiled all attempts to exploit his single handed method by fielding bunts without a trouble. He continued to strike people out and fire no-hitters.

Catching the eyes of big league baseball scouts, the boy with an incomplete right arm decides to decline early professional opportunities to attend college. While in college he faced and overcame the same taunts and challenges as he did in little league and high school. Soon he was honored as the best college baseball player in the land.

Before realizing his lifelong goal as a professional pitcher, the boy with an incomplete right arm was chosen to represent his country in the Olympic Games. He pitched his team to a gold medal.

Following his Olympic gold medal, this boy with an incomplete arm was selected in the first round of the big league draft. He continued to amaze skeptics after made his major league team without ever playing a minor league game.

This fairytale story closes during his big league fourth season. This boy with an incomplete arm pitches a big league no-hitter in the most famous stadium in the land. Now nobody remembers him as the boy with an incomplete right arm, but the man with the completed dream.


Anthony Hughes said...

Why'd you have to go and make me cry?

I gave my youngest daughter a card of Jim Abbott, and told her all about him. I told her that anytime someone tells you you can't do something, think of Jim Abbott.

Jeff Laws said...

I'm a Michigan fan so I knew of Jim Abbott, but I liked the way this post was written.

Well done!

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