Posted by: altmike | October 20, 2012

My Hero Jim Abbott

One person that I always admired growing up was a pitcher for a baseball team that I despised. I grew up a die-hard Boston Red Sox fan, but I had tremendous respect for a man named Jim Abbott. As a kid my parents always tried to support me and tell me not to feel sorry for myself because there is always someone out there that has it worse than me. One day my dad came up to me after I had been playing outside and said “Hey did you know there is a guy in the major leagues that’s a pitcher and he only has one hand?” I was astonished, and began to ask him questions about him and from there, a hero was born.

Jim Abbott for many of those who aren’t familiar with the name, was a major league baseball pitcher during the ninety’s. He only had one full hand with fingers, the other was cut off near the mid palm and had only one nub on that hand.  He would throw with his left hand with his glove balancing on his disabled hand and before the ball got to the batter he would flip his glove on to his throwing hand and be ready to field. It was truly remarkable to watch. Not only did he just pitch in the majors, he threw a no-hitter against the Cleveland Indians in 1993 and ended his career with 87 wins.  He didn’t just accept making it to the bigs and stop there, he gave it everything he had and competed every game as a prominent pitcher in his day. He showed people what I am now trying to re-iterate; that no matter what challenge you face you can be successful.

He was the first person that gave me hope as a young boy when at that time hope was a rare commodity for me. I remember thinking that it was so cool to see a guy that was kind of like me, living his dreams and playing in the bigs. Unbeknownst to him, he had inspired a young boy from California and gave him the hope and determination to never quit. He faced his obstacle head on every day, every game and every moment of his life and never turned back.  I immediately thought that if he could pitch in the majors  with only one hand, then I could by far do anything I dreamed with two hands.

I strongly recommend researching Jim Abbott further, his story is truly amazing. If I can bring myself to believe that I could do anything in life compared to Jim Abbott, then there is no reason that anyone else reading this shouldn’t be able to look at both our stories side by side and believe that they cant accomplish anything either!

Can’t is not an Excuse

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Responses

  1. I think that you have been very blessed to have found such an amazing hero to look up to. Growing up my hero was always Mr. Tall Dark and Handsome. He is the character that changes form depending on which movie he is starring in. Despite the dismal circumstances he always swoops in at the end to save the day. Problem was I never saw that in my own life. While I was set determined to never be that damsel in distress, little did I know that was exactly the path I was on and when the time for rescue came I failed only myself.

    The closest I ever got to that inspiration was Marshall Mathers. He might be crude, but he managed to push past his fear to get his message(s) out. He is successful because he didn’t compromise who he was to say and do what he believed. (And if one can get past the vulgar language then they could see he does make some substantial claims, occasionally).

    Looking back and connecting the dots, I can see how Mathers inspired my own self-confidence and that was something I should have held on to. Luckily nothing is lost forever ; )

    Still nothing I wrote (there were a couple attempts- similar to your own) claiming him as my hero growing up was as eloquent or inspiring as your story. Great job!! You have reminded me of something that I had lost sight of.


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