Prior to joining that first game, he had on many occasions observed the other kids playing baseball, and although he desperately wanted to participate, he remained a spectator. Up to that time, he participated exclusively in lower body sports like soccer, and to most people, it seemed out of the question that he could play a sport as hands-intensive as baseball. It would have been easy for him to have just forgotten about baseball. Most people in his situation would have.
Amateur years[ edit ] Abbott was born in Flint, Michigan. He graduated from Flint Central High School in Michigan where he was a stand-out pitcher and quarterback. He was drafted in the 36th round by the Toronto Blue Jays in the Major League Baseball draft but did not sign, instead moving on to the University of Michigan.
He played for Michigan three years under coach Bud Middaugh, from toleading them to two Big Ten championships. Inhe won the James E. Sullivan Award as the top amateur athlete in the United States, becoming the first baseball player to win the award. He would be selected 8th overall by the California Angels in the draft.
MLB career[ edit ] InAbbott joined the California Angels ' starting rotation as a rookie without playing a single minor league game. That season, he posted a record with an ERA of 3.
InAbbott went for the Angels, who finished in last place in the American League West with a record.
In the off season, the Angels attempted to trim payroll and traded Abbott to the New York Yankees for their top minor league prospect first baseman J. Snowpitchers Russ Springer and Jerry Nielsen. Abbott had an up and down year for the Yankees but on September 4, Abbott pitched a no-hitter against the Cleveland Indians.
The following year, after starting the season with the Chicago White Soxhe returned to the California Angels, who held an game lead over the Seattle Mariners in August, but lost the American League West in a one-game playoff to the Mariners.
He struggled through the season, posting a 2—18 record with a 7. Abbott returned to the White Sox instarting five games and winning all five.
Abbott continued his comeback the following year with the Milwaukee Brewersbut pitched ineffectively. This was the first time he had played for a National League team, forcing him to bat for the first time in his career.
He recorded two hits in 21 at-bats during his Brewers stint. Abbott retired after the season with a career record of 87—, with a 4. Playing with one hand[ edit ] When preparing to pitch the ball, Abbott would rest his mitt on the end of his right forearm.
After releasing the ball, he would quickly slip his hand into the mitt, usually in time to field any balls that a two-handed pitcher would be able to field.
Then he would secure the mitt between his right forearm and torso, slip his hand out of the mitt, and remove the ball from the mitt, usually in time to throw out the runner at first or sometimes even start a double play.
At all levels, teams tried to exploit his fielding disadvantage by repeatedly bunting to him; however, this tactic was never effective. But Abbott tripled in a spring training game in off Rick Reuschel and when Abbott joined the National League's Milwaukee Brewers inhe had two hits in 21 at-bats, both off Jon Lieber.For my brother Alan, Jim Abbott's biggest fan!
Jim inspired us all because he didn't see obstacles, he saw opportunities! A history of the Sports Reference Sponsorship System. Left-handed pitcher Jim Abbott is probably the most celebrated athlete with a major disability of his era.
Born with a deformed right arm, Abbott was already a national hero before signing a professional contract with the California Angels in Jim Abbott has battled the odds his entire life.
Despite being born with only one hand when he was drafted, he was only the 15th player to ever skip the minor . Imperfect: An Improbable Life [Jim Abbott, Tim Brown] on timberdesignmag.com *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers.
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Watch video · Jim Abbott had just one fully functional hand, yet he carved out a year major league career that included one of the greatest single-game achievements a pitcher can have: a . Biography. Jim Abbott was born September 19, , in Flint, Michigan without a right hand.
He was an All-America hurler at Michigan; won the Sullivan Award in ; was the pitcher for the Gold Medal Olympic Team in ; and threw a no-hitter for the New York Yankees versus Cleveland (September 4, ).