Wait til Next Year . . . is making a come back.

I am going to mix a bit of the philosophy of my life into this blog as I continue to highlight some of my baseball card collection. (hoping the card collectors of this world welcome me back)

Its been a tough 18 months for me . . . the Chicago Cubs have had it rough as well.

This site will be devoted to all those who need to define what "wait til next year" means.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Jim Abbott: still an inspiration to many

I have been meaning to do a post on Jim Abbott for some time now and so here goes . . .

For those of you too young to remember, Jim Abbott was born without a right hand yet became a two sport high school star athlete in Flint Michigan; excelling in both American football (yes he played quarterback and led his team to two state championships) and baseball of course. He was drafted by the Toronto Blue Jays in the 36th round of the draft in 1985 but opted to enter the University of Michigan instead.

1989 Topps # 573: I like this card showcasing the Michigan uniform and the Angels logo
as Abbott is indeed a solid # 1 draft pick

He led Michigan to two Big Ten Championships and in 1987 won the James E Sullivan Award for being the nations best amateur athlete. He was the first baseball player and remains the only baseball player to have ever won this award. In 1988, the California Angels made Abboott the 8th player chosen in first round. 1988 was also the year Abbott led the USA to a Gold Medal in the summer Olympics held in Seoul South Korea.

1989 Topps Traded # 11: a USA Olympian

Never pitching in the minors, Abbott went straight to the majors and his rookie season went 12-12 for the Angels, coming in fifth in the ROY award. After four seasons in California, Abbott was traded to the New York Yankees in December of 1992 and on September 4th, 1993 had his "day to remember forever" as he pitched a no-hitter against the Cleveland Indians.

1990 Score # 330: a good shot of how Abbott uses his right arm to cradle his glove as he pitches

His last year in the majors was with the Milwaukee Brewers, the only NL team he played for and had to actually stand in the batters box. While he was able to hit the ball over the fence during BP, during the 1999 campaign he did get 2 hits in 21 at bats (coincidentally both off Jon Leiber of the N Y Yankees).

Throughout Abbotts career, teams tried to take advantage of his unusual situation (that of only having one hand) and it proved to be unsuccessful. Abbott defense was as solid as his pitching and actually had a lifetime .976 fielding percentage (having four years of perfect fielding).

Abbotts professional career was not spectacular, going 87-108 with a 4.25 career ERA. However, Jim Abbott will always be remembered for his courage and inspiration to all who saw him play. Today, he continues to be that as he has turned to motivational speaking. Thank you Jim Abbott for what you did for baseball in the late eighties - I know many have been and will continue to be inspired by you.


  1. Very nice post ! You could have just said he had a no-hitter , you didn't have to say against who !!!! (LOL) Just kidding ! I have always been inspired by Jim. He is one of the few non-Indians I collect. I have an album dedicated to him including a 1993 Beckett magazine with him on the cover. You can find my want list on my home page. I also have some duplicates to trade. (and many other cards of all players and teams !)

  2. I was just telling my kids about him today. My daughter didn't believe me so I had to dig out a card to prove it. My 3yr old son was trying to figure out why he needed a glove. Not so easy to explain to a 3yr old. I finally just told him he liked to carry it around so people knew he was a baseball player.