Imperfect: An Improbable Life
Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub
“Honest, touching, and beautifully rendered . . . Far more than a book about baseball, it is a deeply felt story of triumph and failure, dreams and disappointments. Jim Abbott has hurled another gem.”—Jonathan Eig, New York Times bestselling author of Luckiest Man
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
Born without a right hand, Jim Abbott dreamed of someday being a great athlete. Raised in Flint, Michigan, by parents who encouraged him to compete, Jim would become an ace pitcher for the University of Michigan. But his journey was only beginning: By twenty-one, he’d won the gold medal game at the 1988 Olympics and—without spending a day in the minor leagues—cracked the starting rotation of the California Angels. In 1991, he would finish third in the voting for the Cy Young Award. Two years later, he would don Yankee pinstripes and pitch one of the most dramatic no-hitters in major-league history.
In this honest and insightful book, Jim Abbott reveals the challenges he faced in becoming an elite pitcher, the insecurities he dealt with in a life spent as the different one, and the intense emotion generated by his encounters with disabled children from around the country. With a riveting pitch-by-pitch account of his no-hitter providing the ideal frame for his story, this unique athlete offers readers an extraordinary and unforgettable memoir.
“Compelling . . . [a] big-hearted memoir.”—Los Angeles Times
“Inspirational.”—The Philadelphia Inquirer
Includes an exclusive conversation between Jim Abbott and Tim Brown in the back of the book.
parents she was worried about the other boys and girls in the class. She asked them to talk to me about being careful, so we had a serious conversation one night about that, how this thing that I hated wasn’t so popular with anyone else, either. The thing about a disability is, it’s forever. And forever might not end, but it has to start somewhere. For me, it began with the realization that I was different, except it did not arrive with a single unpleasant thunderclap. It arrived in nagging
had gone home and worked on a strategy that night. The following morning he turned on the projector, occupying the rest of the class, and dragged two chairs into the hallway. Through open classroom doors, other kids in other classes watched what surely must have been some disciplinary drama going down. Mr. Clarkson was a tall man with big hands. We sat across from each other, knees to knees. He untied his shoe and mine. It took him longer to untie mine. He then clenched his right hand into a
ever believe that life there can be done quite right. There’s simply too much one can’t know, there being so many wonderful layers of people and cultures, so many siren blips and impulses. And yet, many find their spots. There is a life to be had in the spaces of stillness amid the commotion, and that’s where we generally succeeded in hosting it. The job wasn’t going as well. I walked with Dana that morning with The New York Times under my arm and work on my mind. A man pushed buckets of fresh
beautiful children who’d grown scared and timid and already were tired of having to be so strong. Sometimes, I was tired, too. Over forty years, a good part of them spent in and around the game, all of them alongside a disability I hoped was not defining me, the children were the inspirations. Those mid-afternoon taps on the shoulder from Tim, me leaving behind the comfort of the clubhouse to sit in the dugout with the young Brendons and Davids and Joshes and Jasons, the children gave me hope.
being different. Their message to me was powerful when I was young, and it became powerful in me. They believed there were many ways to navigate our worlds, and that because my way was different didn’t mean it wasn’t as efficient. There I was, trying to be the kind of person my parents might have been on the lookout for, and because of that I would nod at Tim and excuse myself from the card table or remove my headphones and close my book. Honestly, there were times—many times—I’d have preferred