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.
fist, nearly mimicking mine, pinned the right lace to his shin with his right hand and nodded for me to do the same. With the right lace taut, he curled the left lace with his left hand around the right lace and looked at me. I was following. By looping it under and through, it made a loose knot. His did. Mine sort of did. He repeated the process, this time with loops. With his left hand he pulled at the right lace, then slackened it, allowing the bottom of the lace to fall into a circle. That,
the floor. The arm was in the clothes closet because that’s how I thought of it—as a part of my wardrobe, along with the pants and shirts and jackets I wore to school. It went on in the morning and came off the moment I walked through the front door at the end of the school day. The stump socks were folded in the sock drawer of the dresser. The elastic bands that operated the pincers but wore out so fast sat in a tangle on the bookshelf. “Where’s your arm?” Mom would ask before breakfast.
out. Second, I was surprised it was an issue, though I guess I shouldn’t have been. Steinbrenner didn’t always treat his players as adults—you’ll wear your wool cap running in the outfield before games, whether it’s April in Chicago or August in Texas, and take your heat exhaustion like a man—and Showalter minded those dictates. I’m not sure the Yankees’ playbook specifically bans mid-afternoon jogs in Cleveland, but, honestly, I hadn’t read the whole thing. Additionally, my start in Cleveland
sit down, you’re not good enough anymore. As I look back on it, I guess it was a different situation and if I had any common sense, I probably would’ve stopped. But growing up, playing with one hand never entered my mind as holding me back.” It was mostly true. While Andy Benes, another Boras client and eventually an Olympic teammate, was chosen first overall by the San Diego Padres, the headlines the following day generally focused on the eighth pick. The New York Times was representative
saying, “I know what you suckers have been up to all summer.” When the beers arrived, we tipped them toward our coach, and he raised his glass of Diet Coke. What a long, strange, exhilarating, perfect summer it had been. The following morning we met in the lobby to board the bus to the airport for the long flight to Los Angeles. By then we each had at least a dozen bags, giveaway duffels from games and tournaments we’d played for months, filled with baseball gear and random junk accumulated at