Who would have thought that one of the best baseball pitchers in the world would have just one arm? Well, I would!
Jim Abbott is one of the most remarkable stories in baseball history. Because he was born without a right hand, his parents encouraged him to play soccer as a kid. But he loved baseball. He ignored the pundits and played anyways.
As a senior at Central High School in Flint, MI, he won 10 games on the mound and played first base and outfield on the days he wasn’t pitching — hitting .427 with seven home runs. That led to the opportunity to continue his career at the University of Michigan.
There, Abbott received the Golden Spikes Award as the top amateur player in the country in 1987, beating out Ken Griffey Jr. and Robin Ventura. After compiling a 26-8 record at Michigan, Abbott was selected in the first round of the 1988 MLB Draft by the California Angels.
Abbott tossed a no-hitter as a member of the New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium on September 4, 1993, shutting down an awesome Cleveland team.
Abbott once described his incredible journey by saying: “I truly believe that difficult times and disappointments can push us to find abilities and strengths that we wouldn’t know existed without the experience of struggles.”
Adversity truly is opportunity… with the right attitude. Whatever it is you’re struggling with today, whatever your insecurity is, just remember you’re not alone. We all have our own mountains to climb and conquer. Your biggest weakness can become your biggest strength, and your worst day can become your best…with the right attitude.
And that right attitude starts with some grateful grit. Dust yourself off and get back up.