Motivational Speaker With A
Universal Message on Beating the Odds
- Adjustability, D -
Determination, A -
P - Perseverance, T - Trust
The Jim Abbott Story
Abbott has battled the odds his entire life. Despite being born
only one hand he was the 15th player to ever make a professional debut
in the Major Leagues. Many considered the move a publicity stunt by
manager Doug Rader, but after struggling early, Abbott proved his
doubters wrong by winning 12 games with a 3.92 ERA in his rookie
On the mound, Abbott wore a
fielder's glove at the end of his right arm. While completing his
follow-through after delivering a pitch, he rapidly switched the glove
to his left hand so he could handle any balls hit back to him. In that
first 1989 season as a professional he won more games as a rookie than
any other previous player without Major League experience.
What prepared Jim Abbott for this type of success?
spent hours as a youngster bouncing a ball off a wall to practice
fielding as well as throwing. He was the starting quarterback on his
high school football team, which went to the finals of the Michigan
state championship, and he showed enough promise as a pitcher to be
drafted by the Toronto Blue Jays shortly after graduation.
Abbott went to the University of Michigan on a baseball scholarship.
Abbott led the Wolverines to Big Ten titles in his freshmen and junior
years and won the prestigious Golden Spikes Award, presented annually
to the outstanding college baseball player in the United States.He had
a career record of 26 wins and 8 losses at the school.
a member of Team USA in 1987, he became the first American pitcher in
25 years to beat a Cuban team on Cuban soil. The team won a silver
medal at the Pan-American Games and Abbott won the U. S. Baseball
Federation's Golden Spikes award as the best amateur player in the
Abbott participated in the 1988
Summer Olympic Games, pitching a complete game seven hitter, leading
the United States to the Gold Medal in a 5-3 victory over Japan. The
United States first ever, gold medal in Olympic Baseball competition.
then joined the California Angels following the Olympics. Jim made his
pro debut in spring training and made it to the Major Leagues without
playing in the minor leagues, which was the beginning of a tremendous
Major League career. His most famous highpoint is perhaps throwing a
no-hitter for the New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium in 1993.
baseball achievements include the Sullivan Award (best amateur athlete
in the United States), male athlete of the year for the 1988 Olympic
Games, and many awards at Michigan including the Jesse Owens Athlete of
But the awards that best
define Jim Abbott would be those that exemplify courage and overcoming
- March of
Dimes Athlete of the Year (twice)
- Academy Awards of
Sports, Courage Award
- 1991 Victory Award
recipient at the Kennedy Center Washington D.C.
- Freedom Forum's
Free Spirit Award
Jim Abbott is a professional motivational speaker. He has been featured
in USA Today, Newsweek, Time, Sports Illustrated, Parade Magazine,
People, and Baseball America. He has been featured during Olympic
coverage, and has appeared on ESPN, Good Morning America, CNN, Larry
King, Phil Donahue, George Michael Sports Machine, NBC Nightly News,
ABC News Person of the Week, Late Night with David Letterman, and the
ABC television series Boy Meets World.
Jim Abbott was
invited to throw out the first pitch at game 7 of the 2002 World Series
and recently participated in his first Yankees Old Timers Day.
a philanthropist, Jim Abbott donated 100,000 dollars to Amigos de los
Ninos, an organization that aids groups that care for children in
He is an inspiration to all that
or have followed his career. More than his no-hitter, his 13 strike out
game, a seven game winning streak, overcoming an eleven game losing
streak, Jim Abbott became a great baseball player and a great person.
He learned to overcome adversity and be an inspiration to those around
On A Personal Note
Jim lives in
California with his wife, two children and their dog Billie. His
parents still live in Michigan. Jim and his family take the Summer off
each year to stay at the lake, and visit with family and friends. Jim
has a younger brother.
"Jim was well received by all who
attended the banquet. Despite the
trying time getting to Greenville and having to sleep in the airport,
he remained very pleasant and easy going. I am so glad Jim Abbott
decided to come to Greenville and be our motivational speaker. WOW! We
have heard nothing but positive comments. I don't know how late Jim
stayed after the banquet, but he signed numerous baseballs and programs
for all who wanted his signature at no extra charge. He really is quite
Leggett, Eastern Carolina Vocational Center
was very well received. EVERYONE just adored him. His talk was great
and the feedback on the conference eval's concurred that people enjoyed
him. We would invite him back anytime to speak! The way he presents the
ADAPT concept is a great way to motivate with information"
Shannon Trierweiler, Wyoming Associations for Persons in Supported
was wonderful - everyone said how great he was ---- our top people were
so impressed. He gave inspiring words, not trying to be funny at every
other remark, instead humorous throughout. He kept their attention and
charmed everyone. We loved the reports from our attendees."
Filippis Sr., Athletes with Disabilities Hall of Fame Ph: 248-829-8278,
"Jim was one of our best speakers. His
message was upbeat and well delivered. We enjoyed him very much. We
would have him back!"
Deborah Ridolfi, Johnson & Wales University