Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Ball of the Day - Player Appearance Recap : Jim Abbott ( ROMLB Sweet Spot )

Well after my last entry about one of the worst in person experiences that I have had I thought I would touch upon one of the best while continuing my run of retired players. Jim Abbott is the player and after meeting him I even have more respect for him than I did before meeting him.

In 2011 it was announced that Jim would be writing a book which I planned to purchase at some point. A few months later it was announced he would be doing a book signing in Huntington Beach in April of 2012. Perfect I thought as I could purchase the book and then also have him sign it. But there was a bonus. He would also sign one outside piece which would be included in the price. In this age that is a rarity for book signings. Now I could get a book and finally add Jim to my autographed ball collection.

Jim was born with just one hand and was drafted by the Angels and debuted in 1989. I was always in awe watching him on tv and see how he could pitch and pitch with accuracy with one hand when some players couldn't do that with two. While he went on to compile what most people would say is a mediocre career at best I always supported him and wished him well. He even threw a no-hitter and got a few base hits. Still not sure which is more impressive. I won't go into much detail about Jim as you should read his book which is a good read

Arrived at B and N for the signing and it was packed. I was in Angel territory and it showed. There wasn't really a line but more like a gathering. There were a lot of people that had the same condition as Jim or people that knew people with it. He showed off how he pitched and switched glove hands in one fluid motion. More impressive in person. He went over his childhood and his achievements in baseball and even though I was there for some signatures I was enthralled by his presentation. Time for the actual book signing and he stated no need to feel rushed as he will sign for everyone no matter how long it takes. Classy. Patiently waited and probably was about 100th in line and it went slow as he talked with everyone and signed sometimes more than just the book and one outside item. I didn't mind at all. Finally got up and told him thank you and asked him for a picture as I saw him taking pictures with others and he politely without saying handicap he was basically only doing pictures with people with similar conditions. He was nice and upfront with that and that is all you can ask. Said no problem and thank you for the signed book and ball. Left the store and was happy with my purchases and the chance that I got to sit and listen to a good man talk about how he overcame what God gave him and became a role model for people. Again, the book is a good read if you ever get the chance and the ball came out great. Thank you again Jim.

Jim signing.

One of my favorite IP acquired baseballs.

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