English Essay Payton lang

Imagine being a pitcher in the Major Leagues. As you stand underneath the bright lights on the mound having a no-hitter. Just imagine doing all of this but with no right hand. Although there have been many no-hitters in MLB history, one definitely stands out from the rest. Jim Abbott’s no-hitter can go down in MLB history as a real nail biter. Nothing can get in the way of Jim Abbott, not even his birth defect. Jim Abbott went down in MLB history as well as one of his biggest inspirations, Pete Gray.

Jim Abbott had to go through many struggles during his baseball career, as well as his life. But Abbott’s biggest struggle throughout childhood and most of adulthood was being born without a right hand. There are multiple types of birth defects that children may be born with besides just Abbotts. Birth defects can involve any organ in any part of the body; including bones, joints, muscles, brain, spinal cord, heart, etc. Some of these are more common than others, though. Some of the minor birth defects are found in about 7.5% of all children by the age of 5. But major birth defects are normally found in about 3 to 4% of newborns, according to http://www.merckmanuals.com/home/children-s-health-issues/birth-defects/overview-of-birth-defects. The cause of these is unknown but infections, genetics and certain environmental factors increases the risk of these factors. Sometimes more than one birth defect can appear in the same infant. One of the more familiar birth defects involves the limbs and joints. This also happens to be what Jim Abbott was diagnosed with when he was born. This kind of birth defect includes missing limbs and deformed or incompletely developed at birth. An example is, missing bones in the hand or forearm because of a genetic defect. Hand defects are also common which is what Jim Abbott is living with currently. People with these defects don’t make them any different from anyone else. Abbott talks about how others think of him by saying, “I didn’t want to be pretty good you know, considering (right hand)” (64). Jim Abbott never gave up with playing baseball just because of his hand (also because of what people thought of him) which allowed him to do some successful things.

Jim Abbott

The MLB originates from the United States but has been (and still is) being played all over the world. There is plenty of history about the sport that has grown very popular through the years. The father of the game has been debated over time. But according to http://www.baseball-reference.com/bullpen/Abner_Doubleday, Al Spalding gives us a conclusion that Abner Doubleday is the creator of the game. Although there are many other theories as well. One important player in the game of baseball are the pitchers. Sometime pitchers have pitched a no hitter or a perfect game in some of their past games. There have been many no hitters in MLB history. Some pitchers have even thrown more than one no hitter throughout their whole career. The man who holds the record for the most no hitters thrown in their whole career is Nolan Ryan; throwing 7 no hitters in his whole career. According to http://www.espn.com/mlb/history/nohitters there have been 295 no hitters through April 23, 2016. Throughout the past 140 years of MLB history there have been 23 perfect games; no pitcher has ever thrown more than one in their career. Although Jim Abbott isn’t apart of the perfect game history, he is still apart of the no hitter; his no hitter is a great one, too.

One of Jim Abbott’s biggest inspirations was a man named Pete Gray. Pete Gray was very similar to Jim. Although Pete didn’t suffer with birth defects as an infant, he did suffer with a terrible incident with his right arm as a child resulting in amputation. He had been riding in a truck when it suddenly had to stop, causing him to fall off and have his right arm caught in the spokes of the wheel. This was the start of change in Pete’s life. His parents never usually spoke of the fact of his missing arm and treated him just like any other kid. They did this so he would learn to be independent, which is very similar to what Jim Abbott’s parents did with him. “I didn’t want to be that kid. I didn’t want to be different. I didn’t want to be pretty good, you know, considering. I didn’t want anyone feeling sorry for me, or treating me special, or looking past me” (Abbott 64). This quote describes how both of the way these men’s parents treated them as children rubbed off on their personal lives.

Pete Gray was very determined as a kid to grow up and be a professional baseball player. He worked very hard, which is how he achieved his goal. “I’d catch the ball in my glove and stick it under the stub of my right arm. Then I’d squeeze the ball out of my glove with my arm and it would roll across my chest and drop to my stomach. The ball would drop right into my hand and my small, crooked finger prevented it from bouncing away” (Pete Gray: https://sabr.org/bioproj/person/be38eb9a). Pete Gray never gave up and although his MLB career only lasted for one season, he still became an inspiration on many children whom share similar disabilities. One of them being Jim Abbott.

As you can see, Jim Abbott learned to overcome many obstacles even from the very beginning. He never wanted to be treated different than anybody else just because of his birth defect. He always had determination to reach his goals which definitely led to success throughout his life. “Find something you love and go after it with all your heart,” Jim Abbott.

Works Cited (Websites)

"B-R Bullpen." BR Bullpen. Web. 24 Apr. 2017. <http://www.baseball-reference.com/bullpen/Abner_Doubleday>.

ESPN. ESPN Internet Ventures. Web. 24 Apr. 2017. <http://www.espn.com/mlb/history/nohitters>.

"Overview of Birth Defects - Children's Health Issues." Merck Manuals Consumer Version. Web. 24 Apr. 2017. <http://www.merckmanuals.com/home/children-s-health-issues/birth-defects/overview-of-birth-defects>.

"Pete Gray." Pete Gray | Society for American Baseball Research. Web. 24 Apr. 2017. <https://sabr.org/bioproj/person/be38eb9a>.

Works Cited (Images and Video)

Birth Defects. Digital image. Web. 25 Apr. 2017. <http://sabr.org/sites/default/files/AbbottJim.png>.

Jim Abbott. Digital image. Web. 25 Apr. 2017. <http://www.bluevalleypt.com/files/jim-abbott/Jim-Abbott-700x467-500x334.jpg>.

MLB. "9/4/93: Jim Abbott's No-Hitter." YouTube. YouTube, 01 Sept. 2013. Web. 25 Apr. 2017. <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s-11R0f7I0g>.

Pete Gray #2. Digital image. Web. 25 Apr. 2017. <http://sabr.org/sites/default/files/Screen%20Shot%202016-08-09%20at%207.47.48%20PM.png>.

Pete Gray. Digital image. Web. 25 Apr. 2017. <http://a.espncdn.com/photo/2011/0504/la_g_gray_b1_412.jpg>.

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