Imperfect: An Improbable Life

Imperfect: An Improbable Life

by Jim Abbott, Tim Brown
4.1 18

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Imperfect: An Improbable Life by Jim Abbott, Tim Brown

“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
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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780345523273
Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
Publication date: 04/03/2012
Sold by: Random House
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 304
Sales rank: 65,399
Lexile: 1040L (what's this?)
File size: 6 MB

About the Author

Jim Abbott was a major league pitcher with the Los Angeles Angels and the New York Yankees, among other teams. Born in 1967, he was an All-American at Michigan; won a gold medal with the 1988 Olympic baseball team; and threw a no-hitter at Yankee Stadium in 1993. He retired in 1999. Abbott has worked with the Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy, has been a guest pitching instructor for the Los Angeles Angels, and has appeared as a motivational speaker. He lives with his wife and two children in Anaheim.
Tim Brown is an award-winning writer with twenty years of experience covering Major League Baseball at the Los Angeles Times, The Star-Ledger, Cincinnati Enquirer, and Los Angeles Daily News. He studied journalism at the University of Southern California and Cal State Northridge, and currently works for Yahoo! Sports.

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Imperfect: A Baseball Life 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 18 reviews.
rrnyc More than 1 year ago
reading it now on my android - about 200 pages in and loving it - jim abbott is a true inspiration.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Good read....everyone who is remotely familiar with baseball knows about Jim Abbott and his "disability" but it was interesting to read about how he felt about it himself. I half expected the typical "aw shucks, it never even occurred to me that I only had one hand" type of read, but instead found it to be a little sad, a whole lot honest but mostly a book about a great athlete whose career was a disappointment only to himself. I only gave 4 stars because I found the syntax wordy at times....I expected more from Yahoo's Tim Brown, co-author and presumed editor.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It is a great read for anyone with a disability. Having a granddaughter with the same disability it was interesting to learn how Jim Abbott learned to deal with everyday life.
westfam More than 1 year ago
My son (age 6) and I were blessed to meet Mr. Abbott at the book signing this year. Our son, was born with a left hand that was not fully formed. Our son has a love for the game like Jim. Mr. Abbott is our son's sports hero. During the signing, he was gracious, engaging and sincere. The book was no different. Very honest, open and true. I've seen through a parent's eyes what it's like for a child who is born different, but not through my son's. I found the stories that Jim shared to be helpful and insightful. Even if your not a fan of baseball, it's a fantastic story of living a life to your full purpose and not living a life of excuses. Great Job Mr. Abbott!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I am not a baseball fan but found his biography to be interesting because I was born with a similar birth defect. His story of growing up in a home where he was expected to adapt and work and behave just like any other child is also my experience. I was especially impressed by his not making excuses for himself as a youth. The story of his no-hitter is genuinely woven through the auto-biography and adds some excitement and suspense to the book -- although you know it will happen the question of how? keeps you turning the pages. I was especially touched by his taking time to meet and greet young children with similar disabilities -- I was an adult before I saw someone with a similar disability. I would love to see a follow-up book written for kids about his early life that could be used for disability awareness.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Andrew_of_Dunedin More than 1 year ago
In a nutshell, a well-done autobiography of pitcher better known for overcoming a birth defect to make the major leagues than for his accomplishments on the mound – which is ironic for a man who managed a no-hitter while on the mound for the New York Yankees.  (Aside: The author does acknowledge the irony of the twilight of his career – when his ability to get batters out made a rapid decline, people finally began to talk about his performance before his missing hand.) NOTE: The author reads his own work on the audio version – a rarity in that format. RATING: 4.5 stars, rounding to 4 stars for sites (most of them) that do not permit half-stars.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is emotionally moving and very well written, a MUST READ!! As a life-long Angels fan I always loved watching Jim Abbott pitch. I would agonize in empathy when he threw a great cut fastball that was so good that the hitter would get a bloop hit due to a broken bat rather than a routine fly ball or ground out. Several years ago I had the extraordinary experience of having Jim show up unannounced at my grandson's Little League practice to talk to the team because one of the players was born with a hand that did not function. Jim came of his own accord, at the request of the player's uncle, to provide some encouragement. This book is about Jim Abbott, an exceptional human being. He grew up as a very determined individual and in IMPERFECT he shares his love of baseball, the joy of winning and the pain of losing. I laughed, and cried and was amazed by his candor. With the help of Tim Brown, they have crafted an insightful and moving account of the life of a major league pitcher. The trials and tribulations pitchers encounter, and the hurdles they have to overcome to succeed. By the time I was done reading the book, I not only understood a lot more about the emotional highs and lows of major league pitchers, I also had much more admiration (if that is possible) for Jim Abbott, the person.
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efm More than 1 year ago
one man's triumph over adversity
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topmarc More than 1 year ago
It was great insight on a very inspiring man on how hard it was to grow up with a disability and to overcome that disability to become a great pitcher, while there is another story going on in the background about his no hit bout against the Indians.
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MichiganJoe More than 1 year ago
I was a kid when Jim Abbott was pitching. Living in Michigan we knew of him but did not know him well in baseball because he played primarily on the west coast. Of course when he pitched his no-hitter when he was playing for the Yankees later in his short career, we latched onto him for a brief period. I am glad I bought this book. Being his was a native of Michigan and that I love baseball I wanted to know more about him. As a baseball fan the book kept me wanting to read more and more. His childhood was much like mine growing up in the public schools. Not having a true disability myself, but always being the shortest kid in my class growing up, I could relate somewhat because I was picked on a lot for my physical appearance. I also loved and played 3 sports like Jim Abbott and like Jim made it my driving goal in life to become the best in my favorite sport. I was able to achieve that on the high school level by becoming starting for my team by being the starting point guard for Varsity starting in 9th grade and by making All-State my sophomore year. I had to over come taller and stronger kids who were fighting for my position. But I made due with my defense, speed, shooting percentage and smarts on the floor. At the start of my junior year I ended up believing all the rhetoric I was being fed to me about how I would never make a college team because of my height. (5'6"), and if I did it would be for a small school and if a NBA recruiter ever saw me I would be written off immediately. When I weighed the options at 16 of taking a part time job after school to make money for my own car, or to continue chasing the dream of being a pro basketball player, I took the job and quit sports. I always wondered how far I could have gone. Reading Jim Abbott's story makes me wonder if I could have made it.