woensdag 16 mei 2012

Honkballen met 1 hand - Jim Abbott

Jim Abbott werd geboren zonder rechterhand. En hij wou persé honkballen. Als kind oefende hij veel. Hij gooide tegen een muurtje met zijn handschoen op zijn stomp, deed snel zijn handschoen aan zijn hand en ving de bal op. Net zolang totdat het een automatisme was. Net zolang totdat hij zich kon richten op de ontwikkeling van zijn talent. Net zolang totdat het geen belemmering meer was om een topsporter te worden. En dat werd hij.

Achteraf benoemt hij de sleutel tot zijn succes zo: "I believe you need to be very open minded to new solutions. Comfortable with trying different ways of getting things done, and be strong enough to ignore the attention that being different might bring."

In zijn jeugd heeft Jim Abbott een aantal keren te horen gekregen dat hij een sportcarièrre maar uit zijn hoofd moest zetten. Waarschijnlijk met de beste bedoelingen. Maar goed dat hij daar niet naar geluisterd heeft.

Er is nu ook een autobiografie van hem verschenen: Imperfect, An Improbable Life.

(Born without a right hand, Jim Abbott as a boy dreamed of being a great athlete. Raised in Flint, Michigan, by parents who saw in his condition not a disability but an extraordinary opportunity, Jim became a two-sport standout in high school, then an ace pitcher for the University of Michigan.
On an overcast September day in 1993, Jim Abbott took the mound at Yankee Stadium and threw one of the most dramatic no-hitters in major-league history. The game was the crowning achievement in an unlikely success story, unseen in the annals of professional sports. In Imperfect, the one-time big league ace retraces his remarkable journey.
But his journey was only beginning.
As a nineteen-year-old, Jim beat the vaunted Cuban National Team. 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 deliver a one-of-a-kind no-hitter. 
It wouldn’t always be so good. After a season full of difficult losses—some of them by football scores—Jim was released, cut off from the game he loved. Unable to say good-bye so soon, Jim tried to come back, pushing himself to the limit—and through one of the loneliest experiences an athlete can have. 
But always, even then, there were children and their parents waiting for him outside the clubhouse doors, many of them with disabilities like his, seeking consolation and advice. These obligations became Jim’s greatest honor.
In this honest and insightful memoir, Jim Abbott reveals the insecurities of a life spent as the different one, how he habitually hid his disability in his right front pocket, and why he chose an occupation in which the uniform provided no front pockets. 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.)

Bron en meer info: Xander Jongeman blogt

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