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Jim Abbott Biography - The Abbott Switch, Into The Majors, Chronology, Down, But Not Out, Career Statistics

baseball boy father arm


American baseball player

With 95-mph fastballs, Jim Abbott would be considered a gifted pitcher by any standard. What made Abbott stand out during his amateur and professional career was the challenge he overcame to deliver his strikeouts. Abbott was born with a deformed right arm, and played baseball virtually one-handed.

A product of Flint, Michigan, Abbott was brought up by his father, Mike (a sales manager), and mother Kathy (a lawyer) to live independently. The Abbotts tried using a prosthetic device when Jim was very young, but the boy hated the artificial hand and learned to do without it. Abbott's parents encouraged their son to play soccer, a game in which the legs, not the arms, prevail. Jim, however, was enamored of baseball. His father taught the boy a move—it would become known as the Abbott switch—that would stay with the ballplayer through his career. When pitching, Abbott would balance his glove on his right wrist, where the arm ends. For fielding, the boy learned to quickly switch the glove to his strong left hand.

Sketch by Susan Salter

Grover Cleveland Alexander - Chronology, Career Statistics, Related Biography: Catcher "reindeer" Bill Killefer, The Winning Team [next] [back] Hank Aaron Biography - Played In Negro League And Major League, Chronology, Awards And Accomplishments, Hank Aaron: Chasing The Dream - SELECTED WRITINGS BY AARON:

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over 1 year ago

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over 1 year ago

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about 2 years ago

did he have any finger on his right hand?

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about 7 years ago