It isn’t just the physical aspects of pitching that count in professional baseball. It’s also a pitcher’s mental composure that makes the best batters "go down swinging." Early in his pro career, Morris had plenty of physical ability. But what about that other, crucial factor?
...my biggest problem wasn’t my arm; it was my head. I didn’t face batters with the belief that I would dominate them. I did it with the fear of screwing up. (The Rookie, page 83.)
In other words, to BE a winner Morris had to believe he COULD be a winner. That confidence, for him, came neither easily nor quickly.
Then came the injuries. Before he reached the upper echelons of minor league baseball, Jimmy had a sore left arm. It hurt too much to throw 110 pitches a game. Before he was 25, he had two major operations on his pitching arm:
I wound up, and as my arm approached the release point, it froze. The ball flew out of my hand and sailed high over the plate, hitting the left edge of the backstop about twenty feet up. I grabbed my shoulder and knew right away it was serious. (The Rookie, page 127.)
After that surgery, the Brewers released Jimmy Morris. He was out of pro baseball. Temporarily.