Rookie, The - Summary

The son of a career Navy man, Jim Morris moves around until the family finally settles in a small Texas town. Jim is a very skilled pitcher and hitter at a young age. Brownwood High School does not have a baseball program, so Jim plays football. 

After a scout for the Milwaukee Brewers sees him pitch, Jim is the team’s fourth pick in the supplemental draft. He suffers several arm injuries in the minor leagues and is released during the 1987 season, never having advanced past the single-A minor leagues. Jim signs with the Chicago White Sox organization for 1989, but is again unable to rise past the single-A leagues. The reality of pro baseball for Jim is very hard with little playing time and little pay.

With his baseball dreams on hold, Jim marries and has three children. He becomes a high school science teacher and baseball coach at Reagan County High School in Big Lake, Texas. While coaching baseball for the Reagan County Owls in the spring of 1999, Jim makes a promise to his team that he will try out for a major-league team if the team can win the District Championship. The team has never won the title before but manages to win. Jim keeps his end of the agreement by attending a Tampa Bay Devil Rays tryout. During the tryouts, thirty-five year-old Jim throws 98 mph pitches. 

Jim accepts the Devil Rays’ offer and becomes a major-league player. Morris quickly becomes a star pitcher for the Devil Rays and moves up to the AAA Durham Bulls. Tampa Bay gives him a chance to pitch with the big club when the rosters expand. On September 18, 1999, against Royce Clayton of the Texas Rangers, the 35-year old Jim makes his debut, striking Clayton out with four pitches. His goal of pitching in the majors is finally realized and he makes four more appearances later that year. Suffering from tendinitis, Jim has to retire but is happy about it because he wants to spend more time with his family.

This is an inspirational story that recognizes that no dream is impossible. Meet Jim Morris and learn about his incredible story of success.

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Author: Carole D. Bos, J.D. 5190stories and lessons created

Original Release: Mar 01, 2002

Updated Last Revision: Nov 09, 2016

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"Rookie, The" AwesomeStories.com. Mar 01, 2002. Jan 29, 2020.
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