When Jim Morris first played professional baseball in 1983, he got as far as the
Milwaukee Brewers' Class A team, but the left-handed pitcher suffered a catastrophic shoulder
injury in 1986 and retired from baseball in l 989.
Ten years later, Morris got another chance. The Tampa Bay Devil Rays
signed the high-school chemistry teacher amid coach, when he threw 98 mph at a tryout
camp in Brownwood, Texas. A few months later, he came out of the bullpen at The Ballpark at
Arlington in the Devil Rays' Major League uniform. He was the oldest rookie
pitcher in forty years.
"I guess the biggest thing I tell people about my story, Morris recalls, ''is it's about
family and it's about dreams. I'm living proof that you can always achieve
whatever it is you pursue as long as
you put your full heart into it.
"Everyone had been telling me what a good story it was," Morris
remembers, "but I was so busy living it day to day. I didn't really think about it until I retired.
Now, if I were to read about this about someone else, I'd probably sit there and say, 'Yeah, right. This
isn't happening.' But I lived it and experienced it, and it's been a great trip.
Morris retired from the Los Angeles Dodgers during spring training, 2001. He had
lived out his dream, and kept his promise to the championship high school team
he had coached. having achieved his Major league baseball dream, Morris thinks
ahead. "It allows me to sit back and watch my kids grow up, and help them
achieve whatever it is they want in their lives."
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