November 3, 2021
Jimmy Abbott is back for a return visit with Fish and The Flint Chronicles. He was the very first guest on the show back in 2018, and it’s perfectly fitting to have him back again to talk about what he’s been up to and revisit some old stories. Fish and Jim go back to 1978 when they were playing baseball in Burroughs Park, Jim as a 10-year-old and Fish at 12. Literally no one could imagine how the rest of that baseball career would play out for Abbott.
Jim’s story is well known to most Flintstones. He started playing Midget baseball with Grant Hamady at Kearsley Park, and quickly established himself as a premier pitcher. This was not unusual in the least. The fact that he was doing it with only one hand was. Born without a right hand, Abbott was already becoming a sensation. He followed that up by making Whittier Junior High’s baseball team as a 7th grader where he was playing with Fish again, backing him up in Centerfield, and was the teams fourth string pitcher. By 8th grade he was the starter, and a budding star in 9th grade. He made Flint Centrals varsity squad as a sophomore and was the star pitcher. By his senior year at Central he was hitting homers as a first baseman/pitcher, and throwing in the 90’s. He was virtually unhittable. Just for good measure he quarterbacked the Flint Central varsity football team in the the Michigan Class A State semi-finals narrowly losing (on a horrific officiating call no less).
After high school he was offered a chance to play pro ball or go onto college, he chose the University of Michigan where he had a storied career.
See the bullet points above for a quick rundown of all that he achieved after college. His career arc culminated with a no hitter in Yankee Stadium. Abbott co authored a terrific book about his life Imperfect: An Improbable Life, and a movie follows “Set Apart; The Jim Abbott Story” directed by fellow Flint Central Indian Mike Ramsdell. Both are outstanding.
Jim is back to chat with Fish about some of those things, and a lot more. It’s a legends day here in The Aquarium of “Fish and The Flint Chronicles!”