Some of the best movies are the ones based on real life events. They certainly are among my favorites. Topping the list is one tilted “The Rookie.” It’s a story about baseball player, Jimmy Morris, played by Dennis Quaid. Jimmy Morris is an American, former professional baseball player known for his brief major league baseball career.
Jimmy’s dad was a career military man, so Jimmy spent his youth moving from town to town, which for a young kid can be a significant, grieving experience. Yet, when his dad became a Navy Recruiter, they settled in the south Texas town of Brownsville. Since Brownville High School did not have a baseball program, Jimmy joined the football team and excelled, helping the team win the state championship.
Through all the roadblocks, he never gave up on his dream of playing professional baseball, and in 1983 he signed with the Milwaukee Brewers during the amateur draft. After several attempts to break into professional baseball, he was unable to make anything of his baseball career. He retired, mostly as a result of several arm injuries and became a high school science teacher and baseball coach in Big Lake, Texas.
While coaching high school baseball, Jimmy promised his team he would again try out for Major League Baseball if the team won the District Championships.
Well, the team won the district championship, and true to his word, Jimmy went out in the spring of 1999, at the age of 36 for the tryouts of the Tampa Bay Devil Rays. By throwing a 98-mph fastball, he was again signed with the minor league team, and in September of 1999, Jimmy realized his lifelong dream of becoming a major league baseball player, pitching against the Texas Rangers.
While Jimmy’s baseball career was brief and mostly uneventful, he has released an autobiography “The Oldest Rookie,” and appears as a motivational speaker commanding a $10,000 to $15,000 speaker’s fee.
A Contrasting Life Story
What a contrast to the life story of another baseball player by the name of John Odom. John was also a baseball pitcher with a 90 mph fastball. John played for the, San Francisco Giants right out of college from 2003 until 2008 when the Giants decide to let him go.
John made and effort to sign with the Calgary Vipers of the Golden Baseball League, but due to a criminal record in his youth, Canada would not allow him into the country. The Vipers then traded Odom for a young player from the Laredo Broncos, but that young player refused to move to Canada. Once the deal fell through the Broncos offered the Vipers $1,000 for John, but since the Vipers policy was not to accept cash for trades, they instead settled on a trade for equipment.
They traded 10 maple baseball bats in exchange for John Odom, which earned him the nickname “Bat Man.” When John arrive in Laredo to play for the Broncos, media bombarded him with questions about the trade for bats and he seemed to handle things pretty well at first.
However, when John took the field to pitch the announcer played the batman theme and the crowd made cat calls and chants that were thoughtless and hurtful. After just two games, John quit baseball, and just six months after he quit baseball, he ended his own life having turned to alcohol and drugs.
What will you do when life throws you a curve ball?
You and I will never be able to avoid difficult experiences from plowing through our lives, but it’s what we choose to do about the pain that will drive the outcome. It will depend on what tools you have to help you move on with your life no matter the circumstances
The Grief and Wellness Group can give you the tools to help you move beyond the loss and difficulties that you would never choose to experience. You owe it to yourself to discover a proven method of dealing with those difficult experiences you can’t avoid.
Give me a call today. There are new groups forming soon. Call Bob or Bobbie Rill at 520-668-5906. It’s a call that will change your life and improve your happiness.
Bob has 18 years of experience as an educator and administrator. As a Grief Recovery Specialist and Veteran, he delights in helping individuals move beyond the pain of loss.