Thursday, April 21, 2005

AND STILL, TIME SLIPS INTO THE FUTURE

My friend Dan once remarked of my friend Andy, "Andy's just mad that nobody talks about Paul Bunyan anymore," or something like that. Which was, funnily enough, a really good way to sum up Andy. A man out of time. Bigger than legend. Keeper of a blue oxe. And mad at the world.

Lately I've been thinking of a man who should be often but is rarely, if ever, discussed: Jim Abbott.

When I was younger, I used to collect baseball cards. By far, I had more cards of Jim Abbott than any other player. Lest you think I was a sentimental sap who was inspired by the man's incredible disability, the truth of the matter was that the acquisition of his numerous cards was a sound financial investment. I figured that since there had never been a one-armed major-league pitcher before Abott, there more than likely would never be one after him. So far, my theory has proven correct. However, as a result of his (commendable) mediocrity as a big-league pitcher, his cards are worth no more than, say, Shawon Dunston's. But what I really don't get is how people can refrain from talking about Jim Abbott. Forget Lance Armstrong and his one ball. Jim Abbot played baseball and didn't have a hand! Let's give the man his due respect and start speaking his name in public places - officially shouting it on high. I think we should even try to introduce the word "Abbott" as shorthand into our modern lexicon, a word meaning "a successful attempt to achieve a great accomplishment against greater odds." In addition to his past acheivements, I have no doubt that the man remains an inspiration, I'm sure, to literally fives of one-armed kids on little-league teams throughout the country.

My advice to those kids: try soccer?


Yeah, Jim, I do think bunting would be a good idea.

6 comments:

cna said...

Jim Abbott has nothing on this guy.

Mathis said...

Kyle Maynard was never a Major League pitcher. If I wanted to write a post about all the malformed freaks with flippers who've polluted their local newspaper's high-school sports section with their "wonderful stories" and "heartwarming courage," I would've done it maliciously and disrespectfully. Abbott, on the other hand, is some kind of man.

Some kind of man.

cna said...

From a script treatment for the screenplay "Kyle":

A truly classic example of Kyle’s sense of humor was showcased on an ordinary trip to the beach. A prankster at heart, Kyle had his cronies discreetly pour ketchup all over his body as he on lay near the shoreline. Suddenly, he began flopping around on the sand screaming “Shark attack, shark attack!”

T.S. Farmhand said...

This is the baseball card that I would give my left arm for:
www.snopes.com/sports/baseball/ripken.htm

King Koopa said...

ts - I know, I've got the corrected version and it still irks me to this day.

T.S. Farmhand said...

Can you imagine being Cal Ripken's little brother? Holy crap. Here's to you, Billy "Fuck Face" Ripken, you crazy underachieving brilliant little backbencher.