I am a bit of a sucker for sports history and shit like that. I love hearing about sports back in the day because it is crazy how every sport has evolved so much over the years. This is the first installment of ‘On This Date in Sports History…’ and as long as you guys keep reading it, I will keep pumping it out.
On this date in sports history in 1993 Jim Abbott throws a no-hitter against the Cleveland Indians as a member of the New York Yankees. Now you might think ahh no-hitters happen all the time, why is this special? Well this is special because Jim Abbott was born without a right hand. That’s right, he threw a no-hitter in a Major League Baseball game with only 1 hand.
He was not dominant like you see some guys today, but he was dominant enough to get the job done. In the early 90s strikeouts were not nearly as easy to come by as they are today. His stat line for the day reads: 9 IP, 0 H, 5 BBs, 3 Ks. Not dominant, but he still pitched good enough to secure a no-no that day.
Playing with 1 hand obviously presented some challenges but Jim overcame every fucking one of them. Teams obviously used to try to take advantage of his disability, but he always made them look stupid. He would put his glove over the end of his right arm while he pitched with his left hand. After releasing the pitch he was very quick to get his hand back in the glove in time to field any balls hit his way. If a ball did get hit his way he would put the glove between his right arm and his side and grab the ball using his left hand to throw runners out.
This no-hitter was not an anomaly either. Jim was a very good pitcher, as he finished in the top 5 in the Rookie of the Year voting in 1989. He then finished in the top 3 in the Cy Young award race in 1991 while a member of the California Angels. He was traded from the Angels to the Yankees after the 1992 season.
After the no-hitter Jim’s career was a bit of a roller coaster even leading to him retiring after the 1996 season. He was only gone for 1 year though before he came back in 1998 as a member of the Chicago White Sox.
Following a short stint with the White Sox, Abbott went on to join the Milwaukee Brewers, his first NL team, which meant that Jim had to bat. To his defense, Jim did record 2 hits in 21 career at bats which is actually remarkable considering there are guys with 2 hands who can’t fucking hit the ball.
Jim overcame every bit of adversity that he ever faced and now his name will live on forever as a MLB Pitcher to throw a no-hitter.