Jim Morris is former professional Major League Baseball player. His meteoric rise from 35-year old high school teacher to flame-throwing major league pitcher in three months made cinematic history with the release of The Rookie, starring Dennis Quaid.
Originally drafted in the 1st round in 1984, Morris’s dream was to become a major league baseball player, but his career was derailed by a series of debilitating arm injuries before he got out of the minors in 1988. Instead, Morris got married, raised a family and got his college degree before becoming a high school science teacher and baseball coach in West Texas.
Eleven years after retiring from minor league baseball, Morris was giving a speech to his high school team about the importance of dreams and hard work when his high school players challenged him to pursue his own dream of pitching in the major leagues. Morris made the bet with his high school team: if they won the District Championship, he would tryout for the majors.
Morris’s team fulfilled their end of the bargain, which committed him to a big league tryout. Inspired by his family and students, Morris immediately signed a professional baseball contract. His rise from obscurity became the feel-good story of 1999. After pitching for the Tampa Bay Devil Rays in 2000, Morris signed with the Los Angeles Dodgers and retired from baseball in 2001.
Following his retirement, Morris became a motivational speaker, and published an autobiography, The Oldest Rookie, and a memoir The Rookie: The Incredible True Story of a Man Who Never Gave Up on His Dream.
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