As I mentioned in previous posts, I miss being in the ring. I miss the training, the sparring, and the electricity in the air at a boxing event. When I was younger, I had all these plans about what I was going to do when I make it big in boxing. That didn’t happen. Now the little achievements in life seem like huge victories. Just being able to say “I fought in the pros” seems like a dream. There’s a story about another athlete, in a very different sport, that I admire. His story seems unbelievable, but it in fact happened. It’s the story of major league baseball pitcher Jimmy Morris.
In the summer of 2002, a film called “The Rookie” came to theaters. I remember seeing a trailer for it a few months earlier. It intrigued me. I knew I had to see it. My close friends know that I saw this film in the theater seven times. Yes, seven. It wasn’t a big budget action film, nor a thriller, or sci-fi extravaganza. It was simply the true story of a middle-aged man getting a second chance to chase his dream. Jimmy Morris was a high school science teacher who, as a kid, dreamed of playing in the major leagues. Life and bad luck got in the way. The bad luck being that his pitching arm was blown-out shortly after he left high school. He had surgery on the arm and like many pitchers that go through that, they’re pitching ability goes down the drain. Fast forward 15 or so years later, he finds out he is pitching better and much faster at 35 than he did at 20. How? That’s up to you to decide. I read his story after seeing the film and I can tell you, they don’t exaggerate anything in the movie. There’s a scene in the movie involving a radar gun on the side of the road… That was completely fake. The film maker needed a way to show the audience that Jimmy had no idea how fast he was pitching at 35 years of age.
I don’t think I’m that much different than this man. I can relate to him. He gives me hope that impossible dreams can become a reality with some perseverance. I’m hoping that is true.
The tagline from the film says it all: “It’s never too late to believe in your dreams.”