JIM MORRIS Biography - Famous Sports men and women


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Name: Jim Morris                                                                       
Born: 19 January 1964                                                                 
James "Jimmy" Samuel Morris (b. January 19, 1964 in Brownwood, Texas) had a           
brief Major League Baseball career.                                                   
He spent most of his childhood moving to different cities. According to his           
autobiography, he began playing baseball at the age of three. After the Vietnam       
War his father became a recruiter for the United States Navy and his family           
settled in Texas. He attended Angelo State University but as his school did not       
yet have a baseball program, he played football, but he never gave up on his           
dreams of becoming a professional baseball player.                                     
In January 1983, Morris was selected fourth overall in the January portion of         
baseball's amateur draft. He suffered several arm injuries in the minor leagues,       
and was released during the 1987 season. He caught on with the White Sox               
organization for 1989, but was unable to make something of his career, and             
retired to become a high school physical science teacher and baseball coach at         
Reagan County High School in Big Lake, Texas.                                         
While coaching baseball for the Reagan County Owls, Morris made a promise to his       
team that he would try out for Major League Baseball if his team won the               
District Championship, something the team had never accomplished before. His           
team won the title, and Morris kept his end of the bargain. At tryouts, the           
Major League scout for the Tampa Bay Devil Rays initially wasn't interested in         
Morris. But, the scout agreed to allow him to try-out so Morris could keep his         
promise to his students. Surprisingly, Morris discovered that in spite of his         
age, and having several surgeries on his arm, he was able to throw a 98 mph           
fastball. In fact, he threw 12 consecutive 98 mph fastballs. After much debate         
with his family, Morris signed a professional contract with the Tampa Bay Devil       
Rays organization at the age of 35. He started out with the Minor League Class         
AA Orlando Rays, but after a few appearances, he immediately earned a spot with       
the AAA Durham Bulls (North Carolina). Thanks to solid performances with Durham,       
Tampa Bay gave him a chance to pitch with the big club when the rosters expanded,     
and on September 18, 1999, against Royce Clayton of the Texas Rangers, the 35-year     
old Morris made his debut, striking Clayton out on four pitches. His goal of           
pitching in the majors was finally realized, and he made four more appearances         
later that year.                                                                       
His arm problems recurred, limiting him in 2000 to only 16 major league               
appearances, after which the Rays released him. His final appearance came on May       
9, 2000, at Yankee Stadium. He entered a tie game in the bottom of the 10th           
inning with the bases loaded, and issued a game-ending bases loaded walk to his       
first batter, Paul O'Neill. He attempted to catch on with the Dodgers the             
following spring but wasn't able to overcome his injuries. At the end of his           
major league career he was 0-0 with an ERA of 4.80 and 13 strikeouts.                 
His story is well documented in his autobiography, The Oldest Rookie,                 
and in 2002, it was translated to the silver screen by Disney as The Rookie,           
starring Dennis Quaid. Since his retirement, he's become an in-demand                 
motivational speaker and devotes much of his spare time to coaching high school       
baseball teams in the Dallas area.