Jul 30, 2019
Who says you can’t teach an old dog new tricks? Episode 109 will have you feeling like a spring chicken as Tim sits down with the ultimate under(and older)dog, Jim Morris. Baseball fans will recognize the name right away and so will movie buffs. The 2002 movie The Rookie is based on Morris’s return to baseball after a “career-ending” injury and a career change to become a teacher and coach. Dennis Quaid played the role of a smalltown high school coach who made a deal with his underdog team; win the district and he would try out for the big leagues.
Jim Morris isn’t your typical underdog story. He didn’t just overcome a difficult childhood and abuse to become successful. That would make for a good story. He didn’t just make a comeback and get a second chance at a career, which would have made for a great story. He didn’t merely bounce back from what was supposed to be a career-ending surgery, which would have made for an awesome story. This unbelievable underdog story includes all of those curveballs and Morris did it in his mid-30s. Jim Morris made more than 20 appearances in the majors before injuries ended his career.
Morris and Tim discuss the Disney film The Rookie starring Dennis Quaid and how closely it lined up with real life. Much of the movie accurately portrays Morris’s life as a coach and player but some of the personal struggles with his father and spouse are glossed over to highlight the second chance story. This week’s interview goes beyond the movie to talk about some of the depths of Jim’s personal life, his first shot at professional baseball and a missed NFL draft phone call.