3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Jim Abbott's bio told in well-paced style,
This review is from: Imperfect: An Improbable Life (Hardcover)
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
"Imperfect" is a biography by Jim Abbott and Tim Brown, told in a conversational manner yet well-written and smoothly paced. Much of the book moves back and forth between Mr. Abbott's life story and one of his most historic games, ** possible spoiler alert if you don't know his history, a no-hitter against the Cleveland Indians at Yankee Stadium.
I like that the reader learns about his parents and their backgrounds as well as about life growing up in Flint, Michigan. It provides depth and gives the reader a big picture about what makes up Jim Abbott, where he came from and in what circumstances he lived that allowed him to become the person that he is.
While he will most likely be remembered as "the one-handed pitcher" he spends considerable time trying to overcome this, dealing with his physical challenge, describing how he developed his throw and glove transfer motion and attempts by specialists to have him wear a prosthesis. He never viewed himself as "special" and learned great respect for others who had, in his view, even greater challenges to overcome than he did.
Still, this is a man who performed well at the college level, played on an Olympic medal team and eventually reached the pinnacle of his profession by becoming a Major League Baseball pitcher. The record books may show that overall he did not have a great record, but he still achieved records and was a player of character who displayed great effort and was a positive role model for young fans.
The book is not just a feel-good inspirational story, however, as he also paints a picture of the life of a ballplayer, which can at times become boring with the endless travel, offset by the antics that ballplayers do to alleviate the tedium. He readily admits that although he was an "Angel" he was no saint and one suspects that he probably has many funny stories that weren't necessarily suitable for the primary reading audience. (Parents picking this up to read to their children...)
Filled with interesting stories, such as experiences traveling to and playing in Cuba and Japan as well as less exotic stops on the road, "Imperfect" is a fine baseball tale that can be enjoyed by pre-teen readers and adults alike.