Dreams. We were told at a very young age to follow our dreams and that dreams coming true aren’t impossible. If you’ve ever watched a Walt Disney movie (who hasn’t?!), one of the main underlying themes in any Disney movie is that dreams do come true.
However, the older we grew, the more we learned to differentiate reality from fantasy. And unfortunately, a lot of our childhood dreams have fallen under the latter category.
A lot of people have lived their lives miserably because they have either never seen their dreams fulfilled or they have given up on them a long time ago.
Jim Morris is an exception to that norm.
The Old Rookie
A decade after the baseball radar gun was invented, Morris was born to parents, Jim Sr. and Olline in San Diego, CA. Due to the nature of his father’s work as a Navy recruiter, his family was forced to move around the country several times until they settled in Brownwood, TX.
Ever since he picked up his first bat at age three, Jim fell in love with baseball. However, growing up in Brownwood where no baseball program was available, he was left with no other athletic outlet than to play football with the Lions from 1979 to 1982.
He didn’t do bad. In fact, he helped win the state championship as a wingback, kicker, and punter.
But baseball was still on his mind and in his heart. Baseball was his dream.
Originally drafted in 1984’s 1st round, this was a chance to take him a step closer to his dream only to be derailed by a series of arm problems before retiring from the minors in 1988.
And then, just like that, he became like most folks and started to settle for reality. It turned out that reality isn’t a bad thing for him. He got married to a beautiful woman and raised a wonderful family with her. He earned his college degree and eventually became a baseball coach and a high school science teacher in West Texas.
Life was still good.
He used his experience and wisdom in teaching and mentoring young students about how important dreams and hard work are. During one of his speeches, they challenged him to go after his dreams of pitching in the big leagues.
Either he didn’t have much faith in his team or his dreams, Jim made a bet with his students that if they win the district championship, he will try out for the majors.
And like a fairy tale, the team went on to win the district championship which cornered him into fulfilling his end of the bargain despite his age. With nothing but encouragement and support from his family and students, he went on to sign a professional baseball contract at the ripe age of 35.
His rags-to-riches baseball debut story became the feel-good story before the turn of the century and after pitching for the Tampa Bay Devils in 2000, he signed with the Los Angeles Dodgers until he retired from the game in 2001.
Although his career as a major league baseball player was short-lived, his story will go down in history as one of the most inspiring stories in baseball ever. Due to his Cinderella story, Disney produced a movie based on his obscurity-to-success story in the film The Rookie.
His advocacy about dreams and hard work were all realized in his life, that indeed, you are never too old to follow your dreams.