Book Review- Imperfect: An Improbable Life

Imperfect: An Improbable Life serves as former Major League Baseball (MLB) pitcher Jim Abbott’s autobiography, co-written with veteran MLB writer Tim Brown. Jim Abbott’s rise from little league fields around Flint, MI to Major League ballparks remained “improbable” due to the fact Abbott was born without a right hand. Yet dedication, ambition, and resilient pushing from his father helped to elevate the pitcher to big league status.

Now the book’s format proves somewhat similar to the way the movie For Love of the Game (1999) progresses. For Love of the Game follows fictional pitcher Billy Chapel (Kevin Costner) throwing a perfect game at Yankee Stadium. Between Chapel’s times on the mound, the movie flashbacks to significant events in his life.

Imperfect: An Improbable Life

Imperfect: An Improbable Life by Jim Abbott and Tim Brown

Meanwhile Imperfect: An Improbable Life switches back and forth between Jim Abbott’s life and then his recollection throwing a no hitter against ironically enough my beloved Cleveland Indians. One chapter Abbott discusses events in his life and the next chapter talks about throwing the no hitter. Considering I love the movie For Love of the Game, you will find no surprise I enjoyed the autobiography’s structure.

Yet what really makes Imperfect: An Improbable Life an excellent read stands the personal insights Jim Abbott shares. I related to so many sentiments he expresses. His missing hand and my cerebral palsy left us both feeling self-conscious, wishing we could simply blend in with our peers. Fortunately I didn’t encounter the bullying Abbott endured.

Thanks to writing and publishing my teenage memoir Off Balanced (available on the Kindle and Nook) I can also relate to, albeit on a much smaller scale, the gratification Jim Abbott experienced in big league parks across the country. Parents brought their children with disabilities to ballparks to meet Abbott prior to games. During these meetings families told their tales and walked away optimistic about what the future held.

Readers write me to give their feedback on Off Balanced, telling me their stories in the process and noting commonalities. Such responses account for a metaphorical handful currently. Hopefully though, you can help add to that number by purchasing Off Balanced and letting me know your thoughts. I know Imperfect: An Improbable Life motivates me to continue spreading my own story.

Overall I declare Imperfect: An Improbable Life an empowering read for baseball fans, anyone who faces adversity, and their immediate family members. Buy at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or your local bookstore today!

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