‘The 40/40 Club’ – 1980’s – Card #40
Jim Abbott – 1988 Topps
Jim Abbott makes the list for being one of the most inspirational players in baseball history – and clearly has the most inspiring story of any player that debuted during the 1980’s.
Born with no right hand, Abbott did not let his limitations stop him from achieving his dream to play professional baseball. As a star pitcher in college, he was drafted in the first round of the 1988 draft and debuted with the California Angels in 1989. With a 87-108 record during his 10-year career, Abbott’s numbers certainly don’t indicate how immensely talented he was on the mound. With (5)10-win seasons under his belt, and a 3rd place finish for the Cy Young award in 1991, Abbott became a baseball star for teams that were generally towards the bottom of the rankings year after year.
The highlight of Abbott’s professional career came as a member of the New York Yankees during the 1993 season when he threw a no-hitter. To be able to achieve pitching greatness, even for just 1 night, Abbott stood heads and shoulders above his competition.
Sadly, Abbott never made a post-season appearance in his 10 years as a major league pitcher.