The Angels are in the Big Apple facing the New Yankees. For tonight's SNB posting we take a look at an a player who spent the bulk of his career with the then California Angels and had some big moments with the Yankees.
Folks likely remember Jim Abbott as a pitcher with one hand. I hope that we don't forget that he was a fine pitcher regardless of his hand count and had several career highlights.
Abbott was the 8th overall pick of the Angels in the 1988 draft. That same summer he won a Gold Medal as a member of the US Olympic Squad - it appears 1988 was a demonstration year for Baseeball.
The Left-Handed Pitcher, Batter, and Fielder made his Angels debut in 1989, winning 12 games and finished 5th in the Rookie of the Year voting behind Orioles closer Gregg Olson. Olson also won that award over the Mariners Ken Griffey Jr.
At age 23 in 1991 Abbot had his best season, He won 18 games (4th AL) with a 2.89 ERA (4th) for the Angels. His work earned him a 3rd place finish in the '91 Cy Young Voting - If you are inclined to dismiss Roger Clemens for PED Reasons, Jim Abbot won the WAR title that season with a +7.6 (Clemens = +7.9)
In December of 1992 Abbott was traded to the New York Yankees. Ten months later On September 4th 1993, Abbott No-Hit the Cleveland Indians - The lineup he faced that day included Kenny Lofton, Albert Belle, Manny Ramirez, Carlos Baerga (.317 at the time), and a young Jim Thome batting 8th.
Jim Abbott has remained in the game as a Spring Training instructor for the Angels. Abbot has worked with The Department of Labor's Office of Disability Employment
Policy (ODEP) and he has also developed a career as a motivational speaker.
Abbott's twitter handle is @jabbottue31 - it is a worthwhile follow.
The Jim Abbot #675 Card is not his rookie card. Abbott shows up in both 1989T and he leads off 1988 Topps as card #1 and is part of the Team USA/Olympic subset. Regardless the 1990T card is significant for a couple of reasons. It has the rookie cup which - an opportunity each player only gets once. Additionally The photo shows Abbott holding his glove up with his right forearm. It is a nice nod to Abbott overcoming tough odds to excel as a top tier athlete.
Topps baseball card database