Imperfect by Jim Abbott

83%

12 Critic Reviews

For the former Angel's new book, "Imperfect," is an uncommonly compelling coming-of-age story and as American as brick dust. In an era of crooks and thugs, this very human memoir may do for baseball what "The Blind Side" did for football's big-lug linemen.
-LA Times

Synopsis

“Honest, touching, and beautifully rendered . . . Far more than a book about baseball, it is a deeply felt story of triumph and failure, dreams and disappointments. Jim Abbott has hurled another gem.”—Jonathan Eig, New York Times bestselling author of Luckiest Man
 
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
 
Born without a right hand, Jim Abbott dreamed of someday being a great athlete. Raised in Flint, Michigan, by parents who encouraged him to compete, Jim would become an ace pitcher for the University of Michigan. But his journey was only beginning: By twenty-one, he’d won the gold medal game at the 1988 Olympics and—without spending a day in the minor leagues—cracked the starting rotation of the California Angels. In 1991, he would finish third in the voting for the Cy Young Award. Two years later, he would don Yankee pinstripes and pitch one of the most dramatic no-hitters in major-league history.
 
In this honest and insightful book, Jim Abbott reveals the challenges he faced in becoming an elite pitcher, the insecurities he dealt with in a life spent as the different one, and the intense emotion generated by his encounters with disabled children from around the country. With a riveting pitch-by-pitch account of his no-hitter providing the ideal frame for his story, this unique athlete offers readers an extraordinary and unforgettable memoir.
 
“Compelling . . . [a] big-hearted memoir.”—Los Angeles Times
 
“Inspirational.”—The Philadelphia Inquirer
 
Includes an exclusive conversation between Jim Abbott and Tim Brown in the back of the book.
 

About Jim Abbott

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Jim Abbott was a major league pitcher with the Los Angeles Angels and the New York Yankees, among other teams. Born in 1967, he was an All-American at Michigan; won a gold medal with the 1988 Olympic baseball team; and threw a no-hitter at Yankee Stadium in 1993. He retired in 1999. Abbott has worked with the Department of Labor's Office of Disability Employment Policy, has been a guest pitching instructor for the Los Angeles Angels, and has appeared as a motivational speaker. He lives with his wife and two children in Anaheim.Tim Brown is an award-winning writer with twenty years of experience covering Major League Baseball at the Los Angeles Times, The Star-Ledger, Cincinnati Enquirer, and Los Angeles Daily News. He studied journalism at the University of Southern California and Cal State Northridge, and currently works for Yahoo! Sports.
 
Published April 3, 2012 by Ballantine Books. 330 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Political & Social Sciences, Sports & Outdoors, Self Help, Religion & Spirituality. Non-fiction
Bestseller Status:
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Peak Rank on Apr 29 2012
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Weeks as Bestseller
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Critic reviews for Imperfect
All: 12 | Positive: 11 | Negative: 1

Kirkus

Below average
Mar 01 2012

His retrospective is appropriately modest and self-effacing, and able co-author Brown punches up an inning-by-inning recap of the no-hitter, but there’s a predictability to the narrative that makes it somewhat less remarkable than it should be.

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Examiner

Excellent
Reviewed by Nick Diunte on Apr 21 2012

Abbott’s career didn’t have the storybook ending of an All-American, Olympic Gold Medalist, but the bumpy expedition which he faced makes Imperfect a tale of perfection in many ways.

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LA Times

Excellent
Reviewed by Chris Erskine on Apr 01 2012

For the former Angel's new book, "Imperfect," is an uncommonly compelling coming-of-age story and as American as brick dust. In an era of crooks and thugs, this very human memoir may do for baseball what "The Blind Side" did for football's big-lug linemen.

Read Full Review of Imperfect | See more reviews from LA Times

The Roanoke Times

Excellent
Reviewed by Michael Ramsey on Apr 30 2012

Abbott’s life, and his wonderful ability as a story teller are enhanced by the prose of veteran baseball journalist Tim Brown.

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At Home Plate

Excellent
Reviewed by Jonathan Leshanski on Apr 28 2012

There is a lot to love about this book, such as the background Abbott provides about his life, but the crux of the book is a discussion of how others view the handicapped.

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Tampa Bay Online

Excellent
Reviewed by Bob D'Angelo on Mar 31 2012

Abbott refused to accept limitations. That’s why this uplifting book is such a strong and inspiring read.

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Ron Kaplan's Baseball Bookshelf

Good
Reviewed by Ron Kaplan on May 08 2012

The book uses a familiar back-and-forth concept, alternating between his September 4, 1993 no-hitter against the Cleveland Indians and his recounting of how he arrived at that point.

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DWD's Reviews

Good
Reviewed by DWD on Apr 03 2012

Abbott and Brown work together to create a very readable, entertaining book. I found the descriptions of 1970s and 1980s era Flint, Michigan and his life growing up just as compelling as his stories of how he overcame the difficulties...

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1 Man and His Books

Good
Apr 03 2012

What I appreciate about this book is that it is more than a “baseball biography.”

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Friar Tuck's Fleeting Thoughts

Good
Reviewed by Clint, Jennifer Walker on May 03 2012

Abbot is honest about his struggles without sounding like a coward. The idea of using his experience as a pitcher with an imperfect body pitching a perfect game as a metaphor for his life is a master stroke.

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What James Reads

Good
Reviewed by James K. on Apr 06 2012

It makes for a good baseball story, and it has insights to lend, even to those with no interest in that particular game.

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Brad Taylor

Good
Reviewed by Brad Taylor

The authors brilliantly interwove the story of Abbott’s life with the story of the no-hitter he threw in September 1993 as a member of the New York Yankees. I don’t know which writer deserves the most credit for the excellent tone and readability of the book...

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