Jim “The Rookie” Morris is a bestselling author who was portrayed by Dennis Quaid in the hit Disney film “The Rookie”. Jim’s amazing life warranted major Hollywood studios fighting for the right to tell his story. Achieving impossible feats is what Jim has done throughout his life. Overcoming a very abusive father, 70 surgeries, a failed MLB career, substance abuse, and even Parkinson’s Disease. He is truly a blessed man, who was meant to move and inspire millions of people.
After winning the state championship as a wingback, punter and kicker for the legendary Texas high school football coach Gordon Wood, (playing football because they didn’t have a baseball team) he went on to pitch in the minor leagues but soon retired after having a losing record and major arm surgeries that forced him to stop. 10 years later, Jim promised the high school baseball team he coached that he would try out again for the majors if they won the championship. So, at age 35 he did, and he was shocked to find out he was throwing at 98 MPH, 10 miles an hour faster than he ever had in his early 20s. His story was well known to all of the MLB and eventually, Disney came with an offer to bring it to the big screen. The star-studded and award-winning movie went on to make $100 Million Dollars.
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Jim “The Rookie” Morris: Making The Impossible Possible – Virtually Speaking Episode 46
Joining us is Jim “The Rookie” Morris, a bestselling author who had Dennis Quaid portray him in the very successful Disney film, The Rookie. Jim’s life is an amazing journey that warranted major Hollywood studios fighting for the right to tell his story. Achieving what many said were impossible feats over and over is what Jim has done throughout his life, overcoming an abusive father, 70 surgeries, a failed Major League Baseball career, substance abuse, and even Parkinson’s. He is truly a blessed man who was meant to move, inspire millions of people, and he has. After winning the Texas State championship as a wingback, punter, and kicker for the legendary high school football coach, Gordon Wood, because they did not have a high school baseball team. He finally achieved his dream of pitching in the Minor Leagues in the early ‘80s but quickly retired after having a losing record and major arm surgeries that forced him to stop.
Ten years later, Jim promised the high school baseball team he coached that he would try out again for the Major’s if they won the championship. At age 35, he did and he was shocked to find out he was throwing it 98 and 99 miles per hour. Ten miles an hour faster than he ever did in his early twenties. His story was well-known in all of baseball and eventually, Disney offered to bring it to the big screen. The star-studded, award-winning movie went on to make $100 million. Please join me now with “The Rookie” Jim Morris.
Jimmy Morris, thank you for joining me on the show. How are you doing, sir?
I’m doing great, Chris. Good to see you again.
This is something that I’ve been looking forward to for a while. I enjoy you as a speaker. Your message is awesome. You had a movie made about you. That is as good as it gets. I have met several people who have had movies made about them. It must be unbelievable to wake up every morning and know that there is that movie out there that did over $100 million and Dennis Quaid played you. Let’s start with that. It’s fun. How did that happen? You must have told the story to somebody and they loved it.
I did not tell the story to anybody. What happened was Mark Ciardi, one of the producers on the movie, worked out with Michael Eisner during lunch every day and they saw me doing an interview in Durham, North Carolina. He started calling me. He’s like, “We want to make a movie.” I’m like, “I’m 35. I’m an old man. I’m not a kid anymore.” He goes, “No. Really. We want to do it.” I hung up on him twice. My agent at that time, Steve Cantor, took over. When I got called up, we went to Disney and they pitched a deal exactly as I wanted. They told me all these people wanted to play me and I was stunned. They’re like, “Matthew McConaughey. Brad Pitt.” I was like, “You’re kidding me.” Dennis Quaid signs on the movie. The day he signed onto the movie, I went to his house in Brentwood, and I’m playing catch with a movie star in his front yard. Unbelievable.
That’s pretty darn cool. He did a great job, in my opinion. I know you. I didn’t know you in those days, obviously, but I would guess that you were pleased with his performance and it was true to reality.
It was. Dennis told me, “If you see anything being filmed that you don’t like or agree with, tell me and it’s out.” They were true to their word and I was very happy with it. It’s over 85% accurate. For Hollywood, that’s incredible. On the third day on the set, Dennis comes over and he goes, “Why aren’t you smiling?” I’m like, “Because this is surreal.” He goes, “This doesn’t happen to everybody. Enjoy it,” and then it was easy. It’s still surreal. When I look back at that, 1999 and 2000, I’m like, “What happened? They made a movie.” It’s really cool.
It’s such a great story. I realize you did not have to tell that story because you were a big story in baseball. A lot of people were talking about the fact that this guy was 35 years old. I’m assuming the movie is correct, you were in mid-30s and as a promise to your team you were coaching and managing in high school in a small town in Texas that if they won the district, you would then try out because they noticed you were throwing the ball pretty hard in practice.
They said I was throwing the ball hard and when we made the bet, they couldn’t hit me. By the end of the season, I could not get these high school kids out. 16 and 17-year-old kids hitting me everywhere and I’m like, “There’s no way I can go to a tryout. I’m getting lit up.” I go to the tryout and they’re like, “He’s throwing 98.” I’m like, “You have to got to be kidding me.” When you hear that, man, woman, it doesn’t matter, they go, “He’s throwing 98.” There’s a happy dance going on in your brain. The second thing I thought was you’ve been throwing 98 miles an hour at high school kids, you’re getting sued. It’s what you’re getting.If you do it, own it, live up to it, and move on. Click To Tweet
It was cool because right off the bat, Doug Gassaway, the scout goes, “You’re not 35 anymore. You’re 32.” I said, “If I come back and try out, can I be 29?” He started giggling and he goes, “I remember you back at Ranger Junior College when you were a skinny kid, football star, and everybody wanted to make a picture out of you.” I said, “Yes, sir.” He goes, “I don’t know what you’ve done to your time off aside from eat.” I’m like, “Thanks.” He goes, “Ninety-four was your first pitch without warming up then everything went up to 98.” I was absolutely stunned. I had surgery and the doctor said, “You will never, ever pitch again, physically impossible.” I threw like 88 then. Ten years go by, I’m throwing 98 when it’s supposed to be impossible. Nothing is impossible, Chris.
That’s one of the definite takeaways in stories and lessons that you share with people. There are so many aspects of your life that we are going to get into that have that as the punchline “nothing is impossible.” Going back to the speed of the pitch. In the movie, you stopped. Is this one of the 15% fakers?
It’s everybody’s favorite part. The radar gun on the side of the road but Dennis had a great time filming that scene. It let everybody know that I had no idea how hard I threw until I got to the tryout.
That was a good move whoever came up with that. I bet that doctor who gave you the surgery that was supposed to make it so you can never pitch again, and instead, he made you pitch faster, I’m sure his business went through the roof after that.
It’s amazing because after the movie came out, I go to Hawaii and I talked to all these surgeons. He was one of them. I tell the story about, “You’ll never pitch again.” The whole week I was there playing golf with everybody. They’d walk by Dr. Ryan and go, “He’ll never pitch again.” It was hysterical and I had a lot of fun with that.
He could say, “I make you pitch better,” and all the MLB should be going to him for surgeries. I don’t even know if that’s ever happened before. I’ve never heard of that where somebody pitches one speed, gives it up for years, comes back, and pitches it 6, 7, or 8 miles an hour faster. That’s incredible.
It was a lot of fun. When I get to the tryout, nobody would even play catch with me to warm up. I’ve got my kids. They were 8, 4, and 1. We were playing games and I’m changing diapers. We’re watching guys try out and I’m like, “What have I done to myself here?” I made a promise and now, I got to go through with it. It ended up being pretty cool.
That’s such a great part of the movie and the story. Going back a little bit further, the movie depicts you as a kid who loved baseball and was pitching all the time into fences. Is that correct?
Everywhere we went. My dad was in the military. He got transferred a lot. I didn’t talk a lot as a kid. Children are to be seen and not heard, so I didn’t talk. I was scared to death. He was a big, scary guy. He didn’t like me anyway, but baseball was a one-time in between those white lines that I could be the kid I was supposed to be. The game coincides with life so much like a chess match. I love the game. I always have. When we lived in Oakland, I watched Vida Blue. When we moved to Connecticut, it was Luis Tiant. It was my passion and love, and I got to be the kid that I wanted to be.
You had a strained relationship with your dad, to say the least. Is that right?
Yeah. He was holding my little brother one day, he looks down at me, and he goes, “This is the one we wanted. We never wanted you.” It was, “We had to get married because of you.”
Were you the oldest?
I was the oldest. My little brother is the only sibling I had. He never did anything wrong and I got in trouble for everything. It was just pick on Jimmy. I would hide under my bed to get away from my father. One night, he came in late. He had been out with his buddies. My German Shepherd, Nick, was on the end of the bed. I guess Nick sensed something and my dad opened the door to come in my room. My German Shepherd took him down the stairs by his neck. The next day, my dog was gone.
Your dad, in the movie, doesn’t show him as a physically abusive guy.
Physically and verbally abusive. It was not the message we wanted to convey. I could have put all that in there if I went with a different studio, but this was a movie I wanted. We chose Disney because it’s about the kids who everybody counted out from the beginning who overcame incredible odds. It’s also about the old fat guy who got a second chance at a dream that he messed up when he was young and supposed to be talented. Disney did a great job with that. The relationship with my dad is something I can talk about in my speeches and people gravitate towards that. I’ve had so many people come up crying and bawling going. “I think your dad was my dad.” It was a lot of shared tears together.
Did your dad get to see the movie?
I don’t know if he ever saw the movie or not. He did show up at the ballpark in Arlington. Jose Canseco was standing right next to me as well as Roberto Hernández, and I gave him the ball.
Again, the movie depicts one thing and it’s different in real life. You were not talking much in the later part of his life.
We did not talk much. I tried to repair the relationship. My pastor, who married my wife and me, said, “You don’t have to count people out. You rearrange the order in which you talk to him.” He goes, “Take him out from up here and put him down here because every time you do that, it’s a negative.” I went back to him and I apologize. This is my last interaction with my dad. My grandmother, 98 years old, passes away. I go to her funeral. We’re in the church. I go up and put my arm on my dad and I said, “I am so sorry.” He looked up at me and he said, “Don’t ever effing talk to me again.” That was the last time I talked to him.
That did not come through that it was that bad of a relationship in the movie. That’s tough to hear, of course. Obviously, there were no apologies from his side.If you tell the truth, you never have to remember what you said because the truth is the truth. Click To Tweet
It’s never as bad as you thought.
There is something within you that pushed you to be a great man, regardless. I’m sure, with your kids, you wanted to do a better job.
I learned how not to parent from my parents. I learned to parent from my grandparents, who I lived with from 15 to 18. They taught me about life, be a good man, be a good husband, faith, and sense of humor. It was fun listening to them tell stories with their friends of World War II. It’s something we’ve never had to see or go through in our lifetime, but our grandfathers did. They don’t even want to talk about what they went through and we don’t want to know. To come back with that sense of humor, be able to talk about life stories, go through the depression, come out on the other side of it, and work your rear end off to get to be where it is you want to be. They set the standard of how to work hard for us in this country.
That’s very well said. To recap the story because I’m realizing that not everybody necessarily has seen the movie or knows the exact story, but obviously, you loved baseball. You moved around a lot. The town you ended up in Texas was very small. He was there for his military job. You wanted to play baseball. I guess you weren’t able to join a team there and play much. Is that right? How did that work out with the baseball community there in town?
My dad was stationed in Hollywood, Florida at that time and I was a second freshman ever to make the varsity baseball team at McArthur High School in Hollywood. Two weeks after the season starts, my dad said, “You’re going to live with my parents.” He came from somewhere. I thought, “What is this going to be like?” When I walked into my grandparents’ house, I had two rules. If you do it, own it. Own it, live up to it, and move on. Number two, tell the truth. If you tell the truth, you never have to remember what you said because the truth is the truth. That was it. That was their standard for me. They expected me to live up to expectation, not to live down to expectation. When I moved to a high school which our football coach because it’s Texas, he hated baseball. “I’d rather watch grass grow is what I’d rather do.” We didn’t have a high school team. I played summer ball. Ten games of summer and that was it.
That’s where it ended. You were not able to pursue it at that point anymore.
My grandfather got sick with ALS. It’s some chemically picked up during World War II. As he got sicker, I want to stay close to home. I graduated from high school. I didn’t want to play football. My high school football coach was furious. “You’ll never make it in baseball. You’re a football player,” but I want to do it my way. I went to junior college. For four months, I went to Ranger Junior College. My grandfather got really sick and he was in the hospital. In November of 1982, he passed away. I have to say that I’ve never seen a funeral that large in my life. People came from all over the country to pay their respects to a man they knew lived for other people. What is cool about that is one of the people who would come into the store was Gene Autry. He come in from California to hang out with my grandfather. It was the most incredible thing and then to find out, Dennis Quaid plays me in the movie, is related to Gene Autry. This is a small world.
Dennis knew that? Did he find that out?
We found that out while we were filming. It was pretty cool.
That’s so awesome. Anyway, you end up being a high school baseball coach. You still have a passion for the game and your kids are not doing well. There’s not a real baseball program or field. Football is everything in Texas. They get you to make that promise because they see how hard you’re pitching. They love you because you live for others as your grandpa taught you. You had to face the music and go to the tryouts. Miraculously, in your mind, you get this phone call that you’re going to be on the team. The Devil Rays are picking you up and putting you in AAA. You go to work out there and play for them. It’s not going very well at the beginning.
They had me come back for a second tryout to see if I could throw that harder if my arm fell off. I’m throwing in the rain. It’s raining so hard that they had to give me a brand-new baseball every single pitch. I’m sliding up to my knee in mud and 98 every pitch again. My kids and half my baseball team are there and then they send me to Florida at rehab to get well from injuries and surgeries. They sent me their loose Famous Amos cookies and Dr. Peppers. When you’re a coach, you have a different diet than when you’re a player. I thought I was there to play. They thought I was there to train for a marathon race. I lost 30 pounds in three weeks. I meet the AA team on the road.
The first night, I come in with a guy on first before I ever throw a pitch. This is funny because I’m a coach. Before I ever throw a pitch, I balk and the guy goes from 1st to 2nd. I sit there and laugh. Ray Searage, the pitching coach who pitched in the Big Leagues, calls, “What are you laughing about?” I said, “I coached this stuff and I just did it. You don’t ever do that.” He started laughing. We were laughing and the umpire comes up. We tell him and he starts laughing. I pick him off. I strike a guy out in 91 to 92 miles an hour. I throw the second night in AA. I throw two in each. I strike out five guys, 98 to 99 miles an hour. The next day, I’m in AAA.
For two months, I’m watching guys on their way up, on their way down, and guys just trying to hold on a little bit longer. I’m getting to be a kid again at 35. I’m getting the chance that I should have given myself when I was nineteen. When you’re nineteen, you know it all and you’re like, “I’ll take this for granted. I deserve this. They’re going to give everything to me,” and then all of a sudden, you’re out of the game. You get that second chance to go back and you want to do it right. I’m the first one in the ballpark. I’m the last one to leave. I got to hang out with fantastic ballplayers. It was a true pleasure. I had a lot of fun doing that.
You ended up almost giving up in the movie. You’re about to go home and you’re like, “This is not going anywhere for me, honey.” She says, “Stay on the road for another month. Give it another month,” and then something happens. What was it that happened that sparked you? It felt like in the movie, you had a spark that came from somewhere. You went out there. Was it the joy of the game and remembering how you felt as a kid again?
The joy came from going to a Little League ball game one night and watching those kids have fun playing for a hot dog and a Coke and remembering back to when I was that age, the joy I found, and the passion that I had for the game. That spurred me on. I stuck it out and I got called up. It was incredible. I go to the ballpark in Arlington, where the Devil Rays are. They’re playing the Rangers. Before I can ever go into the clubhouse, I have to sign a contract, so I’m part of the team so I can go in. I walk in. There’s Wade Boggs, who had gotten his 3,000 hit, automatic Hall of Famer, and I’m still a coach and a fan. I look at him. I go, “You’re Wade Boggs. You like chicken.” He starts laughing at me. He goes, “That is the best story I’ve ever heard in my life. They’ve heard about me for three months.” Roberto Hernández, Fred McGriff, another great guy, and Jose Canseco. He has this persona of being this big, bad dude. He’s really nice and down to earth. It’s a lot of fun. I’m getting to hang out with Big League ballplayers.
You are a big leaguer now.
I’m getting that chance to pitch against guys who were the best in the world and I have fun doing it.
You ended up getting hurt. You came to LA and saw a doctor. What happened then?
The Devil Rays weren’t happy with the fact that I wanted to go to my original doctor, who did Tommy John, Dr. Frank Jobe. Dr. Jobe said, “You need to have your elbow tightened. Are you sure you want to keep pursuing the game?” I said, “Yes, sir.” Dr. ElAttrache did the surgery while Dr. Jobe looked over his shoulder. The first time I had a Tommy John, I was in the hospital for five days in 1986. The second time I was in the hospital for four hours. I was having lunch with my agent in Santa Monica at noon. It was the most mind-boggling thing on earth. I got in shape again. Devil Rays cut me because they didn’t like the doctor I went to. Dr. Jobe told the Dodgers about me and they signed me to a contract in 2001.
It’s a true Hollywood story.Make an action plan in achieving your dreams, then go out there and work it out. Click To Tweet
If I had not made that bet with those kids, I would not be where I was and that’s because of them. When I pushed them and they pushed me back, we made each other better.
If it was not for your grandfather who took you in and showed you how to be a father and human being, you wouldn’t have emulated him as a coach, and they wouldn’t have loved you the way they did, because I don’t think a lot of teams go to bat for their coach like they did. They believed in you and seemed like they loved you. That’s not very normal, I don’t think, in sports. That shows that, in my opinion, it wasn’t them. It was you. They gave you back what you gave them. They believed in you. They saw something in you that was great. That’s a beautiful story. You were with the Dodgers and something happened that scared you. What was it?
I go to Chavez Ravine to work out during the winter and I’m at Dr. Jobe’s three days a week. I go out to stadium four days a week. I’m doing interviews. I’m basically hitting, running, fielding, pitching, doing all the things that a Major League ballplayer does. I’m doing fantastic, in shape, and doing great. In five days, I went from LA, home to see my kids into Florida, where the Dodgers still had spring training. Something happened in those five days to where I couldn’t judge a ball being thrown at me or hit at me. I couldn’t bunt and hit. All of a sudden, my balance was off. I was scared to stand up there and throw 100 miles an hour at guys who could hit it back at me 120. I thought, “This is not good.” I told them, “My arm hurts.” I don’t want to go, “I don’t know what’s going on, but my mind is all wiggly and I’m losing balance. I don’t know what’s going on.” It took another ten years to get the diagnosis of Parkinson’s.
Why did it take ten years?
We go to different doctors. They had different things. What it came down to was this neurologist. She’s like 4’11. She stood behind me. She touched my shoulder and pulled me back towards her very lightly. I fell on her and almost smushed her against the door. She goes, “We’re going to do a brain scan.” I had to go drink this radiation fluid. They give you this green garbage and then they did a test on my brain and said, “You have no dopamine on the right side of your brain.” They sent me to one of the world-renowned people, Dr. Jankovic, in Houston. He diagnosed me with CTE-induced Parkinson’s, which means I had too many concussions playing football in high school and college.
He puts me on the medication. The medication works. I can smell and taste. The one problem with it is it made my stomach stop working then I had gastric bypass. I had a deep brain stimulator put in because I couldn’t tolerate the medicine. My neurosurgeon here in San Antonio put the deep brain stimulator in. When I woke up, I could smell what my wife had brought into the room for dinner that night. I was shocked. I didn’t even tell her. I’m like, “She’s having Italian food.” When she called it out, it was lasagna. I’m like, “I can smell. That is incredible.” For the first time in ten years, I was like, “I had the answer and this is it. This is going to work.” My balance is great. I can smell, taste, and move. This is awesome.
When we found out the diagnosis, my wife and I sat there and cried. It wasn’t because we were sad. It was a relief because now we know what we’re fighting. The neurosurgeon put the deep brain stimulator and the neurologist adjusted it for me. Every time I would go in, there would be a new symptom and she’s like, “This is Parkinson’s. This is how it is. You’re going to get sicker and sicker.” Eventually, my wife, Shawna, had to start traveling with me on the road because I couldn’t even button my dress shirts to go downstairs and do speeches. She’s buttoning my buttons and doing all this stuff. I’m sleeping every moment I can because Parkinson’s people have horrible nightmares. They’re insomniacs and all this was attacking me.
I’m still going to speeches and I’m knocking it out of the park, but my private life is a train wreck. It looks like I’m fading quickly and opiates for years because 70 surgeries, you’re on it before, on it during, on it after. I never abused them but I took them, but that didn’t work. I was still in pain, so what do you do? I’m a doctor because I’ve got a Bachelor’s of Science Degree, and so I added vodka to that mix and that didn’t work out for me very well. It ended me up in rehab.
In rehab for the first time in twenty years, I got to concentrate on myself and who I really wanted to be. It was 30 days of the most cleansing time ever had in my life. I flipped a switch one day. For people with faith, they’ll get this. My guidance counselor there. He brought me in his office. He loves baseball. He has mementos from every stadium. He’s been to every stadium and got something. He goes, “Love the story. Dennis did a great job. Why are you here?” I told him and he goes, “I can see how you set yourself up for that. You isolated and separate yourself from the world.” I wasn’t trying to kill myself but I quit living. The only thing I did was show up to speeches. I would do them and then I would get out. The pain was so bad that I’m taking my pills and I’m drinking vodka. That flipped a switch for me when he talked to me. Four and a half years, no pills, no vodka, no drinking at all, and I don’t miss it. During that period of time, years ago, my mom bought me a cane to walk around the block.
All of a sudden, things start happening and I start turning the deep brain stimulator down a little bit at a time. I’m still healthy. I still smell and taste. I’m like, “What is going on?” Eventually, I turned it off and I was perfectly fine. My dog got under my feet. I didn’t fall to the ground. I’m stumbling over him. All of a sudden, I had balance and all these attributes back. I’m like, “I could do this.” I started running and lifting weights. I turned my deep brain stimulator off. My neurosurgeon said, “Let’s leave it in for a year, and then if you’re doing well, we’ll take it out.” We waited two years. During COVID, which everybody hated because everybody got scared in the world, the one surgery I had was my neurosurgeon took the deep brain stimulator out and he goes, “I know you have faith. I do too and you got out from anything.” He took it out and I’ve been fine and healthy since. I run 5 to 7 miles a day. I lift every day. I’m blessed. I haven’t got out on the road very much. I’ve done a lot of virtual talks. I’m ready to get back out and talk to people in person.
This is all new. The story continues. I didn’t realize the rehab and taking the deep brain stimulator out happened in the last couple of years. That’s amazing. You’re healthier and in better shape mentally with addiction than you’ve ever been in your life, in the last couple of years. COVID almost had to make you feel like, “I feel so great. I want to get out there and live life. Now, I’ve got to sit home more and take myself out of the mix.” Everybody had to do that. Now, it looks like everybody is able to start opening up and start living again. You’re ready to go. This is an unbelievable story.
When people go, “What is it you did?” I don’t know that I deserved it. It just happened. I’ve been lucky twice. We can overcome so much more than what we give ourselves credit for but we get scared, we stop what we’re doing, and we fall in line with everybody else. I’ll tell you what. Chronic illness doesn’t know color, sex, if you’re gay, straight, or anything else. If it’s coming after you, you got it. The other thing is addiction. The same thing to rich, poor, black, white, it doesn’t matter. It gets people. I saw people of all types and all kinds in rehab and we’re there together. We all got along. We’re all trying to overcome something again. It’s refreshing to me. People go, “You went to rehab.” It’s the best thing I ever did in my life.
A lot of people had been to rehab many times and nothing changed. What I’m getting from this is that you’re blessed. You were meant to touch millions of people with your story through the movie and speaking because two things that usually don’t happen happen. You got rid of Parkinson’s it looks like. It’s amazing. It’s a miracle. You also could throw 6 to 10 miles an hour faster than you used to be able to ten years later. These are extraordinary events. You’re obviously blessed. I believe in that.
I’ll tell you this, Chris. When I went back to the neurologist, she had me do all these physical tests and I passed everything. She said, “This is not possible.” She sent me to do the brain scan again. I drank the fluid and did the brain scan. She goes, “Your dopamine levels are perfect. This doesn’t happen. What happened to you?” What happened happened. We can overcome more than we give ourselves credit for. We just have to be willing to go out and do something. You have a dream, you make an action plan, and you go out. You plan your work and work your plan. That’s what you do.
You believe in yourself. You have faith, I know that, which has been helpful to you. It’s an unbelievable, awesome story that has so many different parts to it that can touch so many different people. People with issues with their parents, with their families, learning to be great, getting to be the best at what they do and then dealing with the addiction and chronic illness. You have a lot to tell and a lot of great outcomes to share. It’s so inspiring. I have had such a great time hanging out with you. I always do talk to you and hanging out. You’re one of my favorites. I know you’re down there in Texas having a good time, but you’re ready to move and see the rest of the country. I’m looking forward to seeing you when you’re back here in Los Angeles. Thank you so much for coming on. This has been a true pleasure.
It’s great catching up with you.
Thank you. I’ll talk to you soon.
About Jim Morris
Jim Morris was a high school science teacher and coach in west Texas who miraculously made it to the Major Leagues at the age of 35. His life story made cinematic history with the heartwarming and unforgettable Disney movie The Rookie starring Dennis Quaid. Jim pitched two seasons for the Tampa Bay Devil Rays reaching speeds up to 102mph and chose to retire to raise his children.
Since 2002, Jim has been a highly sought-after motivational speaker traveling around the world inspiring audiences to follow their dreams and never give up. In his latest book, Dream Makers: Surround Yourself With the Best To Be Your Best, Jim shares more of his incredible life story including the people who helped make him the success he is today: his Dream Makers.
Jim has been honored to receive a Lifetime Achievement award from the Bobby Bragan Youth Foundation and has been involved with BCFS, Arms of Hope, Texas Youth Commission, and other philanthropic efforts. He launched his own Foundation, Jim “The Rookie” Morris Foundation, in 2015, giving back to underserved communities and children. Jim and his wife, Shawna, have raised five children and live near San Antonio.