Twenty-five years ago this week, Jim Abbott — pitching for the New York Yankees at the time — threw one of the most improbable no-hitters baseball has ever seen. Not just because Abbott famously pitched with one hand, but also because he was in the middle of a subpar season and the Cleveland Indians, the team he was facing that day, had just lit him up just a few days earlier.
But sometimes in baseball, magic happens. And it did that day for Abbott.
He didn’t quite overpower the Indians, a team that featured Kenny Lofton, Jim Thome, Carlos Baerga, Manny Ramirez and Albert Belle. Rather, he gracefully induced groundouts and flyballs all day. Abbott talked about his no-hitter in great detail this week with the Yahoo Sports MLB Podcast.
Like, how after the game, he walked through Manhattan with his wife and that’s one of his lasting memories.
“All the early edition of the newspapers were out on the corners,” Abbott said. “People were buying newspapers and running across the street. Cars are honking and traffic is stopping. I wish everybody in the world could have that feeling for one night. To walk through Manhattan and receive that type of embrace. It’s sort of an amazing cherished memory.”
Elsewhere, Abbott talks about what it’s like to see modern athletes overcome disabilities — like linebacker Shaquem Griffin with the Seattle Seahawks, who was announced Wednesday as a Week 1 starter. Abbott says to him, it’s not just about disabled athletes participating, but thriving in pro sports, which is what his no-hitter proved.
Abbott actually joined our podcast in studio for the entire show, so he’s also around to offer his takes on the following topics:
• The Angels bringing Shohei Ohtani back to the mound and whether it was a smart move
• What happens when a player criticizes a manager — like Wil Myers did
• How baseball could do September roster expansion better
• Whether anyone should dip a chicken finger into Coke
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