GMC presents Centerstage with Michael Kay. Now here's your host, Michael Kay.
GMC帶來Michael Kay所主持的Centerstage。現在這是你們的主持人，Michael Kay.
Thank you everybody and welcome to Centerstage. Today's guest is a native of Flint, Michigan, where he played high school baseball and football. He appropriately attended the University of Michigan, and help lead in the two Big Ten titles. For exceptional efforts, he was also awarded the Sullivan Award as the nation's best amateur athlete. He followed that up as a member of the USA baseball team that won a golden medal in the 1988 Summer Olympics. He was the eighth overall pick by the then California Angels, and made his Major League debut without playing a single Minor League game. In 1993, he was traded to the New York Yankees, where he crafted a memorable no-hitter against the Cleveland Indians. He demonstrated a blazing fastball, a bat-breaking cutter and was noted for his class on and off the baseball field. In 1999, he retired and now works as a motivational speaker. His new book is Imperfect: An Improbable Life. Please welcome one of the most inspirational figures to ever wear a baseball uniform, Mr. Jim Abbott.
Welcome, Jim. Oh, it's very...thank you very much.
Now in your book, you said that you never really felt comfortable in New York the two years you were here. How come?
I should say I love New York, and being here again always energizes me. I think I didn't feel comfortable because I didn't pitch the way I wanted to pitch here. And so, when you're not performing well, you can't feel comfortable. That was my experience here. I had the no-hitter, I made some great friends, and I loved the experience pitching for the Yankees. So I look back on that fondly, but at the time, many people thought it was a struggle.
A no-hitter, September 4th 1993, Cleveland Indians. When you think of that day, big smile breaks out of your face?
Yeah, I'm amazed. You know, I woke up that morning and I had no idea my life would change. And I wasn't feeling anything particularly special that day. In fact, I was a little bit wild, and walked a few guys and got through the first few innings. The fifth inning I looked up and looked at the scoreboard. They didn't have any hits. And then, those next four innings were just unbelievable.
Tell me about the word "trust." How did that play into? Is it because the word was on the top of the flagpole of the stadium?
That was my visual image that I used to go through with. It's um...I had a tendency when I pitched to give the hitters too much credit. I had a tendency to think about how good they were instead of remembering what it was that I did well: my cut fastball, my slider that put them away, curveball. If I did those things with trust and believe, I can almost tell them what's coming. But at the second you started to hope a pitch will do well, well, you lost that life on the ball, and more often that would get hit hard. So, my routine was to imagine the word "trust" written on that golden ball above the flag. And whenever the world sped up, and the game got crazy, I would look up and see that word "trust," and it was a reminder to me to bring it back to what I did best.
Now, you have had trust because that was a pretty good Indians team: Manny Ramirez, Tim Tolman, Kenny Lofton. Why were you effective that day, you think?
現在，你已有了信任因為那是一支很強大的印地安人隊：Manny Ramirez、Tim Tolman和Kenny Lofton。你覺得為何你那天如此有壓制力？
You know what, I remembered the enthusiasm of Matt Nokes, the catcher that day, and we had a game plan. We talked about the Indians' lineup, and five days before I'd been hit hard in the Municipal Stadium against the same exact team. And Matt Nokes got up there from that very first pitch of that day. He gave the fastball sign and gave me the fist pumping. I promptly threw the fastball all the way at the backstop.
你知道，我記得Matt Nokes的熱情，他是那天的捕手，我們有個比賽計畫。我們談到印地安人隊的陣容，而五天前我才在克里夫蘭體育場被完全相同的隊伍給打爆。而Matt Nokes從那天我投的第一球就站了起來。他比出快速直球的暗號，並給了我一個握拳的手勢(註一)。我馬上投出一記快速球直衝擋球網。
That was the first pitch? That was the first pitch. Walked Kenny Lofton, first batter of the game, which wasn't a good idea. I'm sure Buck Showalter was cringing as things were going on. It was just unreal. Now in the nineth inning, every no-hitter needs some pretty good plays.
那是第一投？那是第一投。保送了Kenny Lofton，比賽的第一個打者，這不是個好主意。我相信Buck Showalter(當時洋基隊教練)當事情發生時都縮了起來。那就是很不真實。在第九局，每場無安打比賽都需要一些很棒的表現。
Loften faked the bunt, and then he hit a chopper over your head. Did you think this was gonna be a trouble because it was so fast?
He, well, he actually did bunt, and bunted the first ball foul. And I love the Yankee fans, because they rained down on here. You know, it was like "Boo," screaming and yelling. And then he chopped the ball over my head that I thought was gonna make it in the center field. Mike Gallego was in the right place, right time. He got Kenny by a step, I think.
Now Felix Fermin, I think Felix had four homeruns in about fifty five hundred career bats. I think you hung a pitch to him. And he cracked it into deep left center. Did you think that was problematic?
I thought that was problematic. Bernie Williams blasted his heart, chased it down, caught it over his shoulder deep in left center field. And at that point, it was like a rush in your ears and the excitement in the stadium. You looked in the fans literally were jumping up and down, and what a moment!
Alright now, the final out. Is the heart beating through the chest when we...talk to me. Tell us what that's like as you're about to throw a no-hitter. You're gonna be immortal when you get this.
You literally, it's...you feel your heartbeat. You feel the shakiness of your legs and you feel the moment, but... And you still have to execute. And you still have to execute, but that'd been going on for about an inning and a half, so you're used to that type of thing, but it was just the managing...it was such a matter of managing your breath and throwing a pitch and trust.
There'd been no-hitter's pitch before, but I believe, Jim, that yours' really resonated. Now we haven't even brought up the fact you obviously have a physical imperfection. You were born without a right hand. And the joy that your teammates felt that day, that Don Mattingly spoke about that he had goose bumps on the back of his neck for the final two innings. Do you appreciate why people felt that strongly about it?
You know? I do. I had made a great connection with people, and I know a lot of them had to do with my being born with one hand. You know, my play was never gonna be viewed in the same way as everybody else's, as hard as I tried sometimes to make that happen.
Did that bother you that it wasn't viewed the same way?
Nobody likes to be labeled. Nobody likes to constantly be referred to as the one-handed pitcher, the one-armed pitcher. You know, I wanted to be known for how well I pitched instead of how I pitched. And as a kid, you know, we talked about that in the book, you know, I wanted to be like the other kids; I wanted to be on the team; I wanted to fit in. And you know, there's a loneliness to being different, but as we, you know, as I talked about, you come to embrace it. And how can you not embrace it when you hear Donnie Mattingly say that he felt that game was different. And I, so I hear...well, you know, I see it all the time on TV. They play it as they're pretty much tired of hearing about that game, but...
They're really not.
I appreciate it so much, and I know that my hand in the way I was born has something to do with people's appreciation.
That night, the grounds crew spent the night digging up the rubber and putting another rubber in there. Where is that rubber today?
That pitching rubber sits in my office, at my home, and I don't know if people have ever seen a pitching rubber, but it's a big hunk of rubber. It's a big piece. And they pulled it out, and they had every Yankees sign it, and they had the home plate on par to have everyone sign it. And I cherished that as much as anything I owned, for the generosity of it, for the work that they did to dig that out of the mound, rebuild the mound, make it all up for the next day and have it ready for the next day's game. That was just a tremendous act.
Now the book is Imperfect: An Improbable Life. You're with the great writer, Tim Brown. And it's such a good book. It's so extraordinarily well-written. Why'd you write it? Why'd you feel that this was the time or what were you trying to say?
Well, thank you Michael. Tim Brown is a friend. And I think he did a great job. I wrote it because it's been separated from the game for a few years. I had a chance to reflect on my career, and it struck me that I could address a lot of the things that people ask me about. You know, "What's it like to throw a no-hitter in Yankee stadium? What's it like to have that kind of moment?" But I could also talk about what it's like to grow up differently. And I could talk about struggle in being out of the game at thirty years old. I felt like if I could find the right writer, the book might have possibilities of being more than just an inspirational story.
Now, I loved it. It was outstanding. And what we'll do now is we'll go through the beginning. It's covered here in the book. We'll cover it on Centerstage when we return.
- 「熬過、完成工作、用完、通過」- Get Through
And I wasn't feeling anything particularly special that day. In fact, I was a little bit wild and walked a few guys and got through the first few innings.
- 「實行、穿過、探討、經歷」- Go Through
That was my visual image that I used to go through with.
- 「追過去、找出」- Chase Down
Bernie Williams blasted his heart, "chased it down", caught it over his shoulder deep in left center field.
- 「稱作、稱為」- Refer To As
Nobody likes to be labeled. Nobody likes to constantly be "referred to as" the one-handed pitcher, the one-armed pitcher.
- 「融入、適應、能容納」- Fit In
And as a kid, you know, we talked about that in the book, you know, I wanted to be like the other kids; I wanted to be on the team; I wanted to "fit in".
- 「歸結為、甦醒、共計」- Come To
And you know, there's a loneliness to being different, but as we, you know, as I talked about, you "come to" embrace it.