One-Armed Pitcher Joins MLB

jim-abbott

On April 8, 1989, Jim Abbot made his major league debut. The one-armed California Angels pitcher finished the year with a 3.92 ERA.

When preparing to pitch the ball, Abbott would rest a mitt on the end of his right forearm. After releasing the ball, he would quickly slip his hand into the mitt, usually in time to field any balls that a two-handed pitcher would be able to field. At all levels, teams tried to exploit his fielding disadvantage by repeatedly bunting to him; this tactic was never effective.

Abbott retired after the 1999 season with a career record of 87–108 and a 4.25 ERA.