Learn more about Jim’s journey here: http://jimtherookiemorris.com/
Full transcript for the Jim Morris speech in the description below.
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Full Transcript – The Unbelievable True Story of Baseball’s Oldest Rookie | Jim Morris | Goalcast
You’re not smart enough. You’re not good enough. Why do you even try? Why don’t you quit now before you embarrass yourself and everybody else? You’ll never make it.
For 15 years, I watched my parents say the worst things they could possibly say to each other, throw things, hit each other. The next three years, I learned from my grandparents it doesn’t have to be that way.
I worked for my grandfather in the stores for three summers, and he taught me a lot. Every day pretty much, I got a lesson. Jimmy, you’re born with your name and you die with your name. What you do with it in between is a legacy you leave behind for everybody else. Who do you want to be?
These lessons from my grandparents added up over time. Eventually, I took those college entry exams that everybody loves to take, and the scores came back and my counselor stops me in the hallway. He’s got my scores in his hand. He goes, “Jimmy, what are you going to do with your life?” I looked at my counselor and I said, “I’m gonna be a baseball player. Everybody knows that.” He goes, “I hope so. You’re too stupid to go to college.”
Same period of time, I find out the person I love more than anybody in my life, the mentor, the person I held high up here on this pedestal, my grandfather, Ernest, was diagnosed with ALS. No grades, no scholarships, watching my grandfather get sicker and sicker.
I was playing a summer league game. After the game, this man came to talk to me. He goes, “I’m the coach at Ranger Junior College. I want you to come play baseball for me. I know about your dream. I know about your grandfather. I know about your grades. I’m gonna get you classes that you can pass,” which was important, “you’re gonna pitch for me during the week, and on the weekends during the Fall, you’re going to go home and spend time with your grandparents in the hospital every weekend.” I would pitch, and on the weekends, I would go home. I did that for 4-1/2 months. On the last Sunday in November of ’82, I kissed my grandparents good-bye at midnight. I had to get back for eight o’clock Monday class, told them I loved them. I got back to school at 1:00. At 3:00, my coach woke me up. He said, “You need to go home. Ernest has passed away. I’ve already talked to all of your professors. Don’t worry about it. Your finals will be taken care of when you get back. You go home. You take care of your grandmother. You take care of the funeral. She does not lift another finger.” So I did.
To this day, in Brownwood, there’s never been a larger funeral take place. People came from all over the country. Everybody got to say their good-byes to my grandfather, who lived for everybody else but himself.
No grades, no scholarships, nowhere to go. Call my mom. “Mom, I need a horrible mistake. I don’t know what I was thinking. I’m quitting. I’m coming home. I’m done. It’s time to go out in the world and start teaching and coaching kids.”
That’s when I found myself at Reagan County High School in Big Lake, Texas. I inherited a baseball team that had won one game each year for the three years before I got there. The first thing I did as a head coach was I kept that one team on the schedule. “You’re going to respect this game. As long as you’re on my field, you’re playing for my team. We’re going to do things the right way.” Athletic director and head football coach at Reagan County High School pulled me aside one day to tell me, “If it’s ever close or they’re ever behind, they’re gonna find a way to lose. Their parents are losers. They’re losers. It’s just in their DNA. They’re not even gonna graduate from high school. They’re gonna work in the oil fields and gas fields like their dads and their granddads did, and there’s nothing you or anybody else can do about it. You have taken these kids as far as you can.”
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For the rest of the speech transcript, go here: https://www.goalcast.com/2018/04/19/jim-morris/
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