Faced with the task of writing a paper on a specific act of courage my initial reaction was that of total uncertainty. Later that evening, as I lay in my bed watching television I pondered what topic to do for the paper. Then the sportscaster on the news began an interview with Jim Abbott a well-known major league pitcher. I thought to myself, this is perfect! Jim Abbott is a man who shows courage when the odds are against him. He is fulfilling his lifelong dream of playing professional baseball despite the fact that he was born without a right hand. Whenever I see Jim pitch, I am reminded of something that happened when I was about 8 or 9 at summer camp.
Before that summer, I had always felt pity for people who were physically challenged especially Justin Berger. Justin, a boy in my age group at Camp Wayne, who was born with some kind of illness that prevented him from controlling the movements of his left hand. I never teased him or talked badly about him to others; what I did in some ways was much worse. I labeled him "different.'; I saw him as inferior and thought that he needed some extra leeway in such activities as sports. However, Justin saw his handicap as a motivator, a reason to work harder and excel in all aspects of camp life. Camp Wayne was very competitive; the summer culminated with four days of intense sports competition called Color War. It was during Color War that my view of Justin changed.
During Color War the whole camp is divided into two teams. The teams play each other in various competitions and sports for 4 days and at the end of the fourth day the points are tallied up to see who won. It was the last day of Color War, the day everything would be decided. There was not one camper whose heart wasn't rushing with intense emotions and pride. It was about 3:00, the voice over the intercom said it is now time for second period; everyone except the A & B groups (the youngest campers) go down to the main soccer field to watch the D group soccer game. I laced up my cleats and ran down to the field. Over the years our age group the D group, had earned the reputation of one of the most athletic groups in Camp Wayne history. Just about everyone was gathered in the bleachers to watch our soccer game. Soccer was my sport, by this point I was considered one of the best, the Captain of the Blue team. The coach and I set up ...
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...od: Silver Burdett Press, 1990. This book was about people who were told they would never make it but they proved the skeptics wrong. The book consisted of many career facts and focused on mainly the major leagues.
Macht, Norman L. Jim Abbott, Major League Pitcher. Ed. Kathy Campbell. Philadelphia: Chlesea House Publishers, 1994. The book was about living the life of a physically handicapped person. I used the book to tell about Jim's strength and as basic reference to overcoming his handicap.
"Making it to the Majors.'; Narr. John Hinkins. Espn. California. 5 May 1990. This was a TV interview with Jim Abbott. I used the interview for many quotes which I added to the paper where I deemed they fit.
Savage, Jeff. Sports Great: Jim Abbott. Hillside: Enslow Publishers, 1993. The author who is a sportswriter follows the life of Abbott from his childhood days to the majors. This book was very in-depth and was a good source for the little things that were hard to find in the other books.
White, Ellen Emerson. Jim Abbott: Against All Odds. New York: Scholastic Inc., 1990. The book was your average basic biography. I used it for some minor details about Jim growing up over the years.
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