Let's all relive the magic of Jim Abbott tossing his no-hitter at Yankee Stadium
Jim Abbott's story is a remarkable one. Despite being born without a right hand, he was a star at the University of Michigan, pitched the U.S. to an unofficial gold medal in the Olympics and became a first-round Draft pick of the Angels in 1988.
But that perseverance shouldn't be the only thing we remember about him. Abbott was a good pitcher -- he entered California's rotation as a rookie without making a single Minor League start, and in his third Major League season, he finished third in Cy Young Award voting with a 2.89 ERA. On Sept. 4, 1993, as a member of the Yankees, he etched his name into baseball history by firing a no-hitter:
He didn't do it against soft competition, either. Abbott faced an Indians lineup featuring Kenny Lofton, Carlos Baerga, Jim Thome and some rookie playing in his third career game named Manny Ramirez -- the core of a team that just two years later would win the American League.
But Abbott frustrated Cleveland all day, posting one of the most strangely dominant stat lines you'll see: Five walks to just three strikeouts. Abbott pitched to contact masterfully, inducing 15 ground balls while giving up just one line drive. He may have just missed a Maddux -- he threw 119 pitches -- but it was a pretty good impression.