Athlete, Author, Teacher and Inspiration for the Movie, The Rookie

Jim "The Rookie" Morris

At a glance:

Jim Morris’ journey is a testimony to the power of dreams and their ability to inspire and transform human life. Eleven years after retiring from baseball, he unexpectedly learned a life-changing lesson from his high school team. While giving a pep talk about the importance of dreams and hard work, the team challenged him about giving up his own goals. Morris made his last place team the following bet: if they won the district championship, he would tryout for a major league team. His team won.

The Cinderella story of Jim Morris serves as testimony to the power of dreams and their ability to inspire and transform human life. Jim Morris’ meteoric rise from 35 year-old high school teacher to flame-throwing major league pitcher in 3 months, made cinematic history with the release of The Rookie starring Dennis Quaid.

This heartwarming and unforgettable Disney blockbuster about chasing your dreams and keeping your promises, was nominated for a Critics Choice Award, won an ESPY for “Sports Film of the Year.” and Sports Illustrated magazine voted The Rookie one of the “five greatest baseball films ever made.”

Originally drafted in the 1st round in 1984, Jim Morris’ dream was to become a major league baseball player, but his career was derailed by a series of debilitating arm injuries before he got out of the minors in 1988. Instead, Jim got married, raised a family and got his college degree before becoming a high school science teacher and baseball coach in West Texas.

Eleven years after retiring from minor league baseball, Jim Morris was giving a speech to his high school team about the importance of dreams and hard work when his high school players challenged him to pursue his own dream of pitching in the major leagues. Jim Morris made the bet with his high school team: if they won the District Championship, he would tryout for the majors.

Jim Morris’ team fulfilled their end of the bargain, which committed him to a big league tryout. Inspired by his family and students, Jim immediately signed a professional baseball contract. His rise from obscurity became the feel-good story of 1999. After pitching for the Tampa Bay Devil Rays in 2000, Jim Morris signed with the Los Angeles Dodgers and retired from baseball in 2001.


    “Never give up on your dreams.”-Jim “The Rookie” Morris
    Jim shares his memoirs, documented in the movie, “The Rookie” and about those dream makers who helped to shape his life. He incorporates each client’s request and event theme while sharing the life lessons passed down to him by his grandfather and the lessons he learned from a small-town baseball team who helped him pursue his long-time dream of becoming a major league baseball player. Through Jim’s self-deprecating humor and his ability to take the audience on an emotional ride, everyone is inspired as he shares his journey of failures and successes while chasing his dreams and overcoming life’s obstacles.

    “Become the mentor you would want others to be for yourself.”
    -Jim “The Rookie” Morris
    Using his life experiences and good humor, Jim shares his own story of failures while surrounding himself with the wrong influences and successes, while surrounded by key people who helped him believe in himself and who pushed him to become the man he is today. Through these examples, Jim encourages the audience to surround themselves with mentors who bring out their best and, in turn, create an opportunity for success.

    “Remember who you are and whose you are.”-Jim “The Rookie” Morris
    Jim shares the importance of integrity and being authentic to who you are in all circumstances, when others are watching and when they are not. Using his personal story as an example, Jim shares the principle of keeping your promises and the value of being a person of your word……That is what makes you who you are.

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