Move Forward and Live, Says “The Rookie” Jim Morris

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Jim Morris understands setbacks and dashed dreams. At age 35, when most professional baseball players are retiring, Morris found himself back on the mound as a relief pitcher for the Tampa Bay Devil Rays after a series of unfortunate events delayed his baseball career. You may remember his inspirational story from Disney’s popular movie, “The Rookie” starring Dennis Quaid.

On Monday, Morris joined Chip Flory on AgriTalk to talk about his journey to the mound, but more importantly to share how his experiences can help America through a trying time.

“As human beings, we have this thing about ‘we’re in control.’ We’re in control of this. We’re in control of that. We’re not in control of anything,” Morris said. “We're being taken out little by little by a tiny thing that we can't even see and we're supposed to be at the top of the food chain.”

Life will look different when we come out on the other side of COVID-19, he said. But there is reason for optimism. It will require people to make some adjustments, determine what they want to do, and then put their heads down and go after it.

“You don't look back, you don't look around, you just move forward. If you sit and wallow in what we're going through right now, you're going to drown,” Morris said. “There are hard times. There are things that we haven't even seen yet that are going to be harder. But if you put a smile on your face and you have God in your heart, you move forward and you live.”

Morris reflected on the day that he made the run from the bullpen to the mound. He said it was surreal, but he will never forget what it felt like to step his spikes out onto that dirt.

“Everything that I’ve been through my entire life – the successes, the failures, the overcoming of different obstacles, having to persevere through all of it,” he recalled. “I would not have changed one thing about my life because that made me who I was. And I appreciate that.”

In June, Morris will release a book about his journey to the mound and back called “Dream Makers.” The book is a compilation of speeches he has written over the last 20 years encouraging people to surround themselves with the best people in order to be the best they possibly can be.

“Keep these people on your team,” Morris says. “Because the dream killers want to see you fail. They want to see you fail miserably because they've either failed, or they were too afraid to do something in their lives. If they can drag you down to where they are, they feel better about where it is they are. But if you have good people – solid, loyal people – on your team, there's nothing you can't achieve.”

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