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Dream Makers by Jim Morris is a Terrific Read

Most people have heard of Jim Morris from the successful movie, “The Rookie” that was based on his life story on how he made it to the big leagues. Mark Ciardi was the producer and he and Jim played ball together and that helped get this movie made the way Jim wanted it to be.

“Mark and I were roommates at one time and the fact that he knew me and the fact that they paid so much attention to the story. Plus, the fact that my agent and I went all around LA when I was out there for four games with Anaheim back in 1999, meeting everybody and every studio,” Morris remembered. “When we got to Disney and were walking across the grounds, my agent was like ‘what do you want? I said I want a movie about kids who everybody counts out, even themselves. They overcome all the odds. The other thing I want is a movie about people who need a second chance. They then put that chance into performance and go out and see what they can do’.

“When we walked in Mark and the executive from Disney said that is exactly what they wanted. I thought they had microphones everywhere. LOL. We were sold immediately.”

In Dream Maker, Morris talked a lot about his father what derailed him in life.

“I think I was my own worst enemy when I was young. Every time he told me I couldn’t do something, or I wasn’t smart enough, and it was never going to happen, I wanted to make sure it did,” said Morris. “So, I would put everything I had into it, sometimes overdoing it against doctor’s advice. Going out too early and throwing after surgery and all of that stuff. I just wanted to overcome whatever he put on me. The fact that he was the smartest person I ever knew in my life, and just wasted talking about life, not living it, that had a huge impact on me. I wanted to be somebody who lived life.”

I wondered if we could have a similar story to his happen in today’s baseball.

“One of the big deals now is I don’t think I could have even passed a physical that they have now in place that they didn’t have then. I think if they had done that they would have said ‘you’re put together with wires and stuff’ and they wouldn’t have taken a chance on that.”

Even though Morris played in the American League, he’s not in favor of the Universal DH in the National League.

“Guys grow up playing baseball, and it’s way more extensive than when I was growing up, with all the travel days and everything and so if a guy is pitching one day and playing center field or first base or shortstop the next day, and he can hit, let him. They’re athletes, that’s how they got there, to begin with,” he said passionately. “By the time pitchers get to the minor league, they are giving position players so many swings of the bat, that pitchers are just counted on to get their five swings and move on. And so, guys fall behind on that. It is very hard if you’re not hitting consistently every day. To keep your timing down.”

Morris was surprised how the pitchers’ schedule was much different than position players in the major leagues.

“In Tampa, Roberto Hernandez and Jim Mecir and other pitching friends of mine once said to me, none of us are on the chart today, we are going to work out and tee off at 12 today. The athletic trainer is making us a tee time.”

His reply was, “What? This happens?”

He got to pitch at the ballpark at Arlington and this Texan was very honest about the old ballpark.

“The ball flies but you can also throw harder because of the air. Everyone would say the ball flies, so we need a roof. I wanted everyone to just say it’s hot and we need a roof, so we don’t burn up.”

We talked about women advancing in baseball and he’s all for that.

“I think we’re making strides but it’s not nearly quick enough,” Morris stated. “We have female coaches at the big-league level now. We are getting female umpires and I feel eventually we will get a big-league player. I don’t think there’s a reason to limit what they can do.”

Get his book. His story is more complex than what we all saw in the movie.

Most people have heard of Jim Morris from the successful movie, “The Rookie” that was based on his life story on how he made it to the big leagues. Mark Ciardi was the producer and he and Jim played ball together and that helped get this movie made the way Jim wanted it to be.

“Mark and I were roommates at one time and the fact that he knew me and the fact that they paid so much attention to the story. Plus, the fact that my agent and I went all around LA when I was out there for four games with Anaheim back in 1999, meeting everybody and every studio,” Morris remembered. “When we got to Disney and were walking across the grounds, my agent was like ‘what do you want? I said I want a movie about kids who everybody counts out, even themselves. They overcome all the odds. The other thing I want is a movie about people who need a second chance. They then put that chance into performance and go out and see what they can do’.

“When we walked in Mark and the executive from Disney said that is exactly what they wanted. I thought they had microphones everywhere. LOL. We were sold immediately.”

In Dream Maker, Morris talked a lot about his father what derailed him in life.

“I think I was my own worst enemy when I was young. Every time he told me I couldn’t do something, or I wasn’t smart enough, and it was never going to happen, I wanted to make sure it did,” said Morris. “So, I would put everything I had into it, sometimes overdoing it against doctor’s advice. Going out too early and throwing after surgery and all of that stuff. I just wanted to overcome whatever he put on me. The fact that he was the smartest person I ever knew in my life, and just wasted talking about life, not living it, that had a huge impact on me. I wanted to be somebody who lived life.”

I wondered if we could have a similar story to his happen in today’s baseball.

“One of the big deals now is I don’t think I could have even passed a physical that they have now in place that they didn’t have then. I think if they had done that they would have said ‘you’re put together with wires and stuff’ and they wouldn’t have taken a chance on that.”

Even though Morris played in the American League, he’s not in favor of the Universal DH in the National League.

“Guys grow up playing baseball, and it’s way more extensive than when I was growing up, with all the travel days and everything and so if a guy is pitching one day and playing center field or first base or shortstop the next day, and he can hit, let him. They’re athletes, that’s how they got there, to begin with,” he said passionately. “By the time pitchers get to the minor league, they are giving position players so many swings of the bat, that pitchers are just counted on to get their five swings and move on. And so, guys fall behind on that. It is very hard if you’re not hitting consistently every day. To keep your timing down.”

Morris was surprised how the pitchers’ schedule was much different than position players in the major leagues.

“In Tampa, Roberto Hernandez and Jim Mecir and other pitching friends of mine once said to me, none of us are on the chart today, we are going to work out and tee off at 12 today. The athletic trainer is making us a tee time.”

His reply was, “What? This happens?”

He got to pitch at the ballpark at Arlington and this Texan was very honest about the old ballpark.

“The ball flies but you can also throw harder because of the air. Everyone would say the ball flies, so we need a roof. I wanted everyone to just say it’s hot and we need a roof, so we don’t burn up.”

We talked about women advancing in baseball and he’s all for that.

“I think we’re making strides but it’s not nearly quick enough,” Morris stated. “We have female coaches at the big-league level now. We are getting female umpires and I feel eventually we will get a big-league player. I don’t think there’s a reason to limit what they can do.”

Get his book. His story is more complex than what we all saw in the movie.

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