Jim Morris didn't walk on to a big league ball field until he was 35. How he made it, and why he even considered trying out at that advanced sports-age, makes up the turbulent, triumphant finale of The Oldest Rookie: Big-League Dreams From a Small-Town Guy. His story will probably be labeled "a sports memoir," but there's a lot more here than baseball.

Morris was a Navy brat, dragged from town to town, rootless and often friendless. A natural ballplayer, he had loved it from the time he was a tot and found sports to be his entrŽe into the world. He wasn't that surprised when the Milwaukee Brewers signed him, but he was at a loss when three arm surgeries ended his brief minor league career. Though he met and married a wonderful woman, became a science teacher and baseball coach, life seemed to have too many black holes and dreams left drifting. But in 1999, Jim Morris pitched his first major league game and, more importantly, he showed himself, and a lot of others, that dreams that looked lost forever can still come true.

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