Jim Morris Profile

The inspirational story of Jim “The Rookie” Morris’ unconventional method of motivating his young athletes is the inspiration for the Walt Disney blockbuster The Rookie and also The Blindside.

When he was 35 years old, Jim promised the high school baseball team he was coaching that if they won the district championship he would try out for the big leagues. When they did, he kept his promise and three months after his first try-out he was pitching in the big leagues, striking out the very first batter he faced.

This extraordinary achievement is the basis of Jim’s speeches; a born teacher, he connects with his audiences on a very personal level because everyone can relate to his inspirational story of going from struggling to success.

Whether speaking to a large corporation, a church group, a school or a fundraiser, Jim uses honesty and humor to inspire his audience. He speaks openly of the failures he has experienced in life and shows the way to use such failures as stepping- stones to greater success as a businessperson, family person or community member.

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    Jim “The Rookie” Morris’s inspirational and transformational message about following your dreams and having a game plan for success connects with audiences, young and old, male and female. His life story is the inspiration behind the Walt Disney blockbuster film, The Rookie, starring Dennis Quaid. It is also the model for the greatest sports film of the 21st century, The Blindside.

    To motivate his rag tag high school baseball team, Jim, as a 35-year-old schoolteacher, made a bet that he would try out for the big leagues if his team won a district championship. When Jim’s team won, he followed through on his promise, going to a tryout where he threw 12 consecutive pitches at 98 mph! Three months later in front of family and his high school team, Jim achieved his dream of pitching in the big leagues by striking out the first hitter he faced. That’s what Jim Morris accomplished and—it doesn’t matter who you are—we can all relate to fulfilling our goals and dreams. Jim Morris’ story takes place on a baseball diamond, but it’s really about life.

    Imagine having Jim tell you his story over a cup of coffee. Jim Morris brings that level of intimacy to your corporate meeting, church, school, or fundraiser. A schoolteacher by trade, Jim Morris is a polished inspirational and motivational speaker, but never slick. In a world lacking in real-life heroes, Jim connects with his audience, because he transformed himself from a man who was struggling into an incredible success. Audiences connect with him because they see themselves in Jim Morris.

    Jim Morris is a great speaker who inspires and motivates his audience with honesty and humor. He is candid about his early-life failures and he uses them to provide a roadmap for success in business, family, and community. His is an uplifting, heroic tale about overcoming a tough upbringing. One of the most magical things about Jim Morris is how he takes his stories and weaves them into a roadmap for changing all aspects of your life for the better, whether in business, family-life, or within your community.

    Jim Morris can tailor his inspirational and motivational message to a corporate setting, to a school, an association/non-profit, or a church. He works closely with customers to deliver a great meeting and he is a great storyteller! Long after he has left, Jim Morris’ message will continue to resonate with your group.

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Jim Morris's Speech Descriptions

Jim Morris works very hard to customize his presentations for audiences of every sort, and is always ready to stick around to chat with people afterwards.

Telling the amazing inspirational story of how he rose from high school baseball coach to major-league player (the inspiration for the movie The Rookie), he uses his teaching skills and his natural charming storytelling ability to pass on his wisdom which is “home spun” in the very best sense.

Alongside his life story, Jim also gives advice on finding a mentor and becoming a leader, how to take advantage of second chances and how to laugh at yourself, among other topics.

Jim is particularly good at weaving the needs of his customers into his presentation and works hard to please his customers. He receives standing ovations wherever he goes. Despite his enormous success as a speaker, he has remained genuine and developed a reputation among audiences as being a regular, approachable guy who hangs out with customers. If you are looking for someone who will connect with your group, Jim Morris is your guy.

Never Give Up on a Dream
More than a Cinderella story, Jim Morris' journey is testimony to the power of dreams and their ability to inspire and transform human life. A fast-track minor league player, Morris' dreams were derailed by serious arm injuries. Eleven years later, he was a high school baseball coach, who unexpectedly learned a life-changing lesson from his team. Now a role model to millions, Morris' memoir, The Rookie, was made into major motion picture in which Dennis Quaid portrayed him.

A schoolteacher by trade, Morris is a loveable storyteller whose miracle story captivates and inspires audiences to never give up on a dream.

Other topics include:

    • Finding a Mentor and Becoming a Leader
    • Taking Advantage of Second Chances
    • Remembering Who You Are
    • Keeping your Promises
    • Learning How to Laugh at Yourself

Jim Morris on Speaking

When I first started speaking, most audiences wanted to hear about my baseball career. My speech evolved over time to be more about life lessons & 2nd chances. I think everyone can relate to and benefit from those lessons.

SPEAKING.COM: What do you want people to learn / take away from your presentations?

MORRIS: Anything’s possible, it doesn’t matter your age. I use humor to lighten the mood. People are more receptive to learning when they’re laughing.

SPEAKING.COM: What kind of special prep work do you do prior to an event? How do you prepare for your speaking engagements?

MORRIS: I look up the client and I tailor my speeches to whatever they need. As I see what the audience grasps I will go in that direction.

SPEAKING.COM: Have you had any particularly memorable speaking engagements / unusual situations arise while on the road?

MORRIS: I gave a speech for a genetics company in San Diego. After I finished, I stayed for 3 hours and missed my flight because this group of genetic engineers that deal with math and science all day long wanted to know about my faith.

After an event in the middle of the country, I had to fly out the next day to get to Mexico for a speech the following morning. Due to bad weather, my flight was canceled so I rented a car and drove 400 miles to another airport to catch a flight to Mexico. I then had a 3 hour drive to get to the event city. I finally arrived around midnight. That was a crazy trip but I was determined that I was not going to miss my 8:00 am speech!

SPEAKING.COM: What types of audiences would most benefit from your message?

MORRIS: When I first started speaking, most audiences wanted to hear about my baseball career. My speech evolved over time to be more about life lessons & 2nd chances. I think everyone can relate to and benefit from those lessons.

SPEAKING.COM: Which of your keynote speaking topics are your favorites and why?

MORRIS: Dream Killers and Dream Makers is pretty much my favorite. That’s the one that resonates with people. Everyone has had people in their lives that have torn them down and others who have built them up so they can see themselves in what I’m saying.

SPEAKING.COM: What inspired you to start doing speaking engagements?

MORRIS: There were people in my life who thought I would be good at it and that I had a lot to teach. I didn’t think I would enjoy it but, once I started, I was hooked.

SPEAKING.COM: What are some of the successes you’ve helped clients make?

MORRIS: The most important one was one lady who was waiting on tables at an event. She stayed until almost everyone had left before coming up to meet me. She shook my hand and she was crying. She told me that, when my movie came out, her husband just left her. She had kids to support and no job. She said the movie helped focus her. She decided to go to medical school and was getting her degree the next week. Exclusive Interview with Jim Morris
Following Your Dreams, with Inspirational Speaker Jim “The Rookie” Morris
In this interview, inspirational keynote speaker Jim "The Rookie" Morris discusses:
  • Tips for being a great leader.
  • What it's like having a movie made about your life.
  • Why humor is important to realizing one's dreams.
    Read the Full Interview
  • "Keep your promises, always dream, be willing to practice what you preach and realize the dream you start chasing may not be the one you end up loving the most."
    - Jim Morris

    What People are Saying about Seeing Jim Speak

    Rating Entries

    “Wow, simply awesome. Not a typical motivation speaker, real-world / real-guy success story and his story can be related to any business. perfect for person to talk to the small business owner.”

    “On behalf of the entire team at BCA, we would like to thank you for your presentation at our breakfast last week. You far surpassed our expectations! We knew you would be a hit, but did not anticipate you being one of the best speakers we′ve ever had.”
        Business Clubs of America

    “Jim, let me say first, thank you so much for “pinch hitting” for our speaker who had to cancel. I hit a homerun with my CEO. He was so thrilled to have the signed baseball that you brought. I am so appreciative of your kind gesture. And as you can see by the comments from our attendees, you were just what the doctor ordered. One attendee stated ‘What a blessing you had him in the dugout!’”
        Texas Credit Union League

    “The 2006 Million Dollar Round Table (MDRT) Annual Meeting is over yet because of you its greatness will not be forgotten… We greatly appreciate the time and effort you extended for your participation as a speaker. Thank you for your outstanding performance and for helping make this Annual Meeting such a success.”
        Million Dollar Round Table

    “Thanks so much for coming to Cooperstown. It was a special weekend.”
        Baseball Hall of Fame

    “Oh my gosh!!! He was wonderful! Everyone was extremely pleased, saying he was the best speaker we have ever had at our Winter Operations Meeting.”
        Color Tyme

    “Truly you could have heard a pin drop in the room while you were speaking. I think everyone would have stayed all night listening to you. I have heard nothing but glowing remarks for the past two weeks – best speaker ever!”
    –Brentwood Christian School

    “Jim was phenomenal. He really connected with the attendees and made their day. So many of them walked up to him to share their personal stories and offer him encouragement. It was an awesome experience!”
        Cendant Mortgage

    “I am a parent of a player in the Chico American Legion baseball program and we were so fortunate to meet Jim and hear him speak to our program. I haven’t stopped thinking about Jim’s story and I have shared it with many here at the office today! Jim and I are about the same age and his thoughts really hit home with me but what really struck me was how Jim revealed his humility and grace to me with but a single moment of eye booking and a handshake as I thanked him after his keynote address. I will never forget that look and the feeling it left with me. It’s likely you have heard this before but I felt I needed to write to you. Please extend my thanks to Jim Morris. Truly a great man!”
        Lares Research

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    Books by Jim Morris:


    The Rookie: The Incredible True Story of a Man Who Never Gave Up on His Dream
    He Played A Boy’s Game. He Lived A Man’s Life. As a lonely child, Jim Morris took one thing with him wherever his family moved—his ability to hit and throw a baseball.

    For Jim, the passion of becoming a major-league ballplayer was his anchor and inspiration… until injuries and life got in the way. A decade after Jim walked away from the minors and began a life of fatherhood and mortgage payments, he made a promise to the hardscrabble high-school team he coached: If they could win their local championship, he would try out again for the big leagues. They did—and he did. Now, in this wondrous, heart-tugging book, Jim Morris tells the story of his remarkable life and his amazing journey to the Big Show at the age of thirty-five… and how he finally fulfilled his childhood dream.


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