Ex Yankees pitcher Abbott supports Nick Newell

Thursday, January 31, 2013

There are a variety of conventions and laws that are designed to even the playing field for the handicapped. Nick Newell was born with his left arm ending just after the elbow, but he is not handicapped. He does not require the equivalent of an elevator or a convenient parking spot.

All Nick Newell needs, is step into a cage, have the doors locked behind him, and may the best man win. He has never lost.

Newell and his fans are currently campaigning for consideration by the UFC, something that UFC president Dana White has voiced resistance to; White has also kept the door open, saying he would “never say never.” Among Newell’s supporters is former Yankees pitcher Jim Abbott, who was born without a right hand, and tweeted his support.

“Watching UFC,” tweeted Abbott. “Help me understand, in a sport where the best man wins and rules seems limited, why wouldn’t Nick Newell get a chance?”

Newell, the XFC lightweight champion, responded: “Thank you so much for your support Jim. I’ve always looked up to you, so coming from you its extra special.”

During his windup, Abbot would put his mitt on the end of his right forearm. Once the ball was released, he would quickly put his left hand into the mitt to field potential comebackers. If a ball ever did get hit to him, he’d slip his left hand out of the mitt, remove the ball and throw to the necessary base. Teams tried to exploit the supposed weakness by bunting against him, but it rarely worked.

“Nothing can stop you!” Abbott tweeted. “Keep fighting, keep believing. We are all rooting for you.”

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