Long read: Former big leaguer Jim Poole diagnosed with ALS

Spring Training is finally opening. Finally baseball on TV again, and so much to look forward to. But we interrupt the good news with a heartbreaking but very well written story on former MLB reliever Jim Poole, who received a diagnosis no one ever wants to hear.

A suburban Atlanta high school baseball team was practicing an infield-outfield drill last April when an errant throw skipped beyond the foul line.

Jim Poole, who spent 11 seasons as a left-handed specialist with the Orioles, Indians, Giants and five other big-league teams, reached down and snagged the ball with his pitching hand.


As the high schooler approached to retrieve the ball that afternoon, Poole flipped it underhand.

“It went about 12 feet forward and almost all to the right. It was really weird,” Poole said. “Let’s just say the kid looked at me and never would have believed I had ever earned a living playing baseball.”

By then, Poole knew something was off. His left arm — his moneymaker all those years — had been weakening for months. He assumed all those hard sliders had finally sought retribution from his elbow and shoulder.

Give the full story a read at The Athletic

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