MLB

World Series Champ Jim Eisenreich Didn’t Let His Tourette Syndrome Stop Him From Playing Baseball

Many players have had the opportunity to play in the MLB. Some players played for a good amount of time. One player who played in the for multiple teams during his career was Jim Eisenreich.

Eisenreich played 15 years in the league, and he had the opportunity to enjoy playing the game of baseball even though he was diagnosed with Tourette syndrome.

Jim Eisenreich’s childhood and his love for baseball

As a child, Eisenreich had a pretty normal childhood. When he reached the age of six, he started to show some symptoms. He started doing things like blinking his eyes repeatedly, and his family began to accept his behavior. At school, it was a different story for Eisenreich. Teachers thought that he could stop his behavior at any time, but he couldn’t. Kids in the school would tease him because of his behavior. With him not being accepted from other kids at school, Eisenreich spent most of his time alone.

One thing that brought Eisenreich joy and happiness was sports. At school, he was picked first by the same kids that teased him. It was obvious that he was the best athlete in the neighborhood, and other kids knew that. He went on to have a successful high school and college baseball career. In 1980 the Minnesota Twins drafted him in the 16th round of the MLB draft. Two years later, he made his MLB debut with the Twins at the age of 23. During the 1982 season, he played in 34 games and finished with a .303 batting average. Even though he fulfilled his dreams of making it to the MLB, his problems continued to linger.

Doctors had difficulties determining a diagnosis for Eisenreich. After the 1984 season, he did not play for two years. During that time, he was diagnosed with Tourette Syndrome. With medication, he was able to keep the disorder under control. During the 1986 season, he returned to baseball and played for the Kansas City Royals. He spent six seasons playing for the Royals, and during his time with the Royals, he had one season where he hit over .300. In 1989 he was named the Royals’ most valuable player.

Jim Eisenreich winning a World Series title late in his career

After his career with the Royals, Eisenreich played for the Philadelphia Phillies and had a lot of success there. During his four years in Philadelphia, he hit .300 or better in every season. During the 1996 season, he hit .361, which was the best of his career. He was a professional hitter, and his ability to hit at a high level was a big reason for his success.

Eisenreich played in his first World Series in 1993 when the Phillies took on the Toronto Blue Jays. The Blue Jays went on to defeat the Phillies, but the world was introduced to Eisenreich and his Tourette Syndrome. After a successful career with the Phillies, Eisenreich played for the Florida Marlins. During the 1997 season, he played a key role for the Marlins as they won the World Series defeating the Cleveland Indians. Eisenreich hit a two-run home run in Game 3. Not only did he fulfill his dream of making it to the big leagues, but he also became a World Series champion. He would finish his career playing with the Los Angeles Dodgers. For his career, he finished with a .290 batting average with 52 home runs and 477 RBIs.

Jim Eisenreich continues to help others with Tourette Syndrome

Baseball has given Eisenreich the platform to share his story with others. As he does, those who have Tourette Syndrome can relate well to them and understand the things they are going through because he went through similar things.

He established the Jim Eisenreich Foundation for Children with Tourette Syndrome. Now he has the opportunity to help others achieve their dreams like he achieved his. Growing up, he could have given up on baseball completely, but he decided to stick with the sport, and it all paid off.