Friday, April 23, 2010

A Conversation with Jim Eisenreich

Jim Eisenreich was born with Tourettes,  a neurological disorder that shows itself by physical and verbal tics. Despite having Tourettes, and having to bear taunting from opposing fans when he broke into Professional Baseball, Eisenriech managed to overcome, to become a major league ballplayer and then to have a great major league career playing for 15 years and compiling a .290 life time batting average. He hit over .300 for six years, and helped lead the Phillies to the 1993 pennant and the Marlins to the 1997 World Series Championship. While playing for the Phillies from 1993 to 1996 he was arguably the fans favorite player on a team with a number of colorful characters. After ending his major league baseball career, Eisenreich continued his work with Tourettes awareness and founded the Jim Eisenreich Foundation for Children with Tourettes
The foundation comforts and offers support to children with Tourettes as well as educating the public about Tourettes.
This interview was conducted with Jim just as his major league career was winding down with the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Jim, who was the biggest infuence on your career?
Jim: My dad had the biggest influence on my career.
Where did you go to school?
Jim: I went to St Cloud State University in St. Cloud Minnesota.
How many years have yo played pro ball?
Jim: I've played for 19 years, 15 years in the Major Leagues with the Twins, Royals, Phillies, Marlins and Dodgers. (Note: Eisenriech batted over .600 against the Dodgers in his career as a player.)
Do you have any hobbies besides playing baseball?
Jim: I like to hunt and fish and play a little golf.
How many children do you have?
Jim: My wife Leann and I have 4 children and we live in Kansas City Missouri.
Do you miss anything about Philadelphia?
Jim: I miss the fans. It was a great place for me to play.
How did you like playing for the Marlins and Dodgers?
Jim: I had a fun year playing with the Marlins (1997 World Champions), but the weather was a little too hot for a nothern kid. LA was ok but I didnt play much or I thought very well.
Will you ever coach?
Jim: No, the only coaching I think I'll do is for my kids.
What was your biggest accomplishment in baseball, and what was the toughest thing you had to do?
Jim: Winning the World Series in 1997 was my biggest accomplishment. Baseball is still fun for me but I miss my growing family more and more (being on the road).
Any comments about your faith?
Jim: My faith remains the same (Roman Catholic). I've had the privilege, given by the Lord to continue playing for his purpose. I do attend Mass during the season whenever I can.
What do you think about the Phillies fans after having played in Philadelphia for 3 years?
Jim: I thought the Phillies fans were great.
How do you manage to stay in shape as a veteran player?
Jim: As I get older I need to do more and more to keep up with the kids!
What is your greatest thrill/proudest moment?
Jim:  It's been when each of my children have been born.
What is your philosophy?
Jim: Everything happens for a reason.
Any final comments?
Jim: I've been very blessed to have my dreams come true and I hope I can honor the Lord the way he wants me to.

For more information on a possible new treatment for Tourettes:

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