Some people who saw Seattle righthander Glenn Abbott late last year didn't think he'd be alive now, let alone in the majors.
Abbott's tribulations began in the spring of '82 when he had surgery for the removal of bone chips in his pitching elbow. Last July, while getting back into shape with the Mariner farm club in Salt Lake City, Abbott contracted viral meningitis, an inflammation of the membrane surrounding the brain. He lost 23 pounds and, according to his wife, Patti, "He looked like walking death."
"When I saw him last fall, I thought I'd be going to his funeral," Seattle Pitching Coach Frank Funk says. "I didn't think he'd ever pitch again."
Abbott thought otherwise. But this spring, after recovering from the meningitis, he came down with tendinitis in his right elbow. So Abbott went to Salt Lake City again. Three weeks ago he beat the Royals 8-1 in his first big league outing since Oct. 3, 1981. Last week he beat Chicago 6-2, to become Seattle's career win leader with 41, and then Toronto 4-1.