Tuesday, April 23, 2013

The Other Part of the Alex Cora 18-Pitch Home Run Story

I've been wanting to post this up for a few weeks now, but had gotten hung up on other things.  Besides, I think this story is well worth the wait.

A few weeks ago I ran into a interesting video featuring Dave Austin at Extreme Focus.  Watch it below.  In it, he tells an interesting backstory to the still-unbelievable 18-pitch Alex Cora home run in 2004.

Video Link:

That's right folks.  He says that Alex Cora's focus and determination that lead to one of the more dramatic home runs in Dodgers history may very well have to do with some of the things he spoke to the team about.  Better yet, we may have his son to thank for it all.

Naturally, I had to find out more about this, so I emailed Dave for some clarification.  After all, the timing of the events in question wasn't exactly clear.  Did Cora meet Dave's son on that fateful day, or was it in Spring Training?  Below is what he had to say.
My good friend Jim Colborn, who was the Dodgers pitching coach, asked me to come talk to his pitching staff at Dodger stadium during an off season work out. From there, Jim Tracy talked the front office into bringing me out to Spring training at Dodgertown. Paul Depodesta, the new GM, decided not to keep the program going, so Jim kept it going in his own way.
The night Alex had that amazing at-bat is the night he looked into Daniel's eyes. In spring training, I told them to look into the eyes of a champion, and I told them Daniel's story. So, when we get back to LA, if you wanted to look into the eyes of a true champion grab Daniel and stare into his eyes. Daniel was given no chance of survival at birth. It was medically impossible to live, yet he is 14 today. Alex really took that to heart, but I didn't bring Daniel down on the field until that fateful night. When Alex saw Daniel he ran up to him and stared into his eyes for a full minute, and then said "I am ready."
So, Daniel Austin inspired Alex Cora, and that inspiration allowed Cora to focus more acutely than he ever has before, resulting in one of the most talked about at-bats in recent memory.  Now, I haven't received additional confirmation of this, but I don't really think it's necessary.  After all, this moment in Dodgers history is now the thing of legends, and anything that adds to its the aura and mystique is worth passing around.

In case you're interesting in reliving that Alex Cora home run moment watch the video below.

Video Link:

UPDATE:

I just receive a tweet directly from Alex Cora about this post.  See what he wrote me below.  Considering the passage of time, I'm not surprised any memory of this has disappeared.  Still, like I indicated above, the legend is often what really matters most.
(tweet link)


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