Back from the cliff: An open letter to Cliff Crochet

“Half my life's in books' written pages…”

Dateline: Confidence

"Confidence comes not from always being right but from not fearing to be wrong."
Peter T. Mcintyre

Heart wins. 

Yeah practice.

Yeah live and breathe it.

Yeah think, think, think it.

But in the end the one with the most heart, will win the thing.

Let me take a moment and give you an example:

October 1988. 

“I watched him in batting practice and with every swing I heard him grunt in pain,” Bob Costas

It was Game 1 of the World Series, Dodgers vs. the A’s. 

Vin Scully announcing the remarks that the spark of the team, Kirk Gibson, “…was nowhere to be seen,” and he was right, wasn’t introduced to the crowd, wasn’t on the bench, was back in the locker room nursing two bad legs, one leg torn hamstring, one leg sprained knee. 

Sitting back there listening to the game Gibson heard the Scully remark picked up the phone and called Dodger skipper, Tommy Lasorda and told him if he needed him, he would play.

Bottom of the ninth, two outs, A’s up 4 to 3.

Out limps Gibson, some who I talked to who were there said they thought he used the bat as a cane along the way to the plate.

Two foul balls, 0-2, Gibson can only use his arms to power the swing, can’t use his legs Scully, “It’s one thing to favor one leg but you can’t favor two legs.” 

Heat right down the middle, Gibson is behind the ball, hits a roller down the first baseline, goes foul. A buddy in the press box: “I watch him will his way back to the batter’s box, as he stood there I could see his legs shaking, Scully even mentioned it.”

3 balls, 2 strikes, bottom of the ninth…

Cliff, I was laying on the couch in my living room, Barb was nursing our 13-day-old son Jimmy. Emmaus, Penn., I was writing a book for Rodale Press…

I turned to smile at both Jimmy and Barb, Ashley was asleep in her room when… 

…crack.

Both Barb and I look to the TV in time to see the ball land in the outfield seats just as the camera cut to Kirk Gibson limping around the bases, and then came the fist pumps.

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