Cody 👦🏻➡️🧔🏻

In Blog, Hustle Podcast by Eric Byrnes

Late in spring training, I went out to Arizona to shoot some wacky footage for Youtube and ended up in Dodgers camp tossing oranges, avocados, bananas and egg plants to Dodgers phenom Cody Bellinger…

Cody & my relationship goes all the way back to when he was playing ball for the Chandler Little League All Star Squad. In 2007, Cody’s Dad, Clay, was coaching the Chandler team that made it all the way to Williamsport for the Little League World Series.

At the time, I was playing for the Diamondbacks, so Clay reached out to me to see if I would give the boys a motivational speech to pump them up before a potential elimination game…

30 minutes before the game, the boys all gathered in a room, Clay put me on speaker phone, and I unleashed a speech that rivaled Al Pacino’s in Any Given Sunday

I finished by telling the kids to completely immerse themselves in the moment and that the only time we will ever possess is NOW. I instructed them to forget the end result and simply focus on FIGHTING EVERY SINGLE PITCH I also promised that if they won the game, I would have them over to my house for a pool party and a BBQ…

They proceeded to go out and got absolutely SMOKED… They ended up getting 10-run ruled and their Little League World Series experience came to a crushing end.

Not being one who likes to sulk, I immediately called Clay after the game and told him the party at my house is ON regardless of the beatdown. About a week later, the entire Chandler Little League team, staff, and parents showed up at the house and mayhem quickly ensued…

Kids were doing back flips off the rocks into the pool and the little groms took over the crib, ripping balls in the batting cage and putting on impressive ping pong performances.

I remember talking to Cody and him telling me: “You look a lot bigger on TV, dude.”

Fast forward 10 years to 2017 and Cody Berlinger gets called up to the big leagues… He takes MLB by storm and becomes the rookie of the year and finishes the season off by leading the Dodgers to the World Series.

2018 got off to a slow start, and he was even benched for what was perceived by Dodgers manager, Dave Roberts, as lack of hustle. It was evident that Cody was frustrated and didn’t quite have the year he was capable of having…

So here I was, 12 years after we had first met when I was flipping burgers for the kid, and now, I am flipping obscure fruits and vegetables for him to WHACK just days before the 2019 season was to begin…

Most players wouldn’t even think of participating in such shenanigans that close to the season, and here was Cody with a smile on his face taking cuts like he was still playing for Chandler Little League. I then had a very good off camera conversation with him and walked away telling my boy Kowalski that Cody Bellinger is going to have a MONSTER year…

“Why?” Kowalski quickly responded…

“Because I have a feeling he’s going to play like he’s 12 again.”

By the end of April, Cody Bellinger statistically put up one of the greatest months in the history of Major League Baseball. Although he made a few minor adjustments in his swing, it was his Attitude & Effort that made the biggest difference…

Cody is a ball player that just wants to PLAY BALL.

Despite playing for a storied franchise on a huge stage, this dude would be just as happy playing in his backyard with his boys. Cody was obviously thrust into the spotlight with his big rookie year and then highlighted for many wrong reasons last year. In a lot of ways, he learned how to live his life under a microscope and now understands his attitude and effort are the only 2 things he really controls…

Dude is FULL SEND on both, and what we have been witnessing is the collaboration of attitude, effort and this other beautiful thing called TALENT.

Enjoy the SHOW. 👊

-EB