The Lucky Titan

Pulling Each Other Along Dave Clark & Doug Cornfield

May 16, 2022 Josh Tapp
The Lucky Titan
Pulling Each Other Along Dave Clark & Doug Cornfield

Intro: Welcome to the Lucky Titan podcast where you will learn how to fill your favorite platform with tons of your dream customers from some of the world's top entrepreneurs. I'm your host, Josh Tapp, now let's get started. 

Josh: What is up everybody, Josh Tapp here again and welcome back to the lucky Titan and today, we've got two spectacular guests, it’s actually been a while since I've done an interview where I had two guests at the same time so we're gonna navigate this together, guys, but we've got David Clark and Doug Cornfield and these guys honestly, are doing something that is absolutely incredible, Dave’s story, I mean, this guy, he played MLB on crutches for 10 years, right, major League Baseball, this guy's offside, 

Guest: a minor league. 

Josh: minor league baseball, but still he was an MLB coach, as well but he did it on crutches, which is spectacular. First off, when we first kind of met Doug, Doug is the guy who's been partnering with Dave as well to kind of get his message out there and support other people as well with his abilities, who want to be in sports and I'm really excited to support these guys in this but secondarily, these guys, they're on a mission and I'm excited to get the message out there but Doug store excuse me, Dave stories, rather than it just hasn't been told but I'm really excited to get it told and have you guys hear him more, you're gonna be seeing him on a tour here, we're gonna send them out a whole bunch of podcasts to get this story out there so first off, guys say what's up, and then we will we'll hop in and get this going.

Guest: Oh, thanks for having us. Josh. was really pleased and we appreciate it. Yeah, thanks.

Josh: No problem. I'm excited to have you guys here and I apologize for my my mistake there in the intro, but we, when Kyle so most of you who are listening to show you know, Kyle's one of our leading sales guys, we love him to death. He after he talked with Doug and Dave is, like, Josh, you've got to meet these guys. Okay, why is that? Anyway, when I share the story and the video that you guys sent, and everything as well, and I was just like, Man, this is cool, this is one of those sweet underdog stories and as everybody knows, listen, this Moneyball is one of my favorite shows, I quote it constantly, fantastic show so I'm excited to see what you guys do in that space but I want to kind of kick this off by saying, Dave, do you mind kind of just giving us a couple minutes synopsis of getting to the point where you were able to actually get into the minor leagues?

Dave: Yeah, Josh, I go back to the very beginning. I had polio 10 months of age and if there was anything golden about having it and months, it was that I hadn't heard I hadn't learned how to walk yet. So I was taken away from my parents for you know, we're going through a COVID epidemic now, polio was an epidemic in the 50s. Similar in the fact that it shut things down and kids couldn't play with other kids and so when I had polio, at 10 months of age, my parents, I was taken to what was called the Ithaca reconstruction home in Ithaca, New York, which is about 40 miles from my hometown of Corning, New York and my mom related to me that the first day they were over there, my parents, the doctor told them that I might not make it, he said that my case was severe enough that, you know, this could be fatal and two weeks later, they were called back in and the doctor told them, well, it looks like he's going to make it but he's going to be a vegetable and that's the exact term he used, he's going to be a vegetable, he's not going to have any muscular movement a year later, I came well walking with crutches and braces and so that was my norm so like I said, at the start, if there was any golden thing about having polio, I didn't have to transition from being already knowing how to walk to using crutches, braces, that was my norm so I grew up that way and I had two brothers, and I was treated like anybody else. In my family, my parents treated me no differently, brothers that I needed my butt kicked, I got my butt kicked and the neighborhood kids did the same thing, it wasn't until I got to school, that I was made to feel different and bullying is not a new phenomenon, bullying is existed as long as man's been around and so in kindergarten, first grade, second grade, you know, I was I was bullied I was made to feel different, because I want to different I was slower. So anyway, I'll relate the first story I want to tell you is what changed my perspective and the kids perspective of me, you know, we were going through first kindergarten first second grade, my gym teachers wouldn't allow me to participate, they had a chair off to the side so every time they would tell us what we were doing, clap their hands, they went to the sideline and he sat there and I watched the the other kids play, which is a lot. I can relate this to the camps we do today because everybody's got potential until you let somebody do something you don't know what their potential is and so in third grade, we had a different gym teacher name was Mr. Snap Slur and he was a military man, stern, strict crew cut haircut and first and his class, he told us what we're going to do clap his hands, I started towards the sideline, there was no chair there, I thought he forgot it. So I just kept walking until I heard this, where do you think you're going and I turn around, he goes, come over here. So I'm eight years old, I'm shaking, I go over and he looked at me and he says, worry, we going, well, I was going to the sideline, he goes, not in my class. He said, you may not be able to do everything we're going to do in this class, which you'll never know it until you try it, planted a seed right there. He's absolutely right so the the activity that day was climbing the rope to the ceiling, I don't know if you've ever done that but what I thought would be a successful for my first venture and PE class so my turn came and hack I had no idea was if I could do this or not and I started putting fist over fists and I elevated myself off the floor and realize I'm wearing about 10 pounds of braces on my legs, right and I can't use my legs to shimmy up the rope so it's all arm strength coming up. However, because of walking with crutches, running with crutches, unknown to me, I had built up a lot of upper body strength, cut the story short, I was the only guy to make it to the to the top. Now I had a big problem, I had to come down. I couldn't make that little s with your feet to slow the descent so I slid all the way down holding onto the rope my hands and I burned the heck out of my hands but I said matter of fact one of Doug's the name one of our businesses best burn, because that was the best burn I ever felt, when I got down all the kids just dropped, he's the only guy that made it to the Mr. Snatch lair gave me an ice cream bar and my first professional payoff and he just proved his point on the very first class I was in is that you don't know what you can do until you step out of your comfort zone and attempt to do it and the next thing we did in class was softball and bang a hand eye and eye coordination that you know it was pretty good and I ended up so then you know we're talking about going into little league yes that the road to where I got we got into a little league, which was another step Little League wasn't going to let me play he'll get hurt, while my parents went up to bat for me. They literally Corning is an hour's drive from Williamsport, which is the headquarters from Little League, and my parents literally drove to Williamsport Pennsylvania to go to bat for me and they convince them to let me play I played I can hold my own, I started realizing I can play with these guys, I got limitations but I can think outside the box on how to lessen those limitations and obviously, I wasn't going to be an outfielder or middle infielder so pitching and first base became what I, you know, worked on and as you go up the pyramid, you know, you've got to you got to realize what your strengths lend yourself to, and ended up being pitching so then, but here's another, you know, crucial moment in my thinking and my quest for my dream is I realized I wasn't throwing 100 miles an hour, I never would be able to so I gotta develop something that will allow me to least pursue my dream and have a shot so I developed a knuckleball, and I would throw that knuckleball experimented with it with grips, arm angles, release points finally, after about two years found out what worked best for me and started perfecting that knuckleball. Then the next step was you know, runner up 15 16 I started thinking I'm playing pretty successfully against all the local talent now realize Corning New York is only at 10,000 population town so that, you know, being a bigger fish a smaller pond is not conducive to plant pro baseball but so what I did and I knew I knew I wasn't going to be scouted like the normal player, because who's going to scouting crutches that runs 11 seconds, the first base, and he's throwing a 79 mile an hour fastball so I realize you got to go get it, if you want it, they're not going to come to you, you got to go get it and so I hand wrote 24 letters to every major league club that was in existence at the time and I got three replies 24 and I got one shot out of those three, when I go into my minor league locker room today and talk to the players before we do a camp, I always tell him, you got to put the time in without any guarantee of an opportunity, you got to prepare without somebody said, Well, I'm already I'm gonna give you the chance you got to prepare without anybody's telling you, you got an opportunity because if an opportunity comes and you're prepared, you'll give it your best shot but if an opportunity comes and you've been screwing off, that's going to blow right by it, you're not going to be able to give it your best effort, and you're going to be regretting it so from the time I was about 15, I was doing four hour workouts six days a week, running five miles a day on my crutches, doing sprints, lifting weights, doing pull ups, sit ups, push-ups, anything to give myself the advantage, because I knew realistically, my chance, listen, good, I knew that but I got the one chance and I had done all this work so if I fail, I knew I had given it my best shot but I made it and I parlayed that one chance, in the 40 years of professional baseball, and now doing what we do today, which is absolutely I mean, if you were to attend one of these camps that we hold, and you see what's going on, and it's not just good for the participants, the players, when I go into the players in the morning, we do the camps, and I talked to them in the locker rooms, the beauty is that is that they get a different perspective to and they realize one of the first things I say to them what I thought, gentleman, you know, I know you don't want to be here this morning after a night game last night, I've been in your shoes, I said, I hope you all have 1000 game career in your lifetime, most of those games, you'll forget but I'm going to guarantee you today you will never forget and invariably, they'll come up to me after the camp and say thank you, thank you, it's made me realize, and I'll tell them, I'll say in that talk in the locker room as a gentleman, it's a privilege to be in here, you may not realize it right now but it is a privilege to sit in this professional locker room, the people we're going to go out and do this for today, most of them if not all of them will never have the opportunity of what you're doing and they come back so you get that perspective change with the players but participants, all of a sudden are expanding their potential and a lot of times as Doug will tell you, the parents come up, they'll go, I didn't know Johnny could do that, I didn't know Sally could do that, you know why because you didn't give them the opportunity to do it and that's what they need so that's a long winded answer to your question.

Josh: Hey, I asked you for a good story and you gave one side, I love and I love that pivotal moment because like you said it was the preparation that when the door was there, you were able to actually, you know, open the door.

Dave: And I will say this I didn't know I could open that door. I was hoping I could open that door and I just wanted the shop to tell me whether I could or couldn't open that door. And fortunately I got that shot. I gotta tell you though, the first day, this was before the DH it's kind of aging me so this was two years before the DH came in, that's designated hitter in 1973 so we're done in 1971 and the very first day out there to try out, they had the pitchers bunting and I busted the first pitch I saw into my eye.

Josh: Oh no.

Doug: And it just went boom, blew up and I thought okay, there's the end of your shot, that was nice while it lasted for fortunately I got around that and did make it.

Josh: Yeah, cheese. Well See what's what I love about the story and what you guys are doing with the D3 day that it's helping prepare people for that moment, I actually interviewed this lady multiple times I think she was like Miss Universe I honestly can't quite remember now but it was years and years ago but she she said a saying that just stuck with me, she's like, she was in one of those situations like yours, right didn't have a lot of opportunity but she's like, I just decided to find a hallway with a lot of doors, I started kicking them down and I love that because it was it lines with what you're saying is you're like, you know what, I have no opportunities where I'm currently at, right from a small town. I've got all these different things against me but you found a hallway with 24 doors, one of them open, you kicked it down, right, pretty cool. Pretty cool analogy. So I want to ask you guys this because you've been and this is where Doug, you kind of come into play here too right, you have such an amazing story in your you've been leveraging this now with D3 Day, did you guys kind of mind giving us maybe Doug, you give us kind of the synopsis of this of what D3 Day actually does and what you guys are trying to accomplish there.

Doug: Sure. We named that disability dream day at first but then we started realizing my one of my sons, we do a lot of fundraising and he was handing out flyers and he called it disability dream and do and it's comes from a quote of Dave's where he says there's two types of dreamers, there's dreamers, that dream and then there's dreamers that dream and do and I had caught that through a video that Dave done at a keynote several years before I actually knew him and so my son, I was quoting it all the time and my son started on a disability driven do and I thought, You know what, that's better and because it's not about just one day, it's about multiple things disability dream and do hockey, disability dream, do baseball, you know, because to make Josh to make Dave story even crazier, he played ice hockey in college, even though he couldn't skate. I'll just throw that out there so he loves hockey as well and you know, and so our camps are not just baseball or hockey, and we hope their art someday and bowling or whatever somebody wants to dream to do, we want to give them that opportunity and but baseball and hockey are our niche and so what we do is, and this, of course, was pre COVID and now we're starting to get back. We did some events through COVID, but not in a different way we had to do differently but so a typical camp for us is we'll have 80 to 120 participants, all different situations, all different ages and they get a day on a professional field, like the spring training field for the Minnesota Twins at Hammond Stadium in Fort Myers, Florida that's just one instance. Although we're working with the Yankees, minor league team in Hudson Valley, this year again, and some others and so with this day, they're on the field and instead of trying to play baseball, if those baseball players out there, the game can actually be a lot of standing around. So we don't want a lot of standing around so what we set up is more like a skills practice so we work on their skills, and we set up five different stations, a hitting station, fielding station, target station, T-ball station, you know, throwing station, all those things and we instruct the players, because one of the beauties of our camps is that we've been able to get the whole team out there instructing these young children and young adults with these differences on the field, the game of baseball, now it's soft equipment, balls are flying everywhere and it's just developed over the years and it really just comes from Dave doing these kinds of camps that go all the way back to the 70s, this is not something he just got on the bandwagon with, when it became popular to do this is been something he's done his whole life since his professional baseball days and then the kids do these drills, we do what's called at the end, we set up a high five game where the players will put like almost like a little whiffle ball type stadium, you know, little we throw down basis for a little whiffle ball size, the area all the kids get one chance to, to hit off of one of these players and then they run around the bases giving high fives to all the players and you just just go look at our videos, some of them and the energy that is created, when these kids make a hit, we don't care if it goes to inches or over the fence, they're gonna get big tears are running around the field, whether it's in their wheelchair, or if they need help, if they're blind, we have children that are blind that had been led around, you know, the basis by one of the players and it just creates some major energy but like Dave said, not just with the participants, but with the players and the volunteers and the parents and, and anybody that's really involved and, and then we feed everybody you know, they all get shirts and hats so we make them feel special and then typically a day after to we also get them tickets to come to a game and so they get to see those players and we'll do some on field activities, high five tunnels and first pitches and some announcements and then Dave through one of his stories, we've also created an award that can be sponsored and it's called the pulling each other along award and this goes to unsung heroes in the areas that we serve that are helping those typically with disabilities they have got this beautiful story of helping in some way and so that's kind of the synopsis of the D3 or disability dream and do as we put it together. 

Josh: Yeah. I love that. And that's, I mean, honestly, that's one of reasons we wanted to have you on the show, because I would encourage anybody listening to this to go and participate with these guys and what they're doing and go to That's where you can connect with them. Doug, you've written a couple books on this and you know, obviously, there's websites and companies and merch, so many different things tied into this so I am curious where this is a business podcast is when asked this one business question before we wrap up here, but you have a movement, right, what you two are starting is truly a movement, right, Dave? You've been doing this for 4 years at this point, right? How do you feel a movement like that from a business standpoint?

Doug: I guess let me answer that because I'm a father with a child with limitations. You know, I have a son that was born with neither arm, I reached out to Dave When my son getting wasn't even walking and when Dave wrote his first book called The diamond in the rough, the Dave Clark story, he shared this quick little story of him being all nervous about a field trip where he had to walk five blocks away to the fire hall and being the little boy that's different with crutches and braces, he remembers about two weeks of just dreading this event and to try to act sick try to get out of it, you know, but his mom knew better so off to school, he went and he gets in line, he goes to the back of the line thinking this is going to be the absolute worst day of his life and a classmate of his they've never forgotten him, his name is Ernie Pound. Ernie had brought his Radio Flyer wagon to school that day to pull Dave, and where I come in is 45 years later, I'm reading that book and helping Dave organize some book signings and I found Ernie found out they had not literally seen each other since first grade and Ernie wound up remembering the wagon didn't know Dave went on to have this minor league baseball career and Major League coaching career and overseas championships, you know, Swedish majorly coaching all that stuff but he came to the book signing, you put a book underneath Dave's nose, and said sign this to Ernie Pound and of course, the emotions got very, very electric, they're very thick in that little coffee shop and, and so we started sharing that story and then we came up with an award called the pulling each other along award and, and then I wrote a children's book called a pound of kindness in honor of Ernie Pound and we were actually having a lot of success doing some keynotes and, you know, and kindness is something we really need right now, Josh, and probably more than ever since this whole COVID thing as well and so this little act of kindness, I think fits with the business world, because you know, we have your bosses that can be mean, and all those kinds of things are strict and you know, some of that's good and some of that's needed but we need more kindness, and these one little acts of kindness and one of the things when you're talking about starting a movement now that we have a new book coming out that Terry Bradshaw wrote the foreword of it's called pulling each other along and so this movement, it's not just about, you know, these little stories, it's about highlighting these stories but it's about you, Josh, or me and Dave, telling those in our life who pulled us along and sharing those stories, along with the stories that we've provided and pulling each other along, you get to hear the full word, Terry Bradshaw talking about what pulled him along and celebrities, like his teammate rocky by are talking about what pulled him along but what we want to encourage in the movement side, is what each individual that's reading these stories, to be inspired to share the stories of what pulled them along and we've even created a greeting card, which I don't know if people are watching, but they can go on our website and look and it's a simple thank you to send out to people and say thank you, you pulled me along and I just want you to know,

Josh: love that. Love, love, love that we should create a digital version of that, lets to do that, I absolutely love that so I hope everybody is has gotten some really great value and I appreciate you guys coming on here and sharing your stories and really bringing honestly something to light that I think could really use some help and I appreciate you guys, you know leading the charge on that so I do want to just mention here as well everybody is that if you want to get access to their books or anything that they're doing, you can go to or, obviously, all the other links are in the description so make sure you go check that out support these guys, they're on a mission, we can all be a part of it. It's a very easy one to be a part of so appreciate you guys coming on here and could we exceed, Dave, I'm gonna ask you this, could you give us one final parting piece of guidance for our audience? 

Doug: yeah, I think if you I'll put it this way, Josh, if you believe you can achieve and you've got to believe in yourself no matter what anybody else was telling you, you got to believe in yourself and I always end my keynotes by saying give it all your gut because there's no dream it's impossible.

Outro: Hopefully you enjoyed this episode of The lucky Titan podcast. If you've learned anything from this or any other episode, make sure you rate it and share it with another entrepreneur could help. Thanks again and I'll catch you on the flip side