“I’m here to push him along his path, and maybe I get to be one of those people that makes him have an a-ha moment” – Kory DeHaan
Born Korwin Jay DeHaan July 1976 in Pella, IA, Kory was fortunate to move up the levels of baseball without too much hiccup.
From Little League through high school, on to college until he was drafted in the 7th Round of the 1997 MLB Amateur Draft out of Morningside College in Sioux City, Iowa. He was acquired by the Padres in October 1999 in the Rule 5 Draft and therefore required to remain on the roster from the start of the 2000 season when he made his MLB debut in April of that year.
As a 23 year rookie in the Big Leagues, he had accomplished his dream quicker than expected and was not going to take it for granted. As do a lot of guys in that situation will say; “it is always harder to stay there than it is to get there.” After a couple of trips back and forth from Triple-A to the Bigs, some performance frustration coupled with nagging injuries; DeHaan retired from playing in 2004.
His life was baseball until the age of 28, and now he was faced with the next chapter. He tested the business owner path for about five years and then had to listen when baseball started calling again. It is a “calling,” and not everyone gets the call. Kory answered quickly and got himself back into professional baseball as a coach.
He is currently going into his seventh Spring Training with the team that drafted him 20 years ago. He is now a hitting coach for the Pittsburg’s Rookie-level players and residing just a few minutes away from Pirate City in Bradenton, FL.
Kory is enjoying his life molding young professional hitters and spending time at home with his wife Rachel who teaches 2nd grade and their three daughters; Kendy (16), Reese (13) and Delaney (12).
You can contact Kory here:
Kory shares with us in this episode:
- How quickly your path can change and the importance of following it.
- His most embarrassing moment as a Big Leaguer.
- How his parenting philosophy gels with his coaching strategies.
- Being the squeakiest wheel, you can be.
- And much. much more!
How We Met
OK, I realize it seems like everyone I have had on the podcast so far has been a friend from California. Part of the reason is that we are both on the west coast, so it is much easier to schedule the interview.
Well, I am happy to say that meeting Kory at the ABCA convention last month was not only great pleasure in itself but refreshing and exciting to meet another baseball guy from my home state of Iowa. It was my first year attending the American Baseball Coaches Convention and boy I have to say I have been missing out.
I was there to take it all in and meet some potential guests for the podcast as well as learn a few things in the coaching world from other guys with more experience than me. At the top of my list was to attend the breakout meeting for all international coaches and organizations. My love for the game on a world stage is always bursting.
Kory and I met at the meeting but didn’t get a chance to talk until another an incredible opportunity came up the next evening at a meeting for PlayGlobal, a non-profit organization that teaches baseball in poverty-stricken countries. Tom Gillespie is one of the founders of Play Global and happens to also work for the Pittsburgh Pirates, so naturally, Kory was there in support of his friend and teammate.
By the way, Tom is also from Iowa, but he is a Cyclone. So there you have it. A couple of libations, baseball, and the Hawkeye State is all it takes to start a conversation and build the foundation of friendships. I hope to stay in touch with these guys and who knows maybe even join the team someday.
After all, We Are Family!
Love the Game. Live the Dream