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Baseball man helps Alex Smith rediscover groove

The San Francisco 49ers went after Peyton Manning this offseason, and then settled for keeping Alex Smith. That's the bad news.

The good news is that Smith should continue to mature under Jim Harbaugh. The head coach is confident Smith has already made "dramatic improvement" in one area: his throwing motion.

That change came from an odd place. Smith spent a week under the tutelage of former Major League pitcher Tom House.

"The cool thing is he's thrown perfectly in his life before -- before he hurt his shoulder," House told the San Francisco Chronicle. "It was just a matter of rediscovering what he did before his initial surgeries."

Smith attended the sessions with House with some famous company. Tom Brady, Matt Cassel and Carson Palmer were all working with House at the same time at USC. House has worked with Drew Brees before. He is also a sports psychologist and pitching coach. (He's the Julian Edelman of coaches: versatile.)

If the name sounds familiar, it's probably because of House's involvement in one of baseball's most memorable historical moments. Yep, he's the bullpen guy that caught Hank Aaron's home run on the fly.

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