Growing up the son of a former major leaguer and current MLB manager, La Crosse Loggers third baseman Brody Weiss has had a few advantages many never get to experience.
He spent time around MLB clubhouses, participated in Major League batting practices, but perhaps most importantly he’s had a pretty reliable source when it comes to baseball.
Walt Weiss, Brody’s father, played 14 seasons in the MLB. He was the 1988 AL Rookie of the Year with the Oakland Athletics, won a World Series with that same team the following year and was an MLB All-Star in 1998 with the Atlanta Braves. He’s also currently the manager of the Colorado Rockies, a team he spent four years playing for.
Yes, growing up the son of a player with such credentials has its perks, but it comes at a price.
“Yeah, there’s definitely pressure that goes with that,” said Brody, who attends the University of California, Santa Barbara. “I felt a lot more in high school. Being a freshman and playing varsity people would say, ‘It’s Walt Weiss’s son so he’s up there.’”
It didn’t help that Walt was on the coaching staff when Brody played at Regis Jesuit High School in Aurora, Colo. but it didn’t take long for people to realize he could play.
He hit .590 in conference games as a freshman, helped guide the Raiders to a state championship as a sophomore, was named to the USSSA All-American Team as a junior and was an all-state selection as a senior
Walt was a coach of the Raiders for three of those four seasons before accepting a position to be the manager of the Rockies in 2013.
“You get to these higher levels and people realize that you can play,” Brody said. “You don’t hear it as much.”
The Rockies thought enough of him to draft him in the 22nd round of the 2013 MLB First Year Draft. Brody said his dad wasn’t involved much in that draft, but he was around the organization enough for them to see what he has to offer.
But it opened the door for a unique conversation between father and son. Brody had to inform his father he was going to pass on signing with his team to attend college.
“It was kind of a weird situation,” Brody said. “I just decided to go to school because school was a better option.”
Walt also attended school before playing professional baseball. He played at the University of North Carolina despite being drafted in the 10th round by the Baltimore Orioles. He was again drafted three years later with the 11th overall pick by the Oakland Athletics.
“He thought school would be good for me,” Brody said of Walt. “You become more mature. Grow up a little bit before you go into that pro system.”
Brody’s first season at Santa Barbara was far from what he expected. In fact, he never saw the field after having surgery for a sports hernia — an injury Walt had in his playing days. The procedure sidelined him for the entire season, so his first action back since the injury has been this summer with the Loggers.
He’s moving from shortstop to third base this summer because there will be a chance for him to play next season at Santa Barbara on the hot corner.
“It’s just a little different angle over there,” Brody said of playing third. “I would say it’s almost a little easier than short.”
Entering Monday’s game with Battle Creek, Brody started nine games — all as a third baseman. He had two errors and nine putouts.
“It’s good be able to get out here and hop in over at third,” he said. “It’s a little different but I’ve enjoyed it.”
Though Walt was a shortstop when he played, there may still be a thing or two Brody could garner from his old man, who has had the opportunity to watch first-hand some of the best third-basemen in the game.
“It’s something I take for granted a little bit,” Brody said. “But it’s good to hear what he has to say.”