By Jon Mettus
August 2, 2015
During high school, Brody Weiss (Riverside City College) would wake up at 5:30 a.m. to work in the batting cage at his house. During baseball season, it was practice or a game each day after school, then dinner with the family, before fielding ground balls, more work in the batting cage or weight lifting until sometimes after midnight.
His dad would wake up early and go to bed late just to help with baseball.
“I probably took it for granted at first,” Weiss said. “… It was pretty nice having that all right there.”
The Weiss family was completely immersed in baseball, starting with father, Walt Weiss, a former major league All-Star shortstop and the current manager of the Colorado Rockies. Walt groomed Weiss’ playing style from a young age, but it came at the price of Weiss playing in his father’s shadow.
Now an infielder for the Cotuit Kettleers, he’s is trying to make a name for himself.
“You try to work harder to prove people wrong that you’re not just there because of your dad,” Weiss said. “It’s definitely something that helped me become the player I am today.”
Weiss is the second of four brothers. He, his older brother Blake and younger brothers Bo and Brock played whiffle ball in the backyard nearly everyday. The porch in right field served as the Green Monster, despite their mother’s protests. Each game rarely ever lasted the full nine innings, with fights breaking out before the end.
Weiss followed in his father’s footsteps, playing shortstop and wearing No. 22. Walt took the role as his son’s assistant coach and by middle school, Weiss realized he wanted to pursue baseball as a profession.
But when he entered high school he had something to prove. His dad was a coach of the varsity team at Regis Jesuit High School (Colorado) and Weiss needed to show he wasn’t given a spot because of pedigree or nepotism. He was also trying to live up to the expectations of being Walt’s son.
“Definitely always big shoes to fill,” Weiss said. “I feel like part of me growing up in high school was learning how to grow past that and just realize that I don’t have to live in my dad’s shoes but just kind of be me.”
Weiss hit .580 in conference play as a freshman and sent his team to the state championship game with a go-ahead bases loaded triple.
For Weiss’ junior season, his dad became the head coach and they won the state title. A year later, Walt was named the manager of the Colorado Rockies.
Though Weiss’ dad was no longer coaching him, Weiss spent plenty of time taking batting practice and fielding balls at Coors Field. That familiarity led the Rockies to draft Weiss out of high school, but he decided to attend UC Santa Barbara instead.
“I was young and I think I needed to grow up a little bit,” Weiss said. “It’s tough getting drafted out of high school and going in the minor league system. Part of it was just growing up a little bit and becoming more mature in the game.”
A sports hernia and a fractured pelvis kept Weiss from playing his freshman year. The rehab meant extensive band work and hip movement. Fortunately, it also gave him time to travel with his father and the Rockies.
When Weiss returned to the team the following year, he felt he was behind the other players, so he transferred to Riverside, where he led the team in hits, runs batted in and stolen bases last season.
This summer, Weiss has entered the tutelage of Cotuit head coach Mike Roberts, much like his father did when Roberts was the head coach at the University of North Carolina and Walt was an aspiring young baseball player.
“My dad told me things about (Roberts) like how he’s a great coach and really loves to work,” Weiss said. “I knew that when I came down here I’d become a lot better player because of him.”
Roberts has shuffled around the Kettleers’ infield and Weiss has played mostly at second and third — no longer playing his father’s spot at shortstop. He wears No. 11 now, instead of his father’s No. 22.
But whenever Weiss’ name is said over the PA system, scouts still mumble about his father, Walt Weiss, the career Walt had and his time as a manager. The goal is for them to notice Brody Weiss, the baseball player, instead.
“Growing up, probably, was just more about my dad and living underneath him,” Weiss said. “Sometimes I got some pressure from that and sometimes people kind of picked on me for that. But it’s something that I’m really blessed to have a dad like him.”