Weiss and son share starry night
Posted: Wednesday July 08, 1998 01:50 AM
DENVER (AP) -- Walt Weiss got two hits in the All-Star Game, which was nice. That his son was there to cheer made it special.
Two weeks ago, as 3-year-old Brody lay near death in a hospital, his presence at Coors Field would have been unthinkable. Yet there he was Tuesday night, sitting in the stands on the lap of his mother, Terri, watching his father play in the All-Star game for the first time in an 11-year major-league career.
"With everything that has happened in the last few weeks, I just took the approach that anything I did in the game would be a bonus," Weiss said. "This was more than I could ever have hoped for.
"It's been crazy. It seems like we went straight from the hospital to the All-Star game."
After the AL's 13-8 victory, Weiss struggled to put his feelings into words.
"It was special having him here watching the game," he said. "It was beyond our expectations. We didn't think he'd be able to get here.
"It looks like it will be a happy ending. My boy's going to be all right."
When dad was introduced with the rest of the NL All-Stars before the game, Brody smiled. Then, after Walt singled off Toronto's Roger Clemens in the third, Brody clapped with some help from mom.
Weiss, who played four seasons with the Colorado Rockies, gave the record Coors Field crowd of 51,267 another thrill his next time up with an RBI single off Minnesota's Brad Radke to reduce the NL deficit to 4-3.
While suiting up for batting practice Tuesday afternoon, Weiss admitted his focus has been solely on his son.
"Is there a game tonight?" Weiss said. "The game has been the last thing on my mind. I haven't even thought about the game. Sure, it's a special game, but I look at it with a different perspective."
Asked if it would be difficult to concentrate, Weiss said, "Yeah, probably. You just go out there and instinctively play baseball. You try to react and rely on your instincts."
Brody continues to make progress toward what doctors believe will be a full recovery from a life-threatening strain of E. coli bacteria, which he contracted from contaminated water at an Atlanta water park.
His kidneys shut down and he was on dialysis, and he appeared headed for a coma, which was the fate of two other children who were playing at the park that day.
After four sleepless, unbearable days and nights, the Weisses learned the younger of their two sons would recover. And instead of spending at least a month at Atlanta's Scottish Rite Children's Hospital, as expected, Brody was released in about 10 days.
"My wife and I have said Brody is the one who's most likely to get in trouble. Maybe that helped him turn the corner," Weiss said.
Referring to the prayers of friends and fans, Weiss said, "Our whole family has been absolutely blown away by the people who have reached out to us. We want to thank everybody for their concern."
Doctors were concerned about Brody possibly being exposed to bacteria while flying on a commercial jet from Atlanta to Denver, so Colorado owner Jerry McMorris offered the Weiss family the use of his private jet for the trip. Weiss played for the Rockies from 1994-97 before leaving as a free agent this winter.
Doctors apparently had no qualms about letting Brody attend the game.
"He's doing well, he's getting better and better," Weiss said. "We just have to watch his energy level. He gets tired real quick."
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