Wednesday, August 21, 2013


When I saw a picture of Walt Weiss and Mike Jedziniak posted on Facebook recently, a
flood of memories washed over me like a tsunami. The manager of the Colorado Rockies and
the lawyer from New Jersey re-united in Baltimore nearly 30 years after forming the best
double-play combination in UNC history.

I was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to play with both and watch their brilliance
in turning two. Nobody did it better before they arrived on campus in 1982, and no shortstop-
second basemen combo has surpassed their skill-set since they graduated from the program
in the mid-80's. As someone who is passionate about the game and the intricacies of it, I
admired what Weiss, forever known as the "Peanut Man", and Jedz did as defensive wizards
in Boshamer Stadium. Quite frankly, it was a beautiful thing to watch.

Weiss was a silky-smooth shortstop from Suffern, NY. He possessed a cannon of an arm
along the lines of Shawon Dunston and the feet of Fred Astaire. He made everything look
so remarkably easy. Jedziniak was a scrap-iron second baseman from Toms River, New
Jersey who played with a chip on his shoulder the size of Gibraltar. He also played with a
glove the size of a tic-tac and hands that were lightning quick.

As teammates, Weiss and Jedz were pretty much inseparable. They idolized Bruce Springsteen,
loved anything that was denim, and spoke their own language. And believe me when I say this, it
was their "own" language. They often spoke in code, inside humor, and in sentences consisting
of three words or less. If an outsider heard what they were saying, they'd no doubt respond with
a "WTF?"

Weiss and Jedz took that friendship and chemistry onto the field to form a great double-play
combination that was pure magic. You could blindfold them and they'd know where each
other were on the field. They didn't have to say, "this is where I want to be fed the ball," they
just knew. It was uncanny, it was brilliant, and it was a helluva lot of fun to watch.

They were a pitcher's best friend even if they couldn't relate to the Deabenderfer's, 
Kopcynksi's, and Powell's of the program. A ground ball to second base or shortstop was
automatic as was an inning-ending double-play.

For those who played with Weiss and Jedz, you know what I'm talking about. For those
who didn't, I'm sorry, you missed something truly special. Turning a double-play in
college is not all that hard, but the way in which Weiss and Jedz did it was scintillating
to watch. They did it with such confidence and flair, you could do nothing but appreciate

Most of all, I admire the friendship that was quite evident in their picture together in
Baltimore. They were more than just a great double-play combination, they are forever
friends. No matter how far apart their lives are now, they are as close as they were around
the second base bag. And that will never change.

1 comment:

  1. I enjoy your articles-- they couple life along with sports- a winning combination!