Albert John Weis (born April 2, 1938 in Franklin Square, New York) is a former Major League Baseball infielder.
Weis grew up in Bethpage, New York, and graduated from Farmingdale, New York, High School in 1955. He was a high school teammate of Jack Lamabe, who pitched for several major league teams including the Red Sox, Mets, Pirates and Cardinals.
Weis played for the Chicago White Sox from 1962 to 1967 and the New York Mets from 1968 to 1971. He was a switch-hitter until the end of the 1968 season, after which he batted exclusively right-handed.
Signed by the White Sox as an amateur free agent, Weis played 99 games as a utility infielder in his rookie season of 1963, with 48 of those games at second base and 27 at shortstop. In 1964, he and Don Buford shared second base after the trade of popular veteran contact-hitting superstar Nellie Fox. Weis batted .247 and established career highs with 81 hits and 22 stolen bases; that year the White Sox finished second in a tight American League pennant race, one game behind the New York Yankees and one game ahead of the Baltimore Orioles.
Weis continued as a utility infielder with the White Sox for the next three years; the most at-bats he compiled during this period was only 187 in 1966. He broke a leg as the result of a violent collision at second base with Frank Robinson of the Orioles in mid-season of 1967. After that season, he and fleet-footed outfielder Tommie Agee were traded to the New York Mets for four players (among them slugger Tommy Davis and veteran pitcher Jack Fisher).
Weis earned a dubious place in history at the end of one of the longest major league games ever played. In the 24th inning of the Mets' April 15, 1968 game against the Houston Astros in the Astrodome, Bob Aspromonte's bases-loaded ground ball went through Weis' legs for the only Met error of the marathon contest, scoring Norm Miller with the winning run for a 1-0 Astro victory. . Weis was quoted afterward in the media as saying, "I blew it."
He was a member of the 1969 Miracle Mets team that unexpectedly won the World Series. In that Series, a Met upset of the powerful Baltimore Orioles in five games, Weis played a major role in both of Jerry Koosman’s victories, victimizing Oriole stalwart starter Dave McNally both times. In Game 2 in Baltimore, his top-of-the-ninth single scored Ed Charles with the eventual winning run in a 2–1 victory; in the clincher, Game 5 at Shea Stadium, after hitting only six home runs for his career to that point, all on the road, he homered off McNally in the seventh to tie the game at 3–3. (Ironically, one of Weis' six previous home runs was also at McNally's expense, on June 18, 1964 for the White Sox.) The Mets scored two runs in the bottom of the eighth to seal their improbable World Series win. For his effort, Weis won the Series' Babe Ruth Award.
The 1969 World Series was Weis’ last moment of glory; he was released by the Mets on July 1, 1971. He had batted .218 lifetime with 346 hits, only seven of which were home runs, and 115 RBIs in 800 games played.
By Dean Hanley
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