Cover Story: Local Dentist to Fulfill Athletic Quest and Ancestral Pilgrimage
by Cathy Hollander
- Jeff and Albert Weisbrot are hoping to help grow the love of baseball in the third generation of Weisbrots—Evan 5. Opening day is Monday, April 3.
- Jeff and Albert Weisbrot enjoy biking together
- Jeff and Jamie Weisbrot with their children, from left, Evan and Grant.
- Jeff Weisbrot practices for his opportunity of a lifetime to represent the USA softball team in the July 2017 Maccabiah Games.
The 20th World Maccabiah Games is the third largest sporting event in the world. This summer, more than 70 countries will compete. Approximately 9,000 athletes come from all over the world. More than 1,000 athletes will represent America in approximately 35-40 sports. The Games are held every four years in Israel.
“I grew up throwing a softball against the wall in my basement for hours and hours every night,” said Dr. Weisbrot. “It kept me out of trouble and I developed skills.”
He played second baseman for the Sycamore High School varsity softball team. He went to Miami University, but changed colleges to attend Washington University in St. Louis for a year so he could play college baseball. When he moved back to Cincinnati, he began playing modified-pitch softball on a recreational team.
“Baseball was always my sport,” said Weisbrot. “I remember going to my dad’s games as a kid. When I got old enough, I followed my dad into the recreational modified fast-pitch softball league.”
Weisbrot lives on the border between Blue Ash and Montgomery with his wife, Jamie, and two young sons. Now the captain of a team, he competes in the league where his dad (local physician Albert Weisbrot) still plays—the Jewish Community Center (JCC) recreational league. This spring, his five-year-old son, is signed up to play t-ball.
“We’ll see if he has the same affection for the game as me,” said Dr. Weisbrot.
Weisbrot stays in shape for his optimal performance in the game. He work outs, attends exercise classes, Simply Yoga for stretching and flexibility, and Power Ride, a spinning class. In the summer, he bikes outside. He practices throwing and hitting.
“When I get a day off, fun for me is to go to the batting cages.”
He plays softball in the driveway with his two sons—Grant and Evan,a ges three and five, respectively—to help them develop an interest in the game. The boys also attend their father’s games now and then.
“The hard part as you get older is juggling other life responsibilities,” said Weisbrot. “I don’t have time to work out every day, but when I have free time, it’s a good stress relief for me. I enjoy the Wednesday night JCC softball recreational league quite a bit.”
A friend of his wife’s had played on the American team in the Maccabiah Games. Weisbrot called the coach and told him his softball background. While Weisbrot wasn’t sure he would be accepted, he knew he was a good player for Cincinnati. He figured that most people considered him one of the top players in the league, so he decided to try out.
“I had to get used to a faster pitch,” said Weisbrot. “It took me a short amount of time to adjust to it, but once I did, the coach told me that I hadn’t wasted my time.”
Weibrot is one of two new players on the USA softball team. Openings are limited because previous players come back to play. Weisbrot qualified for the “masters” level team for people ages 35 and older.
“I view this as an opportunity of a lifetime,” said Weisbrot. “Here’s a chance for me to play a sport that I love in a country that I love. My grandparents survived the Holocaust so for me it’s a meaningful way to show that I flourished. I’m sure they would be proud.”