Weiss recalls Braves tenure, stellar play in '99 NLDS

Weiss recalls Braves tenure, stellar play in '99 NLDS

ATLANTA -- Braves fans may recognize Rockies manager Walt Weiss as the man who helped the club win its fifth and final National League pennant of the 1990s.

In a crucial Game 3 of the 1999 National League Division Series in the Astrodome, Atlanta and Houston were tied in the bottom of the 10th with the bases loaded and one out. Tony Eusebio then hit a sharp grounder that looked like a game-winning single.

However, Weiss dove to his left to snag the ball before firing a throw home that beat Ken Caminiti by only a couple of steps. The Braves went on to win that game, 5-3, in 12 innings en route to taking the series in four.

"Just an unbelievable play," said former Braves outfielder and current television analyst Brian Jordan, who knocked in Game 3's go-ahead runs with a 12th-inning double. "An athletic play that you don't see often, especially with the game on the line. You know when they use the term, 'Leaving it out there?' Well, Walt left it out there on that play and that really saved it for us."

Weiss remembers his time in Atlanta fondly. He spent three years as part of the Braves' run of 14 straight division titles, a streak Weiss feels will never be matched.

Most of all, Weiss appreciates what he learned from former Atlanta manager Bobby Cox, who will be inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in July.

"The greatest thing about Bobby was that he was the best I've ever been around at creating loyalty amongst the group because of the way he treated people," Weiss said. "The respect he gave to the game and the players, even the opponent, in all aspects of the game, the respect that he gave, I think, came back many times over because of the type of person that he was and the way he treated people."

Jordan recognized managerial qualities in Weiss back when they were teammates, praising the former shortstop's leadership after the Braves lost both first baseman Andres Galarraga and catcher Javy Lopez during the 1999 season for health reasons.

"He's one of those quiet leaders that goes out there and leads by example," Jordan said. "He's very intense, though, to be so quiet and humble. When he's out there, it's just like he puts his game face on and he makes it happen. I enjoyed him as a teammate. He was good in the clubhouse, but man, he won the game for us with that play."

Joe Morgan is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.