Grew up in Los Angeles. Spent 5 years at UCBerkeley battling a few major injuries. Finally got drafted by the New York Mets in 2008. Worked my way through the minor leagues as an unknown and not highly regarded player. Finally made it to the big leagues in 2011. Was constantly going up and down from the majors to minors until 2013 when I had a big season. From there injuries and poor play ended my career. Have a lot of great stories/memories from my time playing. Now work in multi-family real estate with a group named Gelt.
2) You worked hard to get to the Majors. What was the biggest obstacle?
I always had to earn everything I got. I would only get moved up to the next level if I truly dominated. So it was tough because I could never have a bad month because I probably would have gotten released. Unless a player is a top draft pick, they have to constantly perform because the chances are few and far between.
3) You played a lot of positions. What do you feel was your best position? Did playing multiple positions help you along the way?
My best position was third base. It was unfortunate that every team I played for had a really good third baseman. First David Wright of course and then Todd Frazier with the Reds. It definitely helped playing multiple positions because it gave me options all the way up through the minors and then in the majors. I would suggest to any player to get comfortable playing multiple positions because you never know where the opportunities are and you want to be prepared when one comes.
4) You spent most of your career with the Mets and Reds. Were those good organizations to be a part of?
My time with the Reds didn’t work out since I was injured the whole time but for the most part they were a quality organization. The Mets are like home to me. I grew up in the organization and learned a lot both in baseball and in life from the people and players in it. Definitely first class that starts from the top with Fred Wilpon. The Mets always brought in quality and qualified coaches and staff that were a joy to be around. I will always consider myself a Met and will raise my kids as Mets fans.
5) What led to your recent retirement?
I had a few confusions that stunted a few seasons and ultimately led to performing poorly compared to what I was used to. I didn’t feel like I was the same player I used to be. Plus I got a great opportunity with this real estate investment company.
6) You got to play for Team Israel. What was that experience like? Will we see you in Seoul?
Team Israel has been a blast. Peter Kurz enthusiasm and relentlessness got me to play originally but I had such a good experience I came back for a second try. Plus losing the first time left a bad taste in my mouth and I needed to help us redeem ourselves. Good possibility I will be in Seoul but I will have to get back into playing shape.
7) What are you up to now? What is next for you?
I work for a real estate investment group in Los Angeles called Gelt that specializes in multi-family apartment building across the estate Coast. We have purchased around 800 million dollars worth of property over the last 8 years and are looking to grow. I hope to be with this company for awhile and help us grow exponentially.
8) What was your Jewish upbringing like? Do you engage with Judaism today?
I grew up with two Jewish parents so Judaism was a part of my childhood. I had a Bar Mitzvah and went to Hebrew school. We usually celebrate most Jewish holidays as a way to get the family together and go to Temple on the high holy days
9) What was the best Hanukkah present you ever received?
Tough question but my birthday is on December 23rd so when I was sixteen my parents got me a new Toyota 4Runner for a birthday/Hanukah gift. I can’t imagine any gift I’ve received since then has been better.