The byproduct of that is I’m gonna get banged up, dinged up, broken fingers, broken toes.
eric Holtz is big. Everything about him is big...from his larger-than-life personality, to his constant companion Samson, a 120 lb. Bernese Mountain Dog. And at 52-years-old, this sultan of swing still believes in going big – playing hard, and leaving it all out on the field.
But thirteen years ago, it was nearly game over for Eric when a SLAP tear in his shoulder stole his ability to catch and throw the ball.
I was almost in tears.
I was almost in tears. Baseball has become such an important part of my life to not be able to do what you love and have it taken away from you. You know, it’s painful. It’s truly painful.
Luckily for him, one of his teammates could help. You see, Martin Levy wasn’t just the best line drive-fielding third baseman Eric had ever shared the dugout with, he was also a surgeon in the Department of Orthopedics at Montefiore who specialized in Sports Medicine.
I made a decision that my goal would be to put people back on the ball field.
I was an athlete. I got banged up, and they told me that I shouldn’t expect to get back on the field. I was done. And that just seemed crazy to me, and I, at that point, made a decision that my goal would be to put people back on the ball field.
It’s hard to describe our relationship. He’s my doctor but he’s also become a family member to me.
You know, I refer to Dr. Levy as ‘all the king’s men’. And I’m Humpty Dumpty, and every time I fall off and break myself he puts me back together. It’s hard to describe our relationship. He’s my doctor but he’s also become a family member to me. He’s like a big brother. And beyond me, he’s taken care of my children who are all college baseball and softball players. Words really can’t describe, really the gratitude that I have for him both as a physician, obviously and a friend.
Today, ball players half Eric’s age struggle to keep up with him. And when he’s not stealing bases or smacking frozen ropes to the outfield, he runs a successful training facility for college, minor, and major league players.
Listen, my father died when he was 51, I’m 52 and still playing with guys half my age.
If Dr. Levy didn’t fix me and take care of me there’s no way I could be doing what I do today. Listen, my father died when he was 51, I’m 52 and still playing with guys half my age. I’m in here throwing a thousand baseballs a day. There are days I’m doing 11 lessons. Eleven lessons means five and a half hours on my feet throwing baseballs, throwing softballs and yeah, beating myself up. But, I’m still happy that I’m able to do what I love to do so much.