Brooks Kieschnick may have been the most versatile player to play baseball on the 40 Acres, and now he’s moving his varied skill set to new enterprises.
Kieschnick’s 34–8 win-loss record and 3.05 ERA are worthy of a staff ace. He also hit for a .360 career average and launched 43 home runs between 1991 and 1993.
He was so impressive that, after his junior year, the Chicago Cubs selected the two-time national player of the year winner with the 10th pick of the 1993 MLB draft. Forgoing his senior season, Kieschnick went on to spend 10 years in professional baseball as a designated hitter, left fielder and relief pitcher.
However, Kieschnick’s versatility did not stop when his playing career ended in 2006. Soon after retiring, Kieschnick went through training to start an entirely new career working for Biomet, a medical device manufacturer, as a medical distributor for spinal implants.
“[Tuesday] I woke up at 4:30 in the morning in San Antonio and had to be in Austin for a case at 7,” Kieschnick said. “You’re going out, and you make sure you take care of your doctors, and you go from there and make sure they have all the equipment they need.”
The dedication that produced one of the best players to take the field for Texas has earned Kieschnick a strong reputation among co-workers and customers alike.
“His customers love him,” said Bart Vanlandingham, Kieschnick’s co-worker at Biomet. “He’s persistent in what he does and works hard.“
Kieschnick didn’t stop with his new job. In September 2014, he and a few friends opened up Alamo Ice House in San Antonio.
Kieschnick got the idea of owning a bar two years ago when his friends Ray Fuchs, the “restaurant guy” at the Ice House, and Jaime Gonzales, the pit master, were doing some repair work on Kieschnick’s house.
Fuchs, who met Kieschnick when he was running a bar on Sixth Street in the early ’90s, told Kieschnick that he was renting property for a bar in San Antonio. Kieschnick was thrilled with the idea and came on as a part owner.
“I’m pretty hands-off as far as the day-to-day goes,” Kieschnick said. “I’m more of the social guy — getting people there and promoting it.”
Kieschnick’s varied experience offers him a unique perspective and enables him to take unexpected approaches, according to Fuchs.
“He brings a different perspective to the table,” Fuchs said. “We weren’t going to build a stage until Brooks said, ‘No, we need to build a stage and have live music.’”
While running a bar and distributing spinal implants may not have much to do with playing professional baseball, Kieschnick still believes there are important connections to be made between his current and former careers.
“[Baseball] definitely gives you discipline and work ethic to make [a business] work and go well,” Kieschnick said. “You definitely have to have that in this business and a lot of drive in this company to make it successful.”