Isaac Lidsky’s career trajectory began at the age of six months with a diaper commercial, the first of many show biz breaks that included playing geeky teen Barton “Weasel” Wyzell in the ’90s TV hit, “Saved By The Bell.” Next stop: Harvard, where he graduated at 19 in Mathematics and Computer Science and then tacked on a law degree that led to a successful internet startup, a U.S. Court of Appeals clerkship, a three-year stint on the Justice Department’s civil division appellate staff, an associate’s position at the tony Jones Day law firm and, most recently, a Supreme Court clerkship (for retired Justice Sandra Day O’Connor). We wouldn’t have mentioned his invitation to pitch the first ball at the Florida Marlins-Chicago Cubs game last September except for the fact that Lidsky, 29, has suffered from retinitis pigmentosa since he was 15 and has been legally blind for five years.
HOW DID THE BIG PITCH TURN OUT?
I’m told that I threw a strike.
DO YOU GET TEASED ABOUT THE BARTON WEASEL ROLE?
At a Jones Day cocktail party they played one of the episodes. Afterwards some of my colleagues told me that they understood why I was an appellate lawyer instead of a criminal prosecutor.
YOU ARE NOTHING LIKE HIS CHARACTER IN REAL LIFE
He was a socially awkward, geeky pest whereas I, of course, am cool and socially advanced.
YOU’VE RAISED MILLIONS TO HELP THE BLIND
I’ve tried to turn a negative into a positive. Medical science is so close now in its search for treatments and cures: retinal transplants, pharmaceutical approaches, stem-cell research, gene therapy … It’s not a question of whether we’ll cure blindness, but when.
HOW CONFIDENT ARE YOU THAT YOUR SIGHT WILL BE RESTORED?
I have no doubt about it. I will see again.