Mike Moceri proudly displays his plaque after being inducted into the Kean University Athletic Hall of Fame Feb. 21. Moceri was a Steinert baseball standout who now coaches Hamilton West.
Feb. 22: The baseball tradition at Kean University is steep as the Cougars have traditionally been a power in the New Jersey Athletic Conference and NCAA Division III.
And Mike “Mo” Moceri has gained his rightful spot among the best of the best.
Moceri became the 19th player with a Cougar baseball connection to be inducted into the Kean Athletic Hall of Fame. The Hamilton West head coach and former Steinert and Hamilton Post 31 standout joined the exclusive club at the induction dinner Thursday, Feb. 21.
“I am honored, humbled, and a bit surprised, but I was extremely excited to be going in with such an amazing group of athletes,” Moceri said. “I was completely caught off guard by the call and surprised, but also very humbled and excited.”
A first-team All-American and Gold Glove award winner, Moceri was outstanding both in the field and at the plate for the Cougars. He owns three school records for doubles in one game (3), triples in one game (2) and hits in a season (88). He is mentioned in the Kean record book a whopping 25 times. Moceri was the 2009 NJAC and ECAC Player of the Year, and helped his teams to two NJAC regular-season and playoff titles; and two berths in the Division III World Series.
“It’s hard to pick one of my proudest accomplishments, but the two NJAC Tournament Championships and College World Series appearances would be top of my list,” Moceri said.
After a record-setting career at Steinert, Moceri opted to attend Mercer County Community College.
“I did not feel like I was mature enough physically or mentally to go away to school,” Moceri said. “I had aspirations of playing at the Division I level and felt Mercer was my best option to obtain that goal academically and athletically.”
In retrospect, Moceri got the D-I experience with the Cougars.
“Looking back on it now I should have gone to Kean right out of high school,” he said. “The facilities, training staff, and coaching staff were unbelievable and it was run like a Division I program. Not to mention they won the Division III World Series that year in 2007.
“Playing at Kean was amazing. From the field, workout facilities, training staff and coaches. I can honestly say it made me a better person on and off the field.”
Moceri also got to play under one of the top collegiate coaches in New Jersey history in Neil Ioviero, who has guided the program to over 600 wins and six World Series appearances.
“Playing for Neil was a great experience,” Moceri said. “He brought out the best in each and every one of his players in his own unique way. He demanded perfection from you each and every day. He made me a better person on and off the field. He helped me realize how to be a good teammate and a great leader.”
And now, he is putting those lessons to use by leading a team of his own.