Demie Mainieri, the father of LSU baseball coach Paul Mainieri, was inducted Saturday night into the College Baseball Hall of Fame. The ceremony was at the Overton Hotel in Lubbock, Texas, as part of the annual Night of Champions event.
Joining Demie Mainieri in the 2014 Hall of Fame class are Bill Bordley, pitcher, Southern California; Alex Fernandez, pitcher, Miami and Miami-Dade South Community College; Mike Fiore, outfielder, Miami; Gene Stephenson, coach, Wichita State; Mickey Sullivan, outfielder and coach, Baylor; and William C. Matthews, shortstop, Tuskegee Institute and Harvard.
Mainieri was the first junior-college coach to win at least 1,000 games. He finished his career with 1,012 wins in 30 seasons at Miami-Dade North Community College. More than 100 of his former players were drafted or signed by professional teams, and 30 of them made it to the major leagues.
His 1964 team won the NJCAA national championship, he had three teams finish second and another finished third. He has been inducted into six halls of fame and was named to the NJCAA All-Century Team.
“I am so happy to see my father inducted into the National College Baseball Hall of Fame in Lubbock — college baseball’s equivalent to the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown,” Paul Mainieri said. “This is the crown jewel for one of the most remarkable careers ever in college baseball coaching. My father was a pioneer for college baseball in South Florida when no one was really paying attention to college baseball there. In only his fourth year on the job at a new institution, he won the national championship and brought unprecedented national attention to his school and that area of the country.
“He really dominated the college baseball scene in South Florida at all levels, including Division I, for all of the 1960s and a portion of the’70s. He influenced hundreds of young men on the field and made them better men ready to succeed in life off the field. I know that is for what he is most proud.
“Obviously, he means everything to me. Not only was he a tremendous father to me and my four siblings as we grew up, he was a great mentor to me as I chose the coaching profession. He is still my most trusted counsel today, and I lean on him very much. It’s great to know he has not been forgotten by the national baseball community, and this induction is well-deserved and most appropriate.”