Making Their Mark
Destined for Greatness
The MDC Sharks baseball team has had a stellar season, winning the state championship and heading to the Junior College World Series for the first time since 2001. This recent achievement highlights MDC’s long-standing tradition of developing outstanding players and coaches.
Recently the College Baseball Hall of Fame announced that six new members will be inducted June 28 in Lubbock, Texas – and two of them were stars at Miami Dade College.
Headlining the list of this year’s inductees are former MDC pitcher Alex Fernández and former MDC coach Demie Mainieri.
While pitching for MDC in 1990, Fernández won the Golden Spikes award, given to the nation’s top player. He was the first junior college player in history to win the award. In June of that year, he was the fourth player selected in the Major League Baseball draft. Two months later – at age 20 – he was in the big leagues, capping an amazing year that started at MDC.
Fernández said he had a great experience playing for MDC under Coach Charlie Greene.
“He was awesome,” said Fernández, who went on to pitch for 10 years in the majors, helping the Marlins win the 1997 World Series.
Mainieri was a head coach at MDC’s North Campus for 30 years, starting in 1960. He became the first junior college coach to win 1,000 games and had more than 100 of his players drafted by the pros. Of those, 30 made it to the major leagues. His 1964 team won a national championship, and four other of his teams finished in the top three.
Mainieri, 85, finished his career with 1,012 wins and was inducted into the National Junior College Hall of Fame in 1983. He was also inducted in January into the American Baseball Coaches Association (ABCA) Hall of Fame, joining his son, Paul, who is the head coach at Louisiana State University. They are the first father-son combo to make the ABCA Hall of Fame.
“Demie is a competitive, fiery guy who cared about his players,” said Danny Price, MDC’s current coach. “He always got the best out of them.”