Home Run on the Golf Course: Alumni and Friends Support Red Storm Baseball

Monday, August 5, 2013

No one embodies St. John’s Baseball more than John W. “Jack” Kaiser ’49C. It’s no surprise, then, that alumni and friends gathered at the beautiful Garden City Country Club to celebrate an event named in his honor – the 2013 Jack Kaiser Golf Classic, with all proceeds benefitting Red Storm Baseball.

“Baseball is a game that hooks you,” said Kaiser, whose legend at St. John’s began when he starred as Captain of the University’s first College World Series team in 1949. “When you’re in the dugout or on the field, you speak to your teammates and build a remarkable camaraderie. And judging by the generous alumni and friends we have here tonight, that camaraderie is still alive and well.”

The “Coach Jack Kaiser Baseball Advocate Award” – the highest honor that St. John’s Baseball bestows – was presented to Mike Aylmer ’87SVC and Ed Waters ’70Ed. Both of these former players expressed their admiration for Kaiser as they received their awards.

“To be mentioned in the same breath as Mr. Kaiser is an honor and a privilege,” said Aylmer, who has enjoyed a wonderful career in the Hospitality industry since graduation. He has remained a generous supporter of St. John’s Baseball, and noted that his student-athlete days taught him valuable lessons that he has since applied to his professional career.

“Following your dreams and ambitions is what baseball is all about,” he explained. “The spirit of competition here at St. John’s – the spirit to win – is the strongest I’ve ever experienced. Simply put, I’m proud to be a part of this University.”

Waters, meanwhile, has continued to make baseball an important part of his life. After graduation, he played for four years in the New York Yankees minor-league system, eventually moving to Florida and becoming an American History teacher. In addition to teaching, he currently coaches baseball and girl’s golf. 

“Baseball is a life sport,” he noted. “You make lifetime friends, and that’s what happened for me at St. John’s. The greatest thing anyone can ever call you is ‘good teammate.’ As someone who was born in Queens, never in my wildest dreams did I ever think I would even play under Coach Kaiser, so it is truly an honor to receive this award with his name on it.”

Additionally, this year’s event paid special tribute to the 1993 St. John’s Baseball team, which won the BIG EAST Tournament despite being incredible underdogs. Members of the team were in attendance, reminiscing about their playing days.

“What was so amazing about our team was how we stuck together,” said Kevin Murphy ’93TCB. “We had a few tough losses, but we brushed them aside. No one quit on that team, and it’s a great feeling to get some special recognition tonight.”

Throughout the night, guests enjoyed catching up with former teammates and talking Red Storm baseball.

“Without a doubt, playing for St. John’s Baseball was one of the best experiences of my life, even when I look back today,” said Alvin Osofsky ’75CBA. “So events like this – ones that allow us to support today’s program – are especially fantastic. We want to make sure that next year’s team enjoys the same wonderful experience that we did.”