Long Island Local To Be Inducted In New York State Baseball Hall Of Fame

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Lou Bernardi to join legendary players, coaches, writers in HOF

 

Lou Bernardi has been working at the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy for five years, but his baseball journey began much earlier.

One of Herricks High School’s busiest alumni will soon join the New York State Baseball Hall of Fame.

Lou Bernardi, 34, Herricks Class of ‘06, found out last month that he’ll join the ranks of legends like like Mickey Mantle, Keith Hernandez, and even former NYS Governor Mario Cuomo as part of the New York State Baseball Hall of Fame’s Induction Class of 2023.

Fellow members of the Induction Class of 2023 include author Erik Sherman, Long Island Baseball’s Mike Leiderman, former major leaguer and current broadcaster for the Seattle Mariners Dave Valle, World Series winning manager Jack McKeon and former major leaguer Bob Aspromonte.

A 2011 graduate of New York Institute of Technology, where he played four seasons for the Bears and studied criminal justice, Bernardi played professionally after college with the St. George Roadrunners of the Golden Baseball League. He has also served as a volunteer coach and a mentor in numerous student leagues along the way.

 

Bernardi in action during his time playing for the St. George Roadrunners.

Bernardi is now in his 12th year coaching collegiate baseball, and has been a member of Head Coach Michael Notebaert’s coaching staff as the Mariners’ Pitching Coach and Recruiting Coordinator at the United States Merchant Marine Academy in Kings Point since the 2019 season.

In his five years at USMMA, Bernardi won the USMMA Athletics’ Power of Inspiration Award and SAAC’s Mark J. Paradiso Service Award, among other honors, and was named Collegiate Baseball Newspaper’s 2021 NCAA Pitching Coach of the Year for all three divisions after he helped lead the Mariners to the 2021 Skyline Conference Championship, the first in Academy history.

In a phone interview, Bernardi told Anton Media Group that he’s thrilled about his induction, which he admitted he wasn’t expecting for a few more years.

Bernardi said that part of what he does in his current job is reach out to community leaders and organizations about his team; he also serves as a recruiting coordinator, in addition to coaching pitchers.

After spending time with teams ranging from Division I to Little League, Bernardi said, he always gives the same advice to other ambitious young people.

“Whether I’m talking to players or coaches, my message is actually the same: it’s to trust the process,” he said.

Bernardi marching with the Italian American Baseball Foundation in this year’s Columbus Day Parade in New York City. (Photos courtesy of Lou Bernardi)

“As a young coach, I was a volunteer for four years, working crazy hours, making no money. I grinded it out, I paid my dues, and 13 years later I have a great job.”

He chuckled and added, “It’s not always a glorifying and gratifying occupation, but I stuck it out, with huge support from my family and friends.”

When asked who he’s been rooting for this past Major League Baseball season, Bernardi admitted, “I actually don’t root for any specific teams. I root for specific players, and I always root for players who do the right thing on and more importantly off the field.”

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