Former longtime College of San Mateo (Calif.) head baseball coach and ABCA Hall of Fame member John Noce is the distinguished recipient of the 2023 ABCA/Wilson Lefty Gomez Award.
Named after the great Lefty Gomez, this annual award is presented to an individual who has contributed significantly to the game of baseball locally, nationally and internationally. The Lefty Gomez Award is presented by Wilson Sporting Goods and will be awarded during the Hall of Fame Banquet at the ABCA Convention on Friday, Jan. 6, 2023, in Nashville, Tennessee. Noce will be honored alongside 2022 Lefty Gomez Award recipient and fellow ABCA Hall of Fame member Ron Maestri
at this year's Hall of Fame Banquet.
Noce led the College of San Mateo (Calif.) baseball program from 1962-1992. In 31 seasons, his teams compiled a record of 772-412 (.652) while capturing 13 conference titles and finishing runner-up three times in the California community college state playoffs. At the time of his retirement, he was the winningest coach in California community college baseball history.
Noce had 72 former players go on to play professional baseball, eight of which advanced to the major leagues, and more than 200 of his Bulldogs went on to play at four-year institutions.
His impact on the game of baseball was felt worldwide as he mentored players and teams in Edmonton and Drummondville, Canada, and in Austria, Romania, and Holland. His contribution in Novara and Parma, Italy was quickly recognized by the Italian Baseball Federation, where he was appointed assistant coach for the Italian National Baseball Team from 1977 through 1996. Noce accompanied Italian teams to the Olympic Games in 1984 (Los Angeles), 1992 (Barcelona), and 1996 (Atlanta), and he continued coaching internationally through 2011 in Lithuania.
A 55-year Lifetime ABCA Member, Noce was inducted into the ABCA Hall of Fame in 1994 and was part of the inaugural class inducted into the College of San Mateo Athletic Hall of Fame in 2011. He is also a member of the California Community College Baseball Coaches Association Hall of Fame and the San Mateo County Hall of Fame.
SEE ALSO: List of past ABCA/Wilson Lefty Gomez Award honorees