Jack Kaiser, recipient of the 1973 ABCA/Wilson Lefty Gomez Award, began his St. John's career as a baseball, basketball and soccer player in the late 1940s, then as a coach from 1956-1973, the Director of Athletics from 1973-1995 and currently holds the title of Athletics Director Emeritus. Throughout his career at St. John's, Kaiser has been one of the baseball program's biggest supporters. He led teams to the College World Series as a player in 1949 and a coach in 1960, 1966 and 1968, then went on to provide department-wide leadership as the Director of Athletics for 23 years.
An ABCA and Atlantic Collegiate Baseball League Hall of Famer, Kaiser remains involved with both the St. John's program and the ACBL, a sanctioned summer league that he co-founded. Kaiser also co-founded the Big East Conference in his role as Athletic Director at St. John's, and the league has commemorated Kaiser's achievements as the namesake for the conference baseball tournament's Most Outstanding Player award.
Kaiser was a standout student-athlete for St. John's on the baseball diamond before beginning his Hall of Fame 18-year head coaching career in 1956. He posted a 367-133-2 record and led the baseball program to 11 postseason appearances, including the three College World Series trips.
In his first year as St. John's Athletic Director in 1973, he became President of the National Invitation Tournament (NIT) Committee and held that position until 1988. Along with helping form the Big East Conference, he played a key role in developing the baseball league.
St. John's University dedicated its baseball stadium in the namesake of Kaiser in 2007. In 2009, he was the inaugural recipient of the Lapchick Leadership Appreciation Award.
Kaiser, who served as president of the ABCA in 1969 and Chairman of the Board of Directors from 2010-13, currently serves on the ABCA Board of Directors.
Named after the great Lefty Gomez, this annual award is presented to an individual who has distinguished himself among his peers and has contributed significantly to the game of baseball locally, nationally and internationally. The Lefty Gomez Award is sponsored by Wilson Sporting Goods.