Steve Bieser, Class of 1985

IMG_1931STEVE BIESER   CLASS OF 1985. Steve Bieser grew up in New Offenburg , Missouri, the oldest son of Norman and Betty Bieser. He was an exceptional student and athlete at Ste. Genevieve High School. He was in the Top 15% of his graduating class and a member of the National Honor Society. He was a four year letterman in wrestling and qualified for the state tournament his junior and senior years, and was named the Outstanding Wrestler his senior year. He was a three year letterman in baseball and earned 1st Team All District honors as a senior.

Mr. Bieser was not a highly regarded baseball prospect when he graduated from SGHS in 1985, and he decided to enroll at Jefferson College and join the baseball team as a walk on. After a promising season at Jefferson College, he earned a baseball scholarship to Mineral Area College. Following another successful season his sophomore season, Steve earned a scholarship to Southeast Missouri State University and continued to play well. He graduated from SEMO in 1989 with a bachelor degree in mathematics and a minor in chemistry.

After his college career, the Philadelphia Phillies chose him in the 32nd round of the 1989 major league June draft. Very few players chosen that low in the draft advance to the major leagues, but Bieser defied the odds. Beginning his professional baseball career with the Phillies in low Class A, his remarkable determination propelled him over the next seven years to the Phillies Class AAA team. Following the 1997 baseball season, Bieser signed as a minor league free agent with the New York Mets, and made the opening day roster with the major league team and his major league debut on April 1, 1997. Bieser appeared in 47 games with the Mets that year, chiefly as a bench player. His left-handed bat, foot speed, and ability to play multiple positions helped him stay on the major league roster for a large portion of the season. He signed with the Pittsburgh Pirates as a free agent for the 1998 season, appearing in 13 games with that franchise.  He finished his major league career with a .250 batting average in 80 major league at bats. He continued playing professionally for two more seasons at the Class AAA level before retiring in 2001 as a player with the Memphis Redbirds.

Following his playing days in baseball, Mr. Bieser began his career as a teacher and coach at St. John Vianney High School in Kirkwood, Missouri. His baseball team won state championships in 2004 and 2006. He left Vianney in 2010 for an assistant baseball coaching position at Southeast Missouri State, where he was named head coach prior to the 2013 season. Coach Bieser coached the Southeast Missouri State Redhawks from 2013-2016, leading them to three consecutive championships in the Ohio Valley Conference. On June 30, 2016, the University of Missouri announced Bieser as the head coach of the Tigers.

Steve Bieser’s high school jersey number “1” was retired at SGHS, as one of only three SGHS athletes to have their number retired. Bieser was instrumental in the formation of the Ste. Genevieve Riverdogs youth baseball program in 2003. He is a member of the Mineral Area College Hall of Fame and the NJCAA Hall of Fame.

Steve Bieser’s journey from being a walk-on baseball player in junior college to the major leagues is a testament to his determination, perseverance, and character to fulfill his dreams, and Steve’s remarkable career has truly been an inspiration to everyone in Ste. Genevieve area. He remains a humble person who has always acknowledged those who helped him achieve his dreams; high school coach Mike Sherry,  professional manager Bobby Valentine,  and most importantly his wife and high school sweetheart, Diahann (Dunlap) Bieser, and his faith in God. Steve and Diahann were married in 1990 and raised four children; Cole, Whitley, Carley, and Briley. They currently reside in Columbia, Missouri.

 

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