By Jim Hague
New Jersey’s best 100 high school baseball players all convened at Diamond Nation in Flemington last week to participate in the annual New Jersey Scholastic Baseball Coaches Association’s All-Star Classic and Lyndhurst’s Mark Naseef was fortunate enough to be one of those players.
A quick glance at Naseef and one may wonder how the centerfielder could become one of the premier baseball players in the entire state. After all, he’s not blessed with the greatest size, standing perhaps all of 5-foot-8 and weighing 180 pounds.
But Naseef has a quality that not a lot of other local baseball players have.
“The kid can flat out hit,” said Butch Servideo, the long-time head baseball coach and athletic director at Lyndhurst High School. “He can mash the ball with the rest of them.”
Over his career, Naseef was able to rewrite the Lyndhurst record books. He batted .484 this season with five homers and 37 RBI. His 13 career homers represent a new school record and he finished second in the history of the school in career hits.
Naseef used to be a two-sport athlete, a fine wrestler as well as being a standout baseball player.
But a shoulder injury suffered during his junior year of wrestling forced him to give up the sport and concentrate on baseball.
Since he no longer had to worry about cutting weight for wrestling, Naseef added about 30 pounds of muscle in the off-season and it paid off with his ability to drive the ball to all fields.