If you want to know who scored the first touchdown via a kickoff return for Steinert High School, the answer is Ron DiGiuseppe.

DiGiuseppe, a member of Steinert’s graduating class of 1962, still counts that 84-yard touchdown against Ewing High as one of his finest memories.

DiGiuseppe is part of the answer to another sports trivia question. DiGiuseppe was a member of the first team to win a championship at SHS.

Through the school’s first four years (1959-1962), some teams came close but none ever claimed an official championship -- until the1962 baseball team captured the Central Jersey baseball title. That was as far as any team could go in those days, as county tournaments and the Tournament of Champions did not yet exist. The baseball championship was a perfect way for Steinert to cap a season of “firsts.” “We had a new home field that was finally in use, with a semi-fence put up in right field,” DiGiuseppe said. “We also wore new flannel uniforms that year.” Dick Leber was the head coach and DiGiuseppe played third base and batted third as part of the groundwork was laid for the Spartans’ legendary baseball program.

"My two greatest thrills at Steinert were the 84-yard kick-off return in football, the first in SHS history, and the championship baseball team of 1962 which is the first banner hanging in the gym," he said. DiGiuseppe, a team captain and all-city selection in baseball and football, has remained connected to sports through the years. After graduating from SHS, he went to college – first Austin Peay College and then Ball State University (he played a year of baseball at each) and then began a career as a teacher and a coach in Hamilton Township. “I taught at Grice Junior High School for 10 years, and it was there that I began my baseball coaching career,” DiGiuseppe said. “I coached baseball for nine years at Grice and transferred to Steinert and coached (freshman) baseball there for another five years.”

The young man who grew up playing in area leagues – including being the two-time Babe Ruth batting champion with a .464 average – continued to play baseball in American Legion, the “Service League,” and the Unlimited League and eventually switched over to the Mercer County Major Softball League and he now participates in the county’s 65-and-Over softball league.

"Throughout the years, I umpired baseball and softball, coached Little Lads Baseball, was on the Board of Directors of the Hamilton YMCA, managed the Hamilton YMCA Girls’ Softball League umpires and coached baseball at Nottingham Babe Ruth League," he said.
DiGiuseppe received a master's in education from Trenton State College. After retiring from teaching in 2001, he worked at the Mercer County Park Commission golf courses as a park manager for 10 years. "The camaraderie with the players on the football and baseball teams will always be a fond memory with me," he said. "Our great 1962 baseball team championship was a group of teenagers that got along and worked together as a spirited unit. We were part of the growing family of Steinert athletics in its infancy."