SLIAC; Looking Back is a series of interviews with former players and coaches who made an impact during their time in the St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SLIAC). We hope you enjoy a look back through time and how the SLIAC played a role in who they are today.
Today we speak with Westminster College baseball standout Paul Moyer (Class of 2001). Paul Moyer Westminster College's Paul Moyer holds the distinction of being the first ever SLIAC Baseball Player of the Year, winning the award in back to back seasons in 2000 and 2001. Even to this day Moyer remains one of just three players in conference history to win the Player of the Award twice during their career.
Over his final two years Moyer helped the Blue Jays win their only conference regular season titles, advancing to the NCAA Division III National Tournament where the Blue Jays won three games over their two appearances. Moyer finished his career with a 15-2 record and a 3.35 earned-run average while also hitting .311 with three home runs over his four years.
You had success both at the plate and on the mound, which did you prefer?
"As much as I enjoyed hitting, and playing defense, pitching was what I loved and where I was most comfortable. I enjoy the mental side of the game and the chess match between a pitcher and hitter. Especially when everything's working and you feel like you are two steps ahead of a hitter. Add to it those times, and it seemed to be often, when you and your catcher seem to be able to read each other's minds, and there's no better feeling."
Speaking of great feelings, you helped led the Blue Jays to back to back SLIAC titles in 2000 and 2001, can you talk about those teams?
"Those two seasons were the most fun I ever had playing baseball. Obviously there was a lot of talent on those teams but they were also made up of a great group of guys. What I remember most about those teams was how deep we were all around. There wasn't a weak spot in our lineup. We could play defense, run, and pitch. We hit .350 as a team (still a school record) and averaged over eight runs a game and the pitching staff had a number of arms capable of beating anyone. Having the opportunity to play in back to back NCAA Regionals was an experience I don't think any of us will ever forget."
Speaking of unforgettable memories, what are some of your fondest moments at Westminster?
"Most of my memories revolve around baseball, but the school, in general, was a great place for me. I enjoyed a lot of the social aspects of the school. I really liked the smaller atmosphere and getting to know so many different people. My lunchtime games of pool of Dr. Wary Williams stand out as special to me."
What did you get out of playing collegiate baseball?
"First and foremost, life-long friendships. Like I mentioned the group of guys I played with were just a lot of fun to be around. I don't get to see them much anymore, but the couple times I've had the opportunity to get together with a few of them, it's like we never skipped a beat. Secondly, hard work and teamwork. Even at the Division III level, the athletes put a lot of time and effort into the sports they play. Throw in a full class load, and it can be a lot to handle."
Speaking of lessons from baseball, was there anything you were able to bring over from the playing field to the business world?
"The ability to work as a team. All the jobs I've had since graduating have been part of a team environment. That kind of thing was almost second nature to me after having played baseball my entire life."
While we are talking about work, where do you work today?
"I work for the Missouri Office of Administration-Information Technology Services Division. My official title is Client Services Manager. My role is to manage the application development team that supports the Missouri Department of Economic Development as well as be the liaison for all of their IT needs."
Why did you decide to go to Westminster?
"It started with Academics. Growing up just 20-30 minutes away, I was aware of the academic reputation of the school. It also provided an opportunity for me to play college baseball. I didn't know much about the school's baseball history previous to enrolling, but the combination of comfort level with the school and the ability for me to potentially play right away made it the right choice for me."
What did attending Westminster College, a small NCAA Division III school, allow you to do that you may not have been able to do elsewhere?
"I alluded to it earlier, but the smaller setting allows students to form strong relationships with not just other students, but faculty and staff as well. It becomes more of a family-like environment than I would imagine a bigger school would provide. From an athletics standpoint, it provides opportunities for excellent athletes that may not get the big school recognition to continue playing their respective sport."