ENCINITAS — Mickey Moniak stood surrounded by his close family just off the Encinitas City Council dais. He donned a red Philadelphia Phillies baseball shirt, representing the team that drafted him with the No. 1 overall pick in the Major League Baseball draft on June 9.
Mayor Kristin Gaspar stood next to Moniak and family wearing a La Costa Canyon High School shirt, the school from which both she and Moniak graduated.
“It used to be pretty cool that I was the first elected mayor and a La Costa Canyon alum, and until Mickey came along and stole all of that thunder away,” Gaspar said with a laugh.
Gaspar and the council then went on to declare the day “Mickey Moniak Day,” in honor of the recent La Costa Canyon graduate, who just finished his first stint of minor league baseball with the Gulf Coast League Phillies.
“We’re here to say, ‘way to go,’” Gaspar said.
Moniak, grinning seemingly from when he arrived to when he left the council chambers, said he was humbled by the honor.
“It means a lot to me and the family that we have the support from home,” Moniak said. “And this will always be home.”
Moniak won’t be home for long. He leaves Sunday for the three-week Florida Instructional League, but then gets a four-month respite before things pick back up in March with spring training.
Moniak said he’s in no rush to make the big league ball club, and will take his career one step at a time.
“My goal is to do my best every time I step on the field,” Moniak said.
But aside from the celebrity, the time away from home — and perhaps the camouflage green Maserati sports car that pulled up to the Encinitas Civic Center — Moniak said that life is otherwise unchanged.
“You know what, I like to look at it as not very much,” Moniak said when asked what has changed in his life. “I’ve got my friends and family at home, and I always look forward to seeing them. I’m 18 years old and I still live at home. There’s the being away from home, of course, but I’m definitely adjusting to it well and enjoying it.”
His family said they have been impressed with how the 18-year-old has handled the rise to stardom, and that he has remained grounded throughout the past few months.
“It has been a whirlwind of emotion, appreciation and gratitude,” said Heather Moniak, Mickey’s mother. “There are not words that can explain how proud I am that I had a son that has contributed to society in this manner.”
Mickey’s 11-year-old sister, Jordan, echoed her mother’s sentiments.
“I’m very proud,” Jordan said.