By Steve Svetovich
The Dunmore senior shortstop, a 4-year starter, knows he only has one month of high school baseball left. So he is taking it all in.
Son of Rich and Shannon Grippi, Dunmore, Richie Grippi is hitting .392 and has a 97 academic average.
A lead off hitter for Dunmore, the 18-year-old scholar-athlete will attend Pennsylvania State University and major in engineering in the fall.
“Going to Dunmore is the best,” he said. “Dunmore is a very unique community. It is close knit. There is no place like it. It’s been awesome.
“I know my baseball career is coming to an end. It really flew by. Everybody told me it would go by fast. And it did. I really can’t believe it. It just hasn’t set in with me yet.”
The senior standout has been playing baseball in Dunmore leagues since age five.
His late grandfather Doug Miele, former editor-reporter for the old Scrantonian Tribune, died six years ago this coming September. He attended everyone of his grandson’s games right to the end of his life. His wish was that his grandson have a successful and enjoyable high school baseball career at Dunmore.
That wish apparently was fulfilled to the fullest. “Have a good cheer,” his grandfather would say when finishing a conversation or saying goodbye to a friend.
Richie was also a 4-year member of the Dunmore basketball team. He averaged 10 points per game in his senior season as the shooting guard on the team.
He is president of the Spanish Club at Dunmore High School. He is a member of the French Club, Earth Club, SADD and TACT.
His favorite subject is math.
Richie likes listening to music in his spare time. His favorite musical artist is Luke Bryan.
The scrappy shortstop is among the league leaders in hits, doubles, runs and batting average this season.
He talked about what it takes to be a solid shortstop. “You need to have very good range. I played second base the previous three years, so I had to practice a longer throw. You need a strong arm and have to practice those long throws in the off season.”
Richie, humble but confident in nature, said his parents taught him a lot.
“My parents always taught me to work hard. They taught me to never let anyone out work you. And they tell me to do the right thing even when no one is looking.”
Richie has learned plenty from Dunmore baseball coach Sid Hallinan who is in his first year at the helm after several years at Riverside.
“Coach Hallinan teaches us to always compete. He tells us it is most important to go out there and work hard, but also have fun doing it. He has been great for us.”
A member of the National Honor Society, Richie has learned how to balance his time well. “It’s a challenge. But at Dunmore, academics always come first. It is easy to translate that out onto the field if you put academics first. It’s a nice balance. It all ties in together.”
He talked about his goals. “Well, this will be it for me in baseball. It just hasn’t sunk in yet. I probably won’t play anymore. I will concentrate on college and earning a degree. Law School in the future is also a possibility. I am thinking about that.”
In the meantime, Richie is enjoying his senior baseball season to the fullest.
Former Scrantonian Tribune staffer Doug Miele, with cancer, two weeks before he passed away, was in a rush to get out of his house and to the baseball field. He had to get to one of his grandson’s final summer baseball games.
“I live for that,” he said. “That boy is going to be some ball player.”
He was right.