By Steve Svetovich
Dunmore High School graduate Corey Rinaldi, 22, has played baseball his whole life from t-ball through Little League, Teener League, Legion, high school and college.
But he never hit a home run. Until last month.
Son of Mike and Michele Rinaldi, Corey hit three homers in one game playing for the Dunmore entry in the summer Dunmore Freedom League at Sherwood Park last month.
He hit the homers in three consecutive at bats. All were hard blasts, one over the right field fence and two to deep center over the fence.
The three homer game set a Dunmore Freedom League record.
Playing with and against mostly collegiate players, Corey performs at a highly competitive level in the league.
Congratulated after his three homer performance, he remained humble. “Oh, you are way too kind,” he said. “But thank you, sir.”
Corey, who added some muscle to his frame this season, graduated from Dunmore in 2015. He is a biology major at Penn State University. He played on the baseball team at Penn State Scranton last season.
Corey played four years of baseball at Dunmore and was a first team all-star first baseman in his senior year. He also played in the Dream Game at PNC Field in Moosic in his senior year.
He earned distinguished honors throughout high school and was a member of the Dunmore golf team.
He was the captain of his Dunmore High School baseball team and member of the Senior League championship team in 2013.
Corey not only hit three homers for Dunmore in its win over Honesdale, but he was the winning pitcher striking out eight in the Dunmore Freedom League contest at Sherwood Park.
Corey’s brother Chris Rinaldi is a power hitting catcher and was his teammate on the Dunmore entry team in the Dunmore Freedom League. Corey since his three homer game has switched to the McGinty’s team in the Dunmore Freedom League.
“I just love playing baseball,” he said.
Not one to shine a light or talk about himself, he let his mom, who attends all of his games, do the talking.
“Corey is one of the most genuine people you would ever want to meet,” she said. “He is a true friend and someone you can count on for anything.
“Watching him play is a pleasure. He never gives up, fights hard and just when you think he can’t throw another pitch he actually gets stronger.
“Watching him hit those three home runs was one of the greatest moments of our lives. He had never hit one before.
“He loves the game and works hard at it. But most of all he is a team player always full of praise for the rest of the team.”
Corey made the Dean’s List at Penn State. He was the winning pitcher and gave up only two hits in the only game Penn State Scranton won last season.
He played three years of American Legion baseball under his favorite coach, the legendary Gino Tempesta.
Corey was also very close to Dunmore coaches Mark Finan and Vito Ruggerio.
“They gave me many opportunities to play and learn,” he said.
Corey said he plans on becoming a paramedic or physical therapist after graduating from Penn State. He will continue his education.
“His compassion and caring for other people put me in awe sometimes,” his mom said.
“Every parent thinks their child is the greatest, but I know Corey will do great things with his life. Our love and admiration for him are beyond words.”
And it’s not often you will see three homers in three consecutive at bats at Dunmore’s very spacious Sherwood Park. An out of park home run there is a well earned one. Three shots.