Dunmore Senior Shortstop is Savoring the Moments

Athlete of the Month - Richie GrippiBy 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,” ┬áhis grandfather would say when finishing a conversation or saying goodbye to a friend.

baseballRichie 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.

Athlete of Month: Richie Grippi

 

bucksBy Steve Svetovich

Dunmore senior second baseman Richie Grippi is a natural leader both on and off the baseball field.

Son of Rich and Shannon Grippi, Dunmore, Richie has very strong role models.

Besides his parents, Dunmore baseball coach Mark Finan is a mentor who teaches his players how to win and play hard all the time.

And then there is Richie’s late grandfather, Doug Miele, former staffer for the defunct Scrantonian Tribune. His grandfather attended every one of Richie’s games and before he died five years ago correctly predicted his grandson would be a sparkplug infielder for the Dunmore Bucks right from his freshman year on.

And that Richie has been. A three-year starter at second base, he hit over .300 in his first two seasons and .300 last year as the lead off batter for Finan.

baseballRichie, 18, is also a two-year member and guard on the Dunmore Bucks varsity basketball team. He is a member of the scholastic quiz bowl team at Dunmore.

With math and science as his best subjects, the scholar-athlete has a highly impressive 3.7 academic average.

The scrappy second baseman has great speed and led the Bucks in stolen bases last season.

He is grateful for what he has learned from Coach Finan. “He taught me to compete,” said the senior stalwart. “He is one of the most competitive people I ever met. He will do anything to win a game.”

Richie said the best advice he ever received came from his parents. “My dad once told me don’t do things when no one is looking that you wouldn’t do when someone is looking. That is the best advice anyone ever gave me. And my mom tells me the same thing. She teaches me to show respect.”

Richie talked about what it takes to be a solid second baseman on the high school level. “You need to have a good glove and quick hands. You need to be smart and know what to do with the ball even before the ball is hit to you.”

The steady infielder is busy this summer playing baseball for the Dunmore American Legion team.

A huge fan of the late Elvis Presley, Richie talked about his future goals.

“Well, first of all I want to be a leader on the field while helping my Dunmore team win a lot of games and go far in the playoffs in my senior year.

“Then I want to go to college, get good grades and get a good job. I’m not sure what I want to major in or where I will go. I am thinking Penn State, Temple, Pitt. We will see.”

Richie said the best baseball advice he ever received came from his late grandfather, Doug Miele. “Keep your eye on the ball. He always said that to me. It sounds simple, but it is very sound advice and it sure works.”

Richie’s late great-grandfather, Tony Miele, coached youth baseball for many years in the local area and is a member of the Northeast Chapter of the Pennsylvania Hall of Fame.

Richie is looking forward to his senior year at Dunmore. “Dunmore is the greatest,” he said. “It is a town where everyone knows each other. It’s the best community, the best town.

“I love Dunmore High School.

“It’s the greatest school in the world.

“I told my parents the best thing they ever did for me was moving to Dunmore.”