Tyrone grad signs with Devil Rays

A lifetime of hopes and dreams just took an extremely satisfying turn for a local Tyrone Area High School graduate. Scott Gummo, son of Susan Gummo of Bald Eagle, and John Gummo of State College, signed a professional baseball contract Wednesday morning, July 5, 2006, with the Tampa Bay Devil Rays. The Devil Rays play in the American League East Division and are presently in last place, 14 1/2 games behind the division-leading Boston Red Sox.
Gummo, was a starter in the infield, on the 2005 and 2006 Penn State Nittany Lion baseball teams for head coach Robby Wine, who is the son of former Philadelphia Phillies player Bobby Wine.
“I am really excited,” said Gummo, who was reached in Tamp Bay and was ready to fly to Baltimore, Maryland, and then proceed to Aberdeen, where his new team, the short-season Hudson Valley Renegades are playing the Aberdeen IronBirds.
The Renegades, a Tampa Bay affiliate play in the New York-PennLeague, the same league in which the Williamsport Crosscutters (Pirates) and State College Spikes (Cardinals) play. Hudson Valley plays their home contests in Fishkill, New York.
“I was just waiting by the phone after working out and Tampa Bay made the first move,” explained Gummo, who was an All-State lineman on the Golden Eagles football team, in addition to pitching and playing the infield for the Tyrone baseball team. “I was speechless, when they first called. This has been my dream, what I’ve been working for my whole life.”
Robby Wine is a coach whose offenses are known to hit for power and high averages.
Gummo wished to publicly thank Wine and his assistant coaches for the help they gave him at Penn State. “They were great coaches to have. All have played in the professional system and they know what they are talking about, what it takes to get to the next level. They told me I could get to the next level and worked with me. I can’t thank then enough for the help they gave me.”
Coach Wine expressed his coaching philosophy in a phone interview and wished Scotty well. “Anyone of our guys who wants to have the opportunity to be drafted, we are able to help, because of the experience and the connections we have developed. We can get the word out. The guys just have to be patient and keep working. That is what Scott has done.
“Over the course of the year, we didn’t have the offense we would have liked. Scott Gummo was a well known hitter in the Big 10, in the middle of our lineup. Rarely did people go right at him. He had to work hard, be patient, go to the opposite field, take what they gave him. Plus our home field is not exactly a power hitter’s park. Scott handled the situation well. We are very happy for him. He has gotten the opportunity, now, it’s up to Scotty to make an impression.”
The Renegades will visit State College for a three-game set against the Spikes on July 25-27, with all three games starting at 7:05 p.m.