Feb. 15, 2016
In celebration of Black History Month, RamblinWreck.com will highlight several African-American athletes that left their mark on Georgia Tech Athletics. Be sure to catch our first two profiles on Kisha Ford-Torres (women’s basketball) and John Salley (men’s basketball).
By Chris Yandle | Communications & Public Relations
Ty Griffin, who is one of the best baseball players to don the white and gold for Georgia Tech, enjoyed one of the best individual years in Tech history in 1988.
As a junior in 1988, Griffin hit .345 with 14 home runs, 68 RBI and 38 stolen bases to lead the Yellow Jackets to an ACC title. He was a finalist for the Golden Spikes Award, which goes to the nation’s most outstanding amateur player.
In addition to first-team All-ACC and ACC Tournament MVP honors in 1988, he was also a first-team All-America selection by Sporting News, a second-team pick by ABCA, and a third-team pick by Baseball America.
He finished his Georgia Tech career as a .332 hitter with 22 home runs, 131 RBI, 127 stolen bases, 220 runs scored and 255 hits in 194 games. He was later selected to the Georgia Tech Sports Hall of Fame in 1994.
Griffin was the 1988 Georgia Sports Hall of Fame Athlete of the Year and would add two more honors to his name in 1988 – first-round draft pick and gold medal winner.
He became only the second GT player to be selected in the first round of the Major League Baseball Draft that year, going ninth overall to the Chicago Cubs.
Griffin was an integral part of the United States baseball team that won gold at the 1988 Summer Olympics in Seoul. Griffin was joined by the likes of Jim Abbott, Mike Fiore, Tino Martinez, Ben McDonald, Mickey Morandini, Charles Nagy, Scott Servais, Ed Sprague and Robin Ventura.
The lightning-quick second baseman made his professional debut in 1989 with the Peoria Chiefs of the Class-A Midwest League; he was later promoted to the Charlotte Knights of the Class-AA Southern League that same year.
Class-AA would be as high as Griffin would go. He traded to the Cincinnati Reds after the 1991 season and was assigned to the Chattanooga Lookouts of the Class-AA Southern League in 1992. The Red released him after the season and he spent 1993 and 1994 playing independent baseball. He signed with the St. Louis Cardinals in 1995 and played for the Arkansas Travelers of the Texas League. He returned to independent baseball in 1996 and 1997, ultimately retiring after a stint with the Grand Forks Varmints.
After his professional career ended, Griffin returned to Tampa, Fla., where he enrolled at the University of South Florida. He graduated from USF in 1999 with a bachelor’s degree in finance (he studied industrial engineering while at Tech).
Griffin remains in Tampa, where he is currently the boys’ baseball coach and assistant dean at Tampa Catholic High School.