By Mark Ambrogi
Center Grove High School senior second baseman Sam Griffith had to get his confidence back after being sidelined most of the summer baseball season.
“I had to get the trust back in myself after not being able to play,” said Griffith, who added he was able to regain some confidence during the fall.
Griffith had his appendix removed in late June 2021.
“I didn’t know what was wrong at first, I went to the emergency room,” he said. “They said they were going to have to take it out. There were complications, and surgery didn’t go as planned. I was really sick. It was really bad. I lost all my strength, and I lost 20 pounds. I was already pretty skinny. It was hard getting back.”
During the surgery, Griffith said he suffered internal bleeding and lost a lot of blood.
“I got an emergency blood transfusion on my birthday (June 24),” said Griffith, who was in the hospital for a week.
Griffith is now a blood donor and encourages others to do the same.
“There is a national blood shortage and it saved me,” Griffith said.
After he got home from the hospital, he couldn’t do much at first.
“I couldn’t lay down,” he said. “I just had to just sit up in the chair and try to eat.”
But Griffith said friends and family kept his spirits up.
“Everybody was telling me I’d be back, and it was just a bump in the road,” he said.
Griffith said he able to lift weights when the school year started.
“About a month after that, I was able to start practicing,” he said.
Through April 9, Griffith was hitting .525 with three doubles and 12 runs batted in in the first seven games of the season for the Class 4A No. 3 Trojans.
“I have a lot of confidence, it’s my senior year and playing with all my friends,” he said. “We all feed off each other and do our best every game. We have a team first approach.”
As a junior, Griffith hit .352 with six doubles, four triples and 29 runs batted in.
“Having that one year of varsity helps me know what to expect,” Griffith said.
Griffith said the team’s goal is to play in the state championship game.
“We think we can do it,” Griffith said. “We just have to keep working hard and keep focusing.”
Griffith played shortstop on the freshman team in 2019. The 2020 season was canceled because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Griffith committed to Oakland University, outside of Detroit, in July 2021.
“A couple of guys on my summer team (Baseball Academics Midwest) had played there,” he said. “The coach recruited me hard, and I had a lot of good conversations with him. He just felt like the right guy to come play for and after I visited, it sealed the deal.”
Griffith played football and basketball until he got to high school and concentrated on baseball.
“Baseball came to me more naturally and I just had a love for it,” he said. “I loved watching it on TV and go out and play it as a kid.”
THE GRIFFITH FILES
NAME: Sam Griffith
POSITION: Second base
COLLEGE PLANS: Oakland University
HOBBIES: Watching Netflix and hanging out with my friends
FAVORITE ATHLETE: Joey Votto
FAVORITE TV SHOW: “Breaking Bad”
FAVORITE BAND: The Smashing Pumpkins
FAVORITE SUBJECT: Economics
FAVORITE VACATION SPOT: Niagara Falls
PARENTS: Kris and Annmarie Griffith