Members of the Ridgewood High School Athletic Hall of Fame are those that have made a lasting impact on the school’s sports program as either student players, coaches, or supporters. Often the student players have continued to influence their chosen sports after high school by ongoing participation in athletics.
Mark Strittmayer, 2020 Inductee
Mark Arthur Strittmatter is a 1987 graduate of Ridgewood High School. He is the only known Ridgewood graduate to have played officially in professional baseballs “Major Leagues.” At RHS Mark had a standout baseball career. Known for his “rocket” arm, his agility, quickness and blocking ability “Stritt” was a natural for the catcher position. His athletic ability made him equally adept to play anywhere on the field. When not catching, he demonstrated exceptional skill and range at shortstop. Known as a line drive hitter, Mark went on to play baseball at Morris County Junior College in Randolph NJ. After two years at Morris, he transferred to Virginia Commonwealth University.
At VCU, Mark was the Rams starting catcher (1991-1992) batting .333 in 107 games. His 1992 team won the Metro Conference Championship.
Mark was a member of the first Colorado Rockies Junę draft in 1992 and was assigned to the franchise’s first minor league team in Bend, Oregon. As a member of the “Bend Rockies” he played in the first game ever for the Colorado Rockies organization on June 16, 1992. The major league team was to take the field for the organization a year later.
Mark became a fixture on the organizations depth chart as a catcher. He quickly moved up to Triple-A ball with the Colorado Spring Sky Sox, but was stalled one step under the major league level. In September of 1998 he got the call he’d always waited for bringing him up to the “Big Leagues.” Mark made his Major League debut as the starting catcher for the Colorado Rockies on 9/3/98 at County Stadium in Milwaukee. Mark spent most of his nine-year playing career in the Colorado Rockies organization, finishing with a San Diego Padres affiliate before retiring. During his time as a player, he came to Coors Field in Denver during the 1998 All-Star festivities to serve as a catcher in the National League bullpen. Mark made his first All-Star appearance at Yankee Stadium in July, 2008, serving on the National League All-Star coaching staff led by Clint Hurdle.
Mark has made a career in professional baseball, continuing as a coach at both the Major League and Minor League level. He has worked for both the Pittsburgh Pirate and Colorado Rockies organizations. Prior to joining the Pittsburgh coaching staff, Mark spent eight years (2003-2010) in the Bullpen for the Colorado Rockies. He served as the catching coach in 2008 and 2009 and is currently the teams catching coordinator. In addition, Mark has served as the hitting coach for the pitchers.
Even though Mark spent two years in Pittsburgh with the Pirates, he has worn the Rockies uniform longer than anyone in Rockies franchise history. His tenure dates to the beginning of the organization in 1992 and as Mark stated in an article written in the Denver Post, “I was there the first day with the Bend team and I have seen a lot over the years.” Mark will continue to serve in the Colorado Rockies organization as their Minor League Catching Coordinator, serving their entire Minor League system..
Mark lives in Denver with his wife Katie and also finds time to work for his youth baseball foundation.
John Marshall, Jim Bruni, Mark Romeo, Jean Hughes, Chris Van Note, Nancy Hogan, RHS Football Team 1913, Don Taylor, Rachel Grygiel, John Cerf, Paul Tornatore, Michele Marangi, RHS Boys’ Lacrosse 1990-92
Craig Halyard, Tom Flatt, Tricia Pappalardo, Mike Henderson, Kandie Latham, Leigh Jester, Tom Dusel, Roger Sweeney, Linda Zabielski, Patty Capasso, Dennis Sullivan, Nick & Dottie Capasso, Track and Field (Bain-Daley-Oliver Era)
Kitty Batterson, Henry Blauvelt, Frank L. Bradley, Jr., Lucia Cancelmo, Chris DuFlocq, Renee DuFlon, RHS Girls’ Basketball 1922-1923, Harry Grundy, Jim Jones, Joe LeMay, Jen McDermott, Shannon McGarrigle, Tony Napier, Margaret Niemann, Vince Robertiello (Jamie Roberts), Damian Ross, Mike Springer
Paul Arrigoni, Pete Campbell, Doug Cook, Becky Deetz, Otis Grendler, Jodi Hartwig, Gene Links, Debbie O’Connell, Aimee McGuire, Walt Perdue, Tom Simos, Kazbek Tambi, Jack Van Yperen, Bob Whitaker, Margaret Scutro