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Monday, March 1, 2021

Richie Grayum really learned the game in college, then played six pro seasons; Passed in 2020

Richie Grayum built h imself a 25-game hitting streak for Mississippi State in 1989, picked up in one stretch 11 hits in 25 at bats and saw four-straight games where he hit a home run, The Jackson Clarion-Ledger wrote.

Grayum credited his success that year with his work in college, The Clarion-Ledger wrote.

"When I was in high school," Grayum told The Clarion-Ledger, "I played the game, but I didn't know the game. I've learned the game now."

Grayum learned the game enough to turn pro that June. His pro career lasted six seasons. He briefly made AAA.

He later settled in one of the cities in which he played professionally, Charlotte. Grayum lived there until his passing in 2020, at the age of 52, of colon cancer.

Grayum's career began in 1989, taken by the Cubs in the 11th round of the draft out of Mississippi State.

Grayum started with the Cubs at short-season Geneva. He hit .290 over 69 games. He then arrived at AA Charlotte for 1990. He hit .237 in 113 games there.

He told The Clarion-Ledger in May 1990 the move to AA in 1990 came unexpectedly.

"I feel lucky to be up here," Grayum told The Clarion-Ledger. "It was more of a surprise than anything else. I started working out with the Double-A team, but I thought they'd move me down a level. I hit the ball pretty well, and they decided not to move me."

Grayum played 1991 back at high-A Winston-Salem. He returned to Charlotte for 1992. He hit .243 in 116 games. He played at AA again in 1993 and 1994, at Orlando. In 1993, he also saw four games up at AAA Iowa. He went 1 for 7.

His season in 1994, at Orlando, marked the last of his career.

Settling in Charlotte, Grayum worked at a mold building business. He also went to Knights games. In 2015, he was diagnosed with Stage IV colon cancer and the team held a #Rally4Richie event at the park.

"Richie made his way down to the field. He addressed the crowd, thanked them, and spoke from the heart," Knights VP of communications Tommy Viola wrote of the event. "I then walked over and presented him with a replica jersey from his 1990 season. It was a perfect fit!"

Grayum passed away Nov. 11, 2020.

1990 Minor League Tally
Players/Coaches Featured:3,589
Made the Majors:1,244-34.7%
Never Made Majors:2,345-65.3%-X
5+ Seasons in the Majors:517
10+ Seasons in the Minors:305

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