Pitcher Perfect

(Left) Jeremy on the mound during his professional baseball days; (right) Jeremy today.

December 13, 2019

Did you know there’s a FirstEnergy employee who is a former major league baseball player? And, that he was recently inducted into his college alma mater’s Sports Hall of Fame?

Meet Jeremy Griffiths, general manager, Regional Operations Services, at The Illuminating Company (CEI)

From 1997-99, Jeremy was a three-year letter-winner on the University of Toledo Rockets baseball team. He earned first-team All-Mid-American Conference and MAC “Pitcher of the Year” honors as a junior in 1999.

During that season, Griffiths compiled an 11-4 record with a 2.50 ERA (earned run average) and set a school mark of 102 strikeouts. He additionally set the Toledo record with 11 complete games in his 15 starts, racking up 97.2 innings and throwing three shutouts. Griffiths, whose 11 wins ranks second all-time at Toledo, helped the Rockets to a 39-20 record – the most wins in school history.

After his junior season, Jeremy was drafted by the New York Mets in the 3rd round of the 1999 Major League Baseball amateur draft.

“I played with the Mets for five and a half seasons,” he said. “I was traded to the Houston Astros in 2004 and played one and a half seasons in their organization including one start with the Astros in 2005.”

As with many professional athletes, there’s always the chance of physical issues eventually entering the picture.

“I was experiencing shoulder problems which caused a performance decline, so I was released by Houston in 2005,” Jeremy said. “Also, my wife Courtney, was expecting our first son, Joe. So, we decided it was time to head back to the Cleveland area to find jobs and start raising a family.”

Jeremy was hired by CEI in May 2006 as a meter reader – which quickly led to the opportunity to attend lineworker school in July of that year. He’s worked his way into a general manager position.

The Honor of a Lifetime
In October, Jeremy was among six former student athletes inducted into the University of Toledo’s 2019 Varsity T Club Hall of Fame. The Varsity T Club is for former Toledo athletes, coaches and trainers.

“It is a great honor for me to be recognized by the University of Toledo. And, it’s important to me that my kids were able to see that I ‘used to’ be good in sports!” he said. “I was a small part of a great team where everyone worked together for success.  I am thankful they recognized my efforts, but the whole team shares in the recognition. Without the unity of that team, I couldn’t have been as successful.”

Jeremy also is very appreciative of the support he’s received from the company.

“I really want to thank FirstEnergy and the Illuminating Company leadership who attended the ceremony. This recognition is for something I did 20 years ago. For them to want to be a part of it and travel to Toledo for the event shows care for and dedication to their employees.”

Joining Jeremy (c.) at the Toledo induction ceremony are, l.-r.: sons, Joe and Sam, and wife, Courtney.

Mark Jones, CEI regional president (l.) and Mike Ressler, supervisor, Distribution System Operations, along with Mike’s wife, Denise, also were on hand for Jeremy’s recognition.