My favorite sports memory/moment/event is…. watching Yankees legend, Jim Leyritz, hit the game-tying home run in Game 4 of the 1996 World Series to tie the game 6-6 in the 8th inning. The Yankees then went on to score 2 runs in the top of the 10th inning and held on to win that game, and then the next two to become World Series champions. This was the first World Series that I got to watch the Yankees win and I did so with all my Rutgers baseball teammates.
Coach Saitta hails from Marlboro, NJ where he was a 2-year varsity starting shortstop during his Junior and Senior seasons at Marlboro High School. Rich was an integral part of a 1992 Shore Conference championship team that finished with a 20-8 record and 3rd in New Jersey. During his 1993 senior season, Rich earned first team All-Shore and 3rd team Star Ledger All-State honors. Rich went on to pursue his scholastic and athletic career at Rutgers University where he had the honor to play for legendary Coach Fred Hill and the Scarlet Knights. As a freshman, Rich was named to the Freshman All-American team and by his Junior year, Rich was named to the All Big East team as a second baseman.
In 1996, Rich was selected by the Los Angeles Dodgers in the MLB draft. Over his 5-year professional career, Rich progressed through the Dodgers organization from Rookie Ball to Triple A, amassing over 1600 plate appearances with a career .276 batting average. As a full-time utility player, Rich also had the privilege to learn and play all positions while achieving a .960 fielding % with over 950 total chances throughout that time.
After his playing career ended, Rich accepted a teaching role and the Freshman Baseball Coaching position at his Alma Mater at Marlboro High School, where he discovered his passion for passing along his love and expertise of the game of baseball. After a career change that led him to Wall Street in 2002, Rich volunteered all his spare time to coaching little league, and independent travel baseball clubs over the next 10 years. In 2016, Rich created the Central Jersey Young Guns who have become a perennial name in Youth Baseball. Over the past 3 seasons, the Young Guns have earned Perfect Game and National Youth Baseball Championship state, regional, and national recognition at the current 11u age group.
Rich lives in Freehold, NJ with his wife and two kids, Gianna and Jace.