Michael J. Ciampa '76
Michael holds several Austin Prep baseball records and was the best baseball player of his three-year varsity career as the starting centerfielder. Nicknamed “Mini-Mike” by classmates, his reply was that “he was not small, just short.” His coach was Richard “Dick” Scanlon in his second term as the varsity head coach. Mike spent his career playing in the Merrimack Valley Conference against large, powerhouse schools in the area. The three-year record of the varsity was 19-37. Mike earned the respect of his teammates and opponents alike, being chosen twice as a first team, All-League centerfielder, and two-time team Most Valuable Player. In his senior year, his statistics took off, as he set the school record for single season batting average (.582), pounding out 34 hits in 58 at-bats, also a school record that still stands. He scored 22 runs and stole 24 bases, both still the single season standards.
After graduation, Mike went to Westfield State where he set 13 school records in his four-year career, culminating in 1979 when he was a first team All-American with a .399 batting average. He was inducted into their Hall of Fame in the Class of 1994.
After college, he was drafted in the 24th round by the Boston Red Sox and started in centerfield in their minor league organization from the summer of 1980 (Elmira, staying to play with Winter Haven [1981 and 1982] and Class AA New Britain ) until a hamstring injury curtailed his promising professional career.
Mike was also a varsity hockey player in his senior year and was the fifth leading scorer (6 goals, 9 assists for 15 points) on a powerful team that finished in second place with a 16-1-1 league record. Mike skated left wing with center Steven Sheldon ’78 and right wing John Smith ’77. He used that skating skill to become an outstanding high school hockey referee.
His activity profile at school shows that he was a member of “The Balls.” They were two-time intramural softball fall season champions along with faculty member Arthur “Sandy” Ruggles, the assistant varsity hockey coach. Mike lives in Wilmington with his wife, Ginny, and three children, Kim, Mike and Steve.