ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- Dick Crippen, senior advisor to the Tampa Bay Rays, announced today he will retire effective December 31, 2020 after spending over two decades with the organization.
Crippen joined the Rays in December 1999 when he was hired as executive director of community development before transitioning into his advisory role in 2005. As executive director of community development, Crippen was involved in the creation of the Rays Baseball Foundation, the Rays on the Runway fashion show and other galas. The sports broadcasting veteran also appeared on the Rays pregame show for several years and served as the in-stadium host at Rays home games. In 2005, Crippen transitioned into the role of senior advisor where he worked on various projects, including the establishment of MacDillville at Tropicana Field -- a section dedicated to personnel returning from deployment, families of deployed personnel and staff stationed at Tampa’s MacDill Air Force Base. Crippen also represented the Rays on six nonprofit boards and served on the Rays speakers’ bureau.
“The Rays are a first-class organization from top to bottom, and I was privileged to be a part of the team for 21 years,” said Crippen. “I want to thank Stu Sternberg, Brian Auld, Matt Silverman and all of the team members on and off the field for the many opportunities and experiences, including opening a season in Tokyo and two World Series appearances. All I can say is thank you and my very best wishes to the organization.”
Crippen spent more than five decades in Tampa Bay area sports broadcasting prior to his tenure with the Rays, serving as sports director for 19 years at WFLA-TV and 16 years at WTSP-TV. His award-winning broadcasting career also featured radio work on the “Q Morning Zoo” on Q105 Radio and “Mason in the Mornings” on Mix 96, as well as several years with NASCAR’s Motor Racing Network and 17 years doing the radio broadcasts for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He contributed to the Super Bowl Task Forces that helped secure Super Bowls for Tampa Bay and was present for the arrivals of Major League Baseball, the National Football League, North American Soccer League and National Hockey League in the Tampa Bay area. Crippen received the Tom McEwan Award from the NFL for his contributions to football as a non-player, and was inducted into the University of Tampa Athletics Hall of Fame in 2012.
“Dick has been a Tampa Bay sports and broadcasting legend,” said Rays President Brian Auld. “In his time with the Rays, he has done anything and everything asked of him -- promoting our community outreach efforts, keeping our fans informed, and even honing his comedic skills as a regular contributor to Raysvision. Perhaps most influentially, he has also served as a friend and mentor to so many of us within the organization. The Rays and the region are better for having had Dick Crippen in our lives. We will miss him, but wish him the very best in retirement.”
Over the last five decades, Crippen was involved in and recognized for his community service and charity throughout the Tampa Bay area, receiving awards from the All Children’s Hospital, Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater Tampa and the Suncoast, Clearwater for Youth, Chi Chi Rodriguez Foundation and more. He serves on the board of directors for multiple philanthropic and service-oriented entities, including the YMCA of Greater St Petersburg, PARC, Pinellas Education Foundation, the Salvation Army Advisory Board and CharityWorks Advisory Board. He is also a lifetime member of the board for the Suncoast Ronald McDonald House and served on the President’s Associates Board at Eckerd College. In 2012, Crippen was named Honorary Commander for the 6th Air Mobility Wing at MacDill Air Force Base.