Marlins ready for more sandlot shenanigans

Semper Fi Marlins ready for the season

Marlins ready for more sandlot shenanigans

Baseball is one of Americas great sports. Regardless of whether or not you like baseball you cannot deny that it is one of the great American pastimes.

At one time I hated baseball. I personally thought it was a terribly boring sport. I thought that baseball was very basic and simple.

At the time I didn’t really think there was much of a strategy that could be implemented into baseball. Now, however, I realize there is a lot more to baseball than what meets the eye.

Now that I have grown up a little bit I have come to realize what a great sport baseball is, and how much fun going to games are, as well as playing.

As I’m typing this article I have come to a  realization that a lot of the works in The Quill are about baseball and some of those articles can be as dry as the dirt the game is played on. This article is slightly different than the rest of those, because instead of following a professional baseball team we will be looking at the Semper fi Marlins.

The Marlins display many characteristics of a true sandlot team. They are just a group of guys out on the diamond showing their true love for the game with uniforms they managed to score at a thrift store.

When Adam Doerger, Ryan Murphy, and Dan Sizemore started the team they didn’t sign the kids with the most talent, but instead they wanted the kids with the most heart; the kids who had a true love for the game.

The Marlins baseball club was started last year. The Marlins proudly call the Cheviot field house their home. When the team first started out the team had trouble finding competition and often played the same team over and over again.

The original team consisted of Ryan Murphy, Adam Doerger, Dan Sizemore, Drew Greiner, Austin Watson, Mike Onorato, Alex Sharbell, Tyler Jackson, Connor Lohmiller, and Mike Tucker.

I caught up with third baseman Mike Onorato who told me,  “We wanted to replicate a sandlot and at first it was just a practice squad then other teams started to come about and we essentially created a sandlot league.

When I signed with the Marlins on February 17th, 2017 at approximately 7:10 pm, I knew I was signing myself onto a team of hardworking kids who just want to play some ball.

When I talked to team manager Dan Sizemore he told me, “It’s tough to find teams to play, last season we only had 13 games.” On top of only playing 13 games last season the league in which the Marlins are affiliated already had a team drop out for this season.

Marlins are trying desperately to find players to form a new team to replace the team that dropped out, but so far they haven’t had much luck.

The lack of competition in the league hasn’t held the Marlins back at all this season, as we have already had two practices.

A typical Marlins practice consists of playing game situation baseball in which players must go five innings without making any errors, and when an error is made the team resets back to the first inning. Once the team completes the five innings they head back into the dugout to hydrate, talk strategy, and prepare to get back out on the field.

When the Marlins aren’t out on the field they can be seen as decent members of society. Often times giving their time and talent back to the community that loves them so dearly.

Though the Marlins are primarily made up of seniors we do have a few star juniors, those being Michael  Tucker and Mike Onorato. Both of these outstanding athletes are really able to hold their own out on the diamond.

This season the Marlins are looking to dominate the league. The Marlins managing staff made some tough cuts and also signed some new recruits.

This year’s team roster is as follows:

At first base we have Alex Sharbell. Man, I cannot express enough how much talent this kid has. Watching him out on the field gives me goosebumps. As a veteran player, Alex does a great job of leading his team and demonstrating the type of mental toughness one needs to succeed in this league. In his free time Alex can be seen taking part in many after school programs, working with kids building birds’ nests, and visiting the elderly.

Ryan Murphy is our second baseman. Ryan displays a true understanding of the sport. Always on top of the ball, Ryan is able to make any play with ease. Ryan is always eager to get to practice and play some ball. His willingness to practice shows his true love of baseball, but more importantly his true love and dedication to his team.

At shortstop we have Connor Lohmiller. It is said that shortstop is one of the most demanding positions out on the field and Lohmiller displays time and time again why he deserves that spot. The kid oozes raw talent and he is willing to take that talent and shape it into a great ballplayer. Some say that he has offers coming to him from teams like the Yankees and Dodgers, but he turns them down because he is dedicated to his team and his teammates. He’s a real standup guy. He was quoted saying, ” All I do is field ground balls and slap homeruns. Best damn team out there”


At third base we have junior Mike Onorato.

At third base we have junior Mike Onorato. I’ve had the privilege of playing out on the ice with this athlete and I have to say if his baseball skills are anything like his hockey skills then we have one hell of a third baseman. Out on the ice Mike could be seen throwing bodies. It’s that type of physical and mental toughness that makes him such a great player on this team. He’s not afraid to get hit by a ball if it means making a play. Legend has it that in South Carolina (where Mike lived for the early years of his life) he had a vision in which Alex Rodriguez came to him and said, “Mike you’ve got to know in your heart that one day you’ll do great things.” And thus it is written that ever since that day Mike has never made an error and has continued to improve on his game.

The outfield consists of a few players; usually three as most outfield squads do. In the outfield we can spot long time ball player Michael Tucker. Michael “the machine” Tucker has an innate ability to visualize what he wants to do and achieve it. His speed and amazing ability to throw a ball great distance gives him a supreme advantage over the rest of the players. Truly a stand out.

Tyler Jackson is also on the team. Tyler’s high spirits help to keep the team light hearted as well as focused during practice. Tyler is all around one of the nicest kids I’ve ever had the privilege of playing ball with. He’s quick with a joke and always ready to work with anyone on anything they may be struggling with. In the dugout Tyler brings a lot to the table. He displays a deep interest in the game and his ability to perform on the field continues to blow the competition away. “I AM ALWAYS READY TO HIT DINNGERS”

Tim Tieman, a new player who was recently signed to the Marlins, hasn’t shown up to a practice yet but that’s ok. Tim wants the people to know that he doesn’t need practice. The man is so good at baseball that he once struck out three men in eight pitches, and he plays the outfield. Tim wanted to tell the world that he’s on the team to win. He’d like to make it to a practice but he lives a very busy life working, donating his time to various organizations, and maintaining school work. Tim assured me he would be ready for the season; he’s most anxious to please the fans and give them what they truly want. “Just giving Libby and the fans what they want in the outfield, making plays and what not.”

Our starting pitcher is Adam Doerger. Adam is the starter for a reason, and that reason is we don’t have any other pitchers. It’s also because the kid has a great fastball. Adam can really throw some gas, but that’s not the only weapon in his arsenal.  As one of the main founders of the Marlins, Adam demands excellence. He is a strict but fair leader; always there to encourage his players. Even though Adam isn’t the captain or manager, much of the team has accepted him as the unwritten ruler, the master of the Marlins if you will.

We also got Mitch Gibbs in the outfield. Mitch is new to the Marlins. He shows a great deal of promise as a set of fresh legs and a clear mind. Mitch keeps his eyes on the prize, he doesn’t let outside elements fog up his ability. Gibbs is like a soft piece of clay when it comes to baseball, he is always ready to let coach Dan use his hands to sculpt and mold him into the player we need. What Gibbs lacks in baseball he makes up for with his ability to attract fans. The man is always doing his part to fill the bleachers of Cheviot with plenty of fans.

Our player/manager is Dan Sizemore. Though he may be annoying at times he’s a great manager and player. When Dan isn’t annoying his team he’s doing his best to try and match guys up where they should play. Dan is easily one of the best managers in the league. Dan’s ability to manage hasn’t gotten in his way of playing ball, and he is a huge part of this team. Dan can be described as the heart of the team. I may go as far as to say he is the heart and soul of the team, but that’s just my opinion.

Daniel McSwigan. Yes I play outfield for the Marlins. I am looking forward to a great season with some great guys.

Playing sandlot ball is a great time to hang out with friends and do things you love. One thing I’ve noticed after playing sandlot ball is I’m more interested in baseball all around.

If anyone reading this would like to join the Marlins just know that you can try, but we probably won’t sign you to the team. However, if you’d like to make your own team just get a group of guys and meet us down on the diamond. We are always looking for people to play. You can follow us on twitter and ask us for a game.

We will certainly set up a time for you to lose.