Jackfish book Marriott
Eric Marriott wants to be a baseball lifer.
The 25-year-old Niagara Falls native has a bachelor of science degree in sports and fitness management from Mitchell College and also attended Erie Community College in Buffalo where he majored in ophthalmology, but Marriott’s attention has recently been focused solely on baseball.
“I love baseball. It’s something that will always be part of my life,” Marriott said.
The speedy outfielder played the 2019 season with the Moose Jaw Miller Express of the Western Collegiate Baseball League and was set to take over as field manager last season when the COVID pandemic wiped out the WCBL season. Marriott was hoping to manage this season in Moose Jaw, but the WCBL season has once again been cancelled.
“I wanted to grab the bull by the horns and make a career out of it so when Moose Jaw came to me with the field manager position it was something I couldn’t turn down a couple of years back,” he said.
With the WCBL season shelved, Marriott put his managerial aspirations on hold and this week signed with the Welland Jackfish of the Intercounty Baseball League.
“We would have competed for a championship, I was confident in that, but everything happens for a reason,” he said.
Jackfish president Ryan Harrison reached out to Marriott, as did manager Brian Essery.
“Back in my college days, the Jackfish had interest in me and I ended up playing out west in the WCBL,” Marriott said. “I had a few jobs offers down south but don’t really want to cross the border right now.
“I loved everything they were preaching and got things in gear. It’s a great fit.”
Marriott, a 6-foot, 195-pound outfielder, will be making his IBL debut after spending two seasons in Moose Jaw where he recorded a .359 average with nine doubles, three triples, seven home runs, and 62 RBI over 83 games played between 2018 and 2019.
“We’re very pleased to be adding Eric to our 2021 roster,” Essery said. “He will give us good defence in the outfield as well he’s as a solid contributor at the plate. We expect big things from Eric as we chase a championship in 2021.”
In 2018, Marriott was a New England Collegiate Conference (NECC) all-conference first-team selection with Mitchell, leading the conference in walks, on-base percentage and ranked among the leaders in runs, batting average, hits, runs batted in, triples, steals and home runs. In 2019 he was a NECC all-conference first-team selection, led the NECC in runs, steals, hit by pitch, and fielding percentage, and ranked among the leaders in sacrifices, walks, on-base percentage, hits and homers.
“I picked up baseball super late,” Marriott said. “I was a big hockey guy growing up. I didn’t play baseball until I was 10 or 11.”
Marriott quickly adapted to the sport, playing mainly for New Era in Buffalo before joining Team Ontario for three years from 15-18 at which time he had to hang up his skates.
“When I made Team Ontario, I had to make a tough decision. I had an opportunity in baseball to get a scholarship and get schooling paid for.”
After being idled in 2020 due to the pandemic, the IBL are hopeful of playing in 2021 with plans in place for July 1 and July 15 start dates.
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