An interview with Taylormades Jason Martel!
Interview conducted on 12/26/2015
Who are you playing with in 2016?
What positions do you play and what is your best position?
I play infield positions and catcher. My best position is first base.
Who is the best softball player you have ever seen play?
There are many great players I respect out there but I would say Brian Wegman is one of the best softball players I have seen in the game
Why do you like the game of softball?
I like the game of softball because it keeps me competitive. I enjoy the competition and the comeraderie as well as making new friends on the field. I appreciate getting the opportunity to travel around the U.S playing at multiple ballparks at the highest level with great teamates trying to accomplish the same goals.
Who is the best up and coming player in softball and why?
I would say the best up and coming player in softball is a local kid in Carolina named Aaron Mills because he one of the best shortstops who has smooth hands. Also, I would say Mike Snider from Connecticut; he is a young outfielder who can run like a gazelle and hit the ball a mile. There are a lot of great young players who I hope will soon receive their chance but these two I believe are ready now.
What is your nickname in softball and how did you get it?
Most people call me by my last name, Martel, or Marty for short.
What is your height and weight?
Where do you call home?
Charlotte, North Carolina
What's your favorite way to spend an off weekend?
I enjoy riding my motorcycle on my off weekends. I also enjoy my weekends out on the lake or on the beach.
Did you play sports in High School / College / Pro?
In high school I played baseball and football.
At the collegiate level I played baseball and basketball.
How did you get your start in softball and how did you get to the upper level?
I got my start in softball when I got injured while playing baseball. Making the switch kept me competitive and eventually I fell in love with the game. I started by playing D and worked my way up until I was given my opportunity to play conference.
What was the most surprising difference between Conference play and non-Conference play when you made the jump?
The biggest difference between the two would be the approach in which pitchers take on the game. I also think the hard work that players put in on and off the field is taken at a more serious level. I feel as though the speed of the game is faster.
In your career was there a single person (player/manager/coach) who had the most significant impact on your approach to the game? Why?
Coach John Suzie, my junior college coach had the most significant impact on my approach to the game because he believed in me more than I believed in myself and he gave me the ability to have confidence in my skills.
What advice can you give a young player trying to break into the upper level?
Work hard and play the game the right way. Make sure you make the big plays in the big moments and the big hits when needed. Never take a play off, you never know who is watching.
What type of batting grip do you use and what ounce bat?
I use a 28oz with an end load
I tape my handle a very unconventional way but I use a standard batting grip to hold my bat at the plate
What do you do in the offseason to prepare for the next softball season?
In the offseason I work harder in the gym and continue to take BP and ground balls
What is your favorite sports team and your favorite sport other than softball?
My favorite sports other than softball is football and baseball. My favorite baseball team is the Boston Red Sox and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for football.
Do you have any superstitions and if so, what are they?
Yes, I always approach the batters box the same way. When I walk up to the batters box I form a pile of dirt at my feet, then with my left foot I run a line through the pile before placing my right foot. Finally, I tap my bat on my shoulder twice, now I am ready to hit.
What would be your "at bat" music selection?
Rob Bailey- Im a mother fuckin beast
Kid Cudi- Day N Night
Metalica- Enter the Sandman
What is the best improvement upper level softball could make?
I think that upper level softball could improve by giving everyone the same amount of home runs.
What is your favorite non-World tournament and why?
1. Smoky Mountain Classic
3. Duel in Orlando
What is the best softball field/complex you have played at and why?
The best complex I have played at was Myrtle Beach because all of the fields are large and turf.
Where is the best place to eat on the road after a game?
The best places to eat on the road after a game would be Outback, Hooters, and Applebee's.
What is the funniest thing you have ever seen on a softball field?
I was playing leauge ball with Johnathon Talarico when a fly ball was hit to the left centerfield gap. John was breaking from left field trying to run the ball down, yelling "Ball, ball, ball", As the ball got lost in the sun he continued to try and make the play on the ball, in mid stride, the ball hits him right in the dick. He dropped my like a sack of potatoes and screamed while everyone on the field blurted out in laughter. After seven minutes of recovery time, he was able to take a knee while the umpire was trying to push him off the field due to time restraints. Being that John John is already a funny guy, you can only image the uncontrollable laughter on the field.
What was your favorite sports related gift you have ever given or received?
My favorite sports related gift I ever received was my first bat and glove given to me by my parents when I was young. When my dad retired, he gave me his glove as well; which I still have today.