POLY BASEBALL: Poly baseball alumni participated in the World Series.
By Peyton Varner, Staff Writer
Riverside Poly’s baseball team has a history of developing elite athletes, many who have continued on to compete at the professional level. Every baseball player’s dream is to someday play in the World Series. This year in the Fall Classic something spectacularly rare occurred: two Poly alumni and former teammates went head to head in the in the World Series. Austin Barnes took the field as the Dodgers first catcher and played every game. Jake Marisnick, center fielder for the Houston Astros, unfortunately broke his thumb before the World Series, but was still able to take part in the once in a lifetime opportunity, participating as a valuable part of the team’s journey to the World Series.
In sports, athletes look to achieve some holy grail of that sport. In baseball, the World Series is every player’s dream. In an exclusive interview, Marisnick said, “It was a surreal feeling. It is something you look forward to your whole career. A dream come true.” The Astros went on to win the World Series—the first time in franchise history. Their first championship came after a hard fought seven game series with game 5 going down as one of the most memorable World Series games ever.
Marisnick has had a very successful baseball career and continues to strive on the Houston Astros. Just like every other sport, baseball players have struggles and highlights. One of Marisnick’s struggles has been learning how to to be consistent, because once someone is the best of the best it is hard to be successful every single night, every single game. However, with every struggle there are the successes. One of Marisnick’s many highlights is spending time with his teammates and getting to travel around the country. Some favorite places have been New York, Chicago and Anaheim where he played against the Angels in front of a hometown crowd.
During his time at Poly, Marisnick had always imagined going to the Big Leagues. “I always dreamed about it but I was never looking too far ahead. I always had fun in high school [baseball]. I realized I had a chance at making it [to Major League Baseball] because I had always wanted it from the beginning and was always very competitive especially with Barnes,” Marisnick said. It was only fitting that the competitiveness of these two Poly Bears culminated in their teams facing off in the World Series. Although Marisnick has the ring, it probably won’t be the last time the two play in the World Series.
“Believe in yourself, don’t worry about what others think about you. You have to know that you have it in you and not worry about anyone else,” Marisnick reflected on the impact of high school baseball. The two boys serve as inspirations, not only to the baseball players, but to any athlete or student who has aspirations and dreams to achieve what may seem impossible. These average, everyday students achieved their dreams and now have the opportunity to do what they love every single day, making it to the top. They give hope to those who struggle, they show passion to those who need motivation. Barnes and Marisnick are role models who continue to inspire on an everyday basis.