Grandlawn's Martin ends 13-year career
Nearly all baseball players start at the tee ball level.
While many players sign up with their local team each year, very few stick with their local program for their entire youth baseball career.
Some move on to other sports. Some move on to other areas. Some go on to play for scholastic teams.
Tyler Martin signed up for Grandlawn's tee ball program 13 years ago when he was five years old. Last month he played his final Grandlawn baseball game.
"I've been fortunate enough to be surrounded by great teammates my whole career," said Martin. "We spent a lot of time together. Between practicing every day, double headers, going out to eat after games and even going to the same school, we were always around each other. My teammates were my family. Some of my best memories are of being on the diamond with those guys. We were always cracking jokes with each other and whatnot, but we also pushed each other to get better."
Martin, an 18-year old who graduated from Parkland in spring, will head to Penn State this fall.
As a youngster, Martin played football and basketball, too. Eventually he decided to quit football so he could play fall baseball.
He played a few years in travel baseball, including a year each at the knee-hi, junior legion and Connie Mack levels, and two years on North Parkland's Lehigh Valley Legion team.
He doubled rostered at Grandlawn while playing those seasons of travel baseball.
Martin spent baseball seasons with his father, Dave, who helped coach most of Tyler's teams over the years.
"He knows a lot about the game, and definitely laid the foundation for the player I would ultimately become," Tyler said. "He always expected a lot out of me. All in all, I enjoyed playing for him. It made for a unique experience and helped build a good relationship off the field as well."
Tyler has also been a Grandlawn baseball coach for the past three season.
He'll always remembered the camaraderie he enjoyed with his teammates at every level.
His greatest memory is from a legion game at Limeport. He was called on to catch after the starter was ejected for arguing pitches. The crowd was livid after the ejection. The North Parkland pitcher was throwing hard. When Martin crouched behind the plate, he felt as if all eyes were on him.
"I remember being nervous to catch our pitcher because his fastball would touch the low 90s," Tyler Martin said. "After about four pitches my hand went numb just from the velocity on his pitches. I ultimately had a good defensive game, but I will always remember the pure energy in that place. I specifically remember my adrenaline being so high that I couldn't even fall asleep that night.
"I'll remember that night as long as I live."