When ALX Community member Jake Marshall signed with the Southern Maryland Blue Crabs last spring, we were over the moon. In July, members headed to Waldorf, Maryland to support Jake as the team took on the Gastonia Honey Hunters at Regency Furniture Stadium. While the Blue Crabs lost that night, we had a blast cheering on one of our own with a side of hot dogs and beer.
Now, we are beyond thrilled to share that the Blue Crabs have clinched their first playoff run since 2017. In front of a sold-out crowd on October 10, the team won their sixth of the final seven games against the Lexington Legends to become the Atlantic League North Division Second Half Champions, which is considered the top level of independent minor league baseball.
For Jake, a catcher, getting drafted by the team this past spring was something of a second dream come true. From 2018 to 2020, he’d played for a handful of professional baseball teams in northern California, fulfilling a lifelong dream of going pro. Then the pandemic hit and the league shut down, so he returned home to northern Virginia.
Like many players in the minor leagues, Jake had a second career during the off-season. In late 2019, he founded Marshall Detail, LLC, a construction company, and built offices for ALX Community’s Waterfront location. In the spring of 2020, he became a member, working out of the space as he dove into home remodeling projects full-time.
“When the pandemic hit, I thought my career was over,” he told ALX Now last summer. “I thought it was fun, and great, but now it’s time to go build houses… I played for two years and had fun. I was at peace with it being the end.”
But it turns out that baseball, like coworking, has a lot to do with networking. One of Jake’s teammates in California, Kent Blackstone, grew up in Vienna, Virginia, although the two had never met until they played on the same team out West. They reconnected in the spring of 2021, and Kent, who was then with the Blue Crabs, invited Jake to training camp. One of the coaches happened to be there that day and, much to Jake’s surprise, brought him on as a second-string catcher. Jake proved himself quickly—also a designated hitter, he scored in the fourth inning of the sold-out home opener June 4 to end a scoreless deadlock against the Long Island Ducks. The Blue Crabs won, 7-0.
Now, the team faces the Ducks again in the next round of playoffs. If they win this round, it’s off to the Atlantic League finals on October 15.
While Jake isn’t on the playoff roster, he’s still with the team and is invited to spring training in 2022.
We wish the Blue Crabs all the best as they advance to the next round, and look forward to cheering on Jake in 2022!
- Age: 27
- Height: 5’11”
- Weight: 205 lbs
- Number: 2
- Positions: Catcher and rightfielder
- Bats: Right
- Throws: Right
- Games: 36 with the Blue Crabs
- At-bats: 69
- Hits: 18
- Batting average: .261