Fall Report: Stanford

Fall Report

As Mark Marquess heads into his 41st and final season as Stanford’s head coach, it would be only natural for him to spend some time looking back on his Hall of Fame career. But if you know Marquess, you know that his focus never really wavers from the task at hand — which is making his current baseball team the best it can be. So in that respect, his final fall at Stanford has not felt much different.

“The day-to-day part of it, the coaching and that aspect of it, is basically the same,” Marquess said. “To be honest, it gives me a chance to reflect on what’s transpired over these 40-some years. In that way it’s nice. It’s good when you talk to old friends who are still coaching and those who are retired and you talk about the game and how far it’s come. You don’t want to lose sight of what you’re doing, but you have to reflect, we are teachers. They all want to play in the big leagues, but the reality is that doesn’t happen for 98 percent of them. But the things they learn playing the game — the longer you do it, the more satisfaction you get from it. You get the players that come back and say, ‘Thanks Coach, I really learned a lot.’ You learn that, hey, I did have an effect on a lot of these young men. That’s the thing that’s satisfying. If you coach long enough, you get that feedback. In the college level, we just can’t lose sight of the teaching aspect of the game.”

Of course, winning is important too, and Marquess has done a lot of winning over the last four decades. His teams have been to 29 regionals, 10 super regionals (in the 18-year super regional era), 14 College World Series and five CWS Finals, winning two national championships. The last couple years have been leaner by Stanford standards; the Cardinal posted the worst record of the Marquess era (24-32) in 2015, then rebounded to flirt with a regional berth but ultimately fall short during a 31-23 campaign in 2016. Most of the key pieces are back from that team, and Marquess has really liked what he’s seen from his team this fall, giving him optimism that this group could send him out with a bang.


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