We may finally be under the 100 day plateau for Stanford Cardinal football and with the run the team has been on for the better part of the decade, you’d think it couldn’t come soon enough but for the next month and a half, let’s turn our focus from the gridiron to the diamond. Stanford University has had many icons both on and off the field, court, etc. but there is one man who is wrapping up his iconic career (LIFE) at Stanford and that is baseball coach Mark Marquess. Marquess is retiring at the end of this season and going into the final stretch, Stanford has put themselves in a pretty good spot to send Marquess out on top.
Stanford enters tonight’s 3-game home stand against Washington with a lot of mixed emotions. Stanford knows this is the last 3 regular season home games where Marquess will be the head coach. This weekend is about him whether the humble sonofagun wants to believe it or not. He is even having a bobblehead day on Saturday. The players want to give him a great sendoff but realize this won’t be his “final sendoff” as Stanford will host a regional. That is a fact. Stanford also doesn’t want to get caught looking ahead as Washington shutout Arizona State last weekend in their 2 victories. It might be a best-case scenario for Stanford however that this isn’t their final 3 regular season games as they will travel to Pullman next weekend to get their minds right for postseason play and not worry about Marquess retiring.
Stanford comes into their final 6 games at 34-14. Winning out would equate to a 40-win season, something Marquess has accomplished 20 times in his great career. Stanford hasn’t accomplished 40 wins since 2012 and it would be great to see Marquess start and end his career with 40 wins in a 40-year span. Stanford is also a unanimous top-15 team in the country so they are guaranteed to host a regional and with a little luck, can possibly move up and garner a top-8 national seed. This will be the 30th time Marquess has led Stanford to the postseason and hopefully, the 15th time to Omaha and a 3rdNational Championship.
This will not be the final time I personally speak about Coach Marquess but I will never forget something he told me 17 years ago. I was 10 years old and had recently broken my leg. Stanford was playing Cal and even at a young age, I despised them. It was a back and forth affair and then, a foul ball came right for me. I couldn’t really go anywhere and didn’t have my glove that day but I took my hat off and caught the ball. This was before everyone had their phones and cameras out so it is only based on memory now but the round of applause I got was as if I was playing on the field. Stanford would go on to hit a walkoff and I went down to get autographs right after. Coach Marquess stopped me before I could get to the players and said “That was a great catch out there, I hope you save some of those for when you are playing for me.” I said absolutely and he said “just make sure you keep your grades up because that is how you play for me.” Coach Marquess was a Stanford man out of high school, he was a Stanford man 17 years ago, and he will still be a Stanford man when this season ends whether it’s in defeat or being carried off into the sunset.