Featured Athlete: Taylor Martin


Nohemi Rosales

Taylor Martin

By Sports & Health Editor

Taylor Martin, a freshman journalism major who plays center field and catcher for the Renegades, picked up a baseball at the age of two and fell in love with the sport. 

An avid follower of the Chicago Cubs and the Chicago Bears, Martin has always had a soft spot for the Windy City. Growing up in Dallas, Martin attended a high school that focused on visual and performing arts education. The school had no athletic program, which forced him to pursue athletics at a neighboring school. In the Fall 2014 semester, Martin was selected to be one of the three co-captains for the Renegades baseball team, along with Corbin Merriman and Toby Pechner. The Renegades baseball season is set to start Apr. 11 at 12 p.m. and 3 p.m. with a doubleheader against Lewis University.

The Chronicle spoke with Martin about his passion for baseball, his expectations for the season and how he started as a cinema art + science major and ended up switching to journalism. 

THE CHRONICLE: Who first inspired you to play baseball?

TAYLOR MARTIN: My dad was a baseball player in college and played for The University of Southern California. I didn’t know my dad until I was 13, so it was weird how I started playing baseball on my own. I started playing organized baseball when I was two, and if you know anything about Little League, they don’t let you play until you are five. It was kind of rough for me [because] I wanted to start, but they wouldn’t let me. And watching the [Texas] Rangers [inspired me], I went to the games every weekend. 

Who are your favorite professional baseball players? 

TM: I have three favorite players. Pudge, (Ivan Rodriguez), Ernie Banks and Mark McGwire. 

What attracted you to Columbia?

TM: I went to an arts high school. We didn’t have sports, so I had to play sports outside of my school. There was no school spirit or anything. I had to get out of the school to do sports, but I came to Columbia because I was studying film initially and I just changed my major.

Last semester was your first semester on the team. What did you think of it?

TM: It was good. I was nervous at first for some reason because I only talked to two of [the players] before I came to tryouts. I tried out, and I was one of the guys that fit in automatically with the veterans. It was a really cool feeling.  [The team] just kind of took me under their arm and at the end of fall semester I got voted in to be a captain. 

What are you looking forward to for spring baseball?

TM: Seeing if there is new talent out there and tryouts. Since I am a captain now, I don’t have to try out and I can actually scout. And just seeing if the guys have worked because I can tell if they have over break or haven’t. [Also], starting to play games because we only played two games over fall.

Why did you not want to pursue sports on a more professional level?

TM: My entire life, if anyone asked me what I wanted to do, I was going to be a professional baseball player. I’ve had a lot of struggle, going to an arts school. I went home after baseball nights and [thought] I am dropping out of my high school.  I have to go to my home school so I can play baseball, get scouted and eventually drafted. I don’t know, I guess I was a little late on the cutoff for getting drafted.

What would be your ultimate dream job?

TM: My dream job right now would probably be a sports broadcaster for ESPN, Fox Sports or CBS.

What would you like to gain out of coming to Columbia?

TM: More knowledge. Since I don’t really have any background in broadcasting or knowledge of what it’s like to do television or write about sports.