Reporting Shane Kitzman
Joe Martinson knows exactly who he is.
The Minnetonka senior pitcher doesn’t step into the batter’s box, or take to the field – his focus revolves solely around the mound.
The 18-year-old didn’t want to be anything but a Golden Gopher – and now he’ll be in the U’s bullpen in fall 2013 as a scholarship acquisition.
And the 6-foot-2-inch tall star is selfless, too – he loves volunteering with the West Metro Miracle League, helping all athletes get a taste of America’s past time.
Currently, Martinson’s Skippers (16-6) are in the midst of trying to escape the Section 2AAA tournament – and get past rival Eden Prairie – to wind up at Target Field for the state baseball tournament.
The 3.4 GPA-toting fan of AP Calculus took a moment to explain how, even as a future Gopher, he still roots fervently for the Kansas Jayhawks.
Where’s the mid-80s MPH arm come from?
I do a lot of squats actually. I max out at 400 pounds. I do a lot of leg and core exercises, and I play long toss almost every day.
Avenging last year’s section final loss to Eden Prairie is the goal
The loss was really hard, but got us chomping at the bit this year. I think the section championship is going to be us and EP this season.
I just want to (win the section and) play at Target Field more than anything in the world right now.
The U sold Martinson on 3 core values
They were always sincere about actively recruiting me. They are all about work ethic, attitude and talent in a player and I like that they look at other aspects of my game – not just the talent.
… And obviously the new field is awesome.
Gold and maroon color the family tree – but there are Jayhawks, too
My dad (Brett) went to the U, and I always grew up rooting for the Gophers. My aunt (Katie Walker) played softball for the U, too.
I’m also a die-hard Kansas basketball fan. My mom, Grandpa Bud and Grandma Carol all went to KU. So we bleed crimson and blue, and maroon and gold.
Come fall 2013, he’d love to get some playing time
I’m hoping to work really hard and find my way into some baseball games anyway I can. I’m willing to work for it.
The possible international business major relished traveling with his Legion baseball team
We took a trip to the Dominican Republic to learn about how their culture of baseball compares to ours. It was cool to see their level of passion. I have been speaking Spanish for five years, so I was the translator for all the guys. The locals loved me.
If he’s not on the diamond, he’d rather be at Gull Lake
I like being around the water in the summer – fishing, tubing, wakeboarding. I love to fish for bass because they’re the most fun to catch. But walleye are the most fun to eat.
He credits two coaches for his baseball success
Coach Paul Twenge and Jim Peck put in a great word for me with the coaches at the U.