On February 10, 2003,
NetShrine was
privileged to interview
former All-Star outfielder and
current Director of Baseball Operations
for the Northern League
Mike Marshall.

From 1983 through 1988, the Los Angeles Dodgers finished in 1st place in the National League West three times in six seasons.  Mike Marshall was a huge part of that success.  During that time, he led the Dodgers in homeruns (121), extra base hits (254), and RBI (432).  Also, at the age of 24, Mike Marshall was selected to be a member of the 1984 National League All-Star team.  None of these accomplishments were without prior evidence of good things to come.  Prior to joining the Dodgers, Marshall was both Baseball America's and The Sporting News' minor league Player of The Year (in 1981).

Since his "retirement" from the majors, Mike has spent the majority of his recent time with the Northern League.  First as a manager and now as the Director of Baseball Operations.

Independent leagues, such as the Northern League, are professional baseball in its most pristine state.  It is hardball played, at the professional competency level, by men who play the game because they love the game.  It is also the most fun that anyone could have at the ballpark, in terms of interactivity, outside of being asked to suit up and play a few innings.  In its present state, the Northern League has been in operation since 1993 and is widely considered the class of the fleet among Independent Leagues.  

NetShrine recommends that you visit the official site of the Northern League @ http://www.northernleague.com/ - and, if possible, go see a Northern League game near you this season.  You will find it entertaining and addicting.  Oh, but first, check out our interview............

When you were young, who was your favorite big league baseball player?
Mike Marshall Dick Allen. 

How often are you confused with the other Mike Marshall Is it an inconvenience?
Mike Marshall [It happens] a lot.  I am used to it.

Describe what is it like to be the Director of Baseball Operations for the Northern League.
Mike Marshall Fun working with all the teams.

Having managed in the Northern League, what would you say is the best part and the biggest challenge of that job?
Mike Marshall Being on the field with pros. Working with college kids is a challenge.

If asked "What's a Northern League game like?" - how would you answer?
Mike Marshall It has a lot to do with pitching and between inning festivities.

When you played, who was your favorite teammate and why?
Mike Marshall Steve Sax, we came up through the minors together. Kirk Gibson, I liked his approach to the game. And, Bill Russell, a vet who took me under his wing.

Which baseball movie do you enjoy best?
Mike Marshall:  The Natural.

FILL IN THE BLANK: "I'll never forget where I was when ________________ happened."
Mike Marshall Kirk Gibson hit his homerun in '88 World Series.

Where's your favorite ballpark?
Mike Marshall Fenway and Dodger Stadium.

Intermission Lightning Round:

Bottles or Cans?
Marshall:  Bottles.
DH or no DH?
Marshall:  No DH.
Snow or Sand?
Marshall:  Sand.
Night game or day game?
Marshall:  Night game.
Fiction or Reality?
Marshall:  Reality.
Box seats or bleachers?
Marshall:  Box seats.

Back to the bigger questions......

Describe the feeling you had when you found out you made the N.L. All-Star team.
Mike Marshall I had just lined out with a guy on third, down by a run, to end a game, when I found out.  So, I was in a bad mood.

Who is the best player in the Major Leagues today?
Mike Marshall A-Rod.

If Jackie Chan was a baseball player, what position would he had played?
Mike Marshall Second base.

Today, how do you look back at your first Major League AB*? 
Mike Marshall I was numb.

If you could change one thing in baseball, what would it be?
Mike Marshall Take away artificial turf.

In the long run, was winning the both the Baseball America and The Sporting News minor league Player of The Year Awards (in 1981) a good or bad thing for your career?
Mike Marshall Both. Sometimes expectations bring pressure.

Which experience was more emotional - losing the NLCS in 1985 or winning the World Series in 1988 - and why?
Mike Marshall Winning the World Series. 1985 was a learning experience; and, 1988 does not happen without 1985.

Describe what it was like to play in Japan.
Mike MarshallI liked Tokyo; but, the baseball was very different.

Playing the game, you experienced an unfair amount of injuries.  Knowing that, would you do it all again?
Mike Marshall:  Yes.

Having been traded, is it better to happen in the off-season or during the season?
Mike Marshall:  Both are bad.

That's it.  Once again, our thanks to Mr. Marshall for granting NetShrine this interview!

* Mike Marshall hit what should have been a home run in his first major league at-bat in 1981. The umpires blew the call and ruled it a double.

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