Polyfuze Welcomes Marshall Shill Back After An Incredible Baseball Season
Polyfuze Graphics Corporation is happy to have one of its amazing team members, Marshall Shill, back in the office after what can only be described as an incredible season of continuing to live his dream of playing baseball.
More specifically, Marshall is a pitcher and a very unique one at that.
In addition to his baseball hat, he wears many hats here at Polyfuze Graphics. He has helped structure our marketing department, headed up and implemented large projects such as our new online Purchasing Gateway for our customers, and is always willing to help his fellow teammates any way he can.
I sat down with him to find out how he became the pitcher he is today and about his experience this season.
Tell me about your experience playing this year! What was it like being in Canada?
Marshall: My experience playing this year was incredible, but in no way was it a normal year!
I played in the Frontier League, an MLB Partner League with a team called Equipe Quebec which means “Team” Quebec in French. It’s not the same as the Minor leagues like Single-A, Double-A or Triple-A. The Team Consisted of players who were previously big-league players all the way to guys just getting out of college.
Covid had shut the teams down last year, so we never got to play in 2020…And we almost didn’t have a team this year! In our first 60 games, we were the “away” team which meant we didn’t have the home- field advantage. The home team gets to pitch first and bat last plus having the fans behind you not booing you. We lived out of hotels every day for four months and moved everything we had every three days, off to a new city and a new game!
Where did you get to travel?
Marshall: Our Team traveled 13,000 Miles in a bus from the Midwest United States to the Upper East Coast, and into Canada. These were not the nicest of hotels because the home team picked the hotel and some of the time, they picked a bad hotel with no food within walking distance nearby. We were given some meal money but had to order in or walk to eat everywhere we went.
The struggles our team had only made us closer and gave us more drive. We even ended up making the playoffs when everyone had counted us out! When we finally made it home to Canada, we got hot and had an 11-game winning streak. No matter how much more difficult we had it vs. every other team, (for example only being given hotdogs after a game, or 8-hour bus rides), I appreciated every moment of the experience. Professional Baseball is a four to five-month all-paid for vacation where we got to wake up 11 am every day and get paid to play baseball every night… Of course, I was still waking up early as I continued to work remotely for Polyfuze. The experience was still incredible!
What is your favorite aspect of being a pitcher?
Marshall: My favorite aspect of being a pitcher is the chess match against the hitter. Throwing a pitch, the batter thinks it is coming one way, but it moves in a totally different way than was expected. Throwing a baseball is one of my favorite things to do! Being able to make a baseball move in totally different directions was always fascinating to me. I also have great memories of playing catch with my brother when I was little, and that itch had always stuck with me.
Describe what makes your pitching technique unique?
Marshall: I throw sidearm, so my pitching style is unique which makes it a pop quiz to the hitters.
They are used to seeing a baseball come from a certain angle and training hours and hours at the view, and here I come in and mess that all up. The job of a pitcher is to make the hitter uncomfortable and mess up their timing. Since I throw from a sidearm angle, the ball moves a lot more than normal. All I need is for hitters to miss the sweet spot of a barrel by a fourth of an inch causing a ground ball or pop up. I did really well this year, ending with 1.91 Era in 42.1 innings while striking out 54.
What was the highlight of your season?
Marshall: The highlight of the season was finally playing in Quebec City and in front of some of the best home-team fans in independent baseball. They are the “hockey” fans of baseball! They were so loud and brought so much energy to the games that is not typically seen in a baseball game. They were yelling the names of the opposing team players, pounding on chairs, and cheering the entire time! These were mostly sold-out games which is also very rare at baseball games. The City of Quebec was a magical place.
It is definitely my favorite city in North America so far! It is mainly a French-speaking area. The breakfast food was the best I have ever had, and one of the cleanest cities I have ever seen. The city itself has very modern and super unique architecture, but also areas with very old and well-kept buildings from the 16th century. Many of the streets were like walking down a street in Paris with a very lively atmosphere. As long as you attempted to learn and or spoke a little French, the people were very friendly and welcoming!
What has you most excited about returning to work at Polyfuze/MIGS?
Marshall: I am really excited to be back at Mold in Graphic Systems and Polyfuze to help push our Ecommerce store! It was exciting to see the progress we made while I was playing baseball and working remotely, but to see everyone’s faces and funny jokes of the day is great. I’m excited to do some training to help the customer service team learn to use Ecommerce store. But also, very excited for our customers since we are working on some excellent updates. The team at this company has a family feel, and it’s been great to be back in the office!