Bradenton celebrity, Marty the Marauder, seems to show up everywhere! You’ve probably seen him at community events, strolling the Public Market, and of course at LECOM Park. But Marty maintains a cool distance from the press, and humbly declines to share his life story. This season, Realize Bradenton dug into find out more. Through interviews with Marty’s close friends, we have put together this exclusive about Marty’s background and daily life.
How Marty arrived in Bradenton:
At the tender age of 14, Marty became a deckhand aboard “The Filthy Squid” a famous Marauder ship known for treasure seeking. He travelled aboard the ship for 18 years, but he realized as years went by, that he just wasn’t cut out for the looting lifestyle. So, in 2010, when the ship pulled into the shallow waters just off of Bradenton Beach, he took the opportunity to change his life and abandoned “The Filthy Squid.” Once on land, Marty began hearing about a team of Pirates playing baseball. Eager to find out more, he found his way to the ballpark. As he approached, he smelled the hotdogs, popcorn and cotton candy, and heard the cheering fans. It felt like home! The management of the Pirates team took a liking to Marty, who started hanging out at the games. They swept him up, and invited him to join the ranks, as a perfect addition to their new team: The Bradenton Marauders. Twelve years, later, Marty still spends most of his days at LECOM Park.
A Day in the Ballpark with Marty Marauder:
Marty’s schedule is jam packed. On game days, he arrives at the park early. He suits up and jumps into his pre-game routine which varies from participating in ceremonies, to photo ops with groups being recognized at the game that day, to catching the first pitch! When a child yells out “Play ball” to get each game started, Marty is right there with them. During the games, he loves connecting with the team’s fans, taking photos, and making memories.
None of the ballpark games, especially the ketchup-mustard-hot dog races, would be the same without Marty’s antics. But what Marty loves most is dancing! Over the past twelve years, Marty has become a professional 7th inning stretch dancer. Watch for him next time you go to the ballpark, doing a jig on the Marauders dug out!
What fans don’t have the chance to see are the “behind the scenes” connections Marty makes. He is a mascot who delights not only the fans, but the players and the staff as well. The Marauders are a single-A team, which means that for many of the players, LECOM Park is their first experience in a big stadium with lights, music and yes, a mascot! Marty loves introducing young players and new staff members to the world of professional baseball.
Some of Marty’s favorite times at the ballpark are the Marauder’s theme nights when he gets to wear costumes and celebrate! He loves first responder’s nights, military appreciation nights, pride nights and all kinds of events celebrating our community’s diversity. This summer, he especially looks forward to the team’s Nine Devil celebration on July 29th, when the players, staff, and fans will celebrate the history of baseball’s Negro Leagues, and Bradenton’s famous and winning Nine Devils team.
Marty shines as the most loyal of mascots. He loves to see the Marauders win. When his team loses, friends say it can affect his mood. But win or lose, he remains a great sport, and devoted to the team. And when the ninth inning ends, and he has said his goodbyes to the fans, players and staff, he relishes moments to cool down with a cold Gatorade and put his feet up. When the team is on the road, Marty follows the games to see how his team is doing, and root them on from home.
A Day Outside of the Ballpark with Marty the Marauder:
Even when he’s not at the ballpark, getting his steps in by running the bases, Marty is a community celebrity. He loves supporting the team’s non-profit community partners, and keeps in shape by joining 5K races, ceremonies, ribbon cuttings, and of course he loves to wander through the Downtown Bradenton Public Market.
Many of you have been inquiring about Marty’s recreational life, and what he does to recharge his batteries. Of course, Marty has spent his life on the sea, and he loves the Gulf of Mexico. He travels by boat, takes Caribbean vacations and spends time at the beach, remembering his roots, and considering how lucky he was to wash up on the shores of Bradenton Beach all those years ago. So next time you’re at the beach, keep your eyes open, and watch for Marty the Marauder enjoying a well-deserved, relaxing day off!