For a lot of minor league baseball players, coping with the end of their career can be a big hurdle to overcome. However, for former Kansas City Royals top prospect Marten Gasparini, retiring from baseball was just the start of a new chapter in his athletic career.
“It wasn’t a decision that I just made in a day,” Gasparini said about retiring from his Minor League career.
Gasparini was just 16 years old when he signed his professional baseball contract with the Kansas City Royals as a free agent. He set the record for the largest bonus ever received by a European baseball player and quickly became one of the top prospects in the organization. In the first few years of his career, Marten felt like he was progressing and making a name for himself but after a few years, he felt like he hit a plateau.
Marten decided to retire in 2019, during his sixth season with the organization. While many minor league baseball players struggle with moving on, Marten knew he wanted to invest in his education. He decided to enroll in classes at Grand Canyon University and potentially try out a new sport too.
I walked into the office one day and I said I’m a center fielder, I can run, I can throw, do you have a spot for me?” Gasparini recounted. “He immediately said ‘we’re going to have you throw the javelin.”
Marten quickly learned that throwing a baseball was nothing like throwing a javelin. But it was the challenge of a new sport and a new task that kept Marten’s interest.
Taking on an entirely new sport helped Marten realize that it was the challenge and competition in sports that he missed and he could find that outside of baseball. Javelin throwing fulfills Gasparini’s desire for competition and progression, for now, but he hopes to try many new sports too.
“I don’t think it has to come to an end,” Gasparini said. “I think that you can just keep doing something up until the day you die.”
Marten hopes to also compete in sprints and jumping in the future for GCU Track & Field.