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Marvin's connections span generations

Friday| 2-23-24 | SPORTS

Rampant Lines class of 2023 Keller Fraley

     The ability to connect with people across generations is one that is increasingly rare in today’s world, but it was one of Marvin Jarman’s greatest qualities. 

     Marvin was a constant at any Rose sporting event and Greenville baseball game for nearly 60 years. However, Marvin was much more than a fan, he was a friend to everyone he met, and he cared deeply for anyone he was around more than a few times.

     “If you were Marvin’s friend, you were Marvin’s friend forever,” 1975 Rose graduate Macon Moye said. “If I didn’t see him for a year or two, he would ask me about my brothers, he would ask me about my kids, things you assumed he wouldn’t care about, he knew all of it.”

     Moye grew up in Greenville and played Little League Baseball before going on to play baseball at Rose.

     “Ronald [Vincent] and Marvin started picking me up when I was nine years old at my house,” Moye said. “My older brother played on the little league team that Ronald coached so I got included.”

     By the time Moye was a senior in high school, he was the starting center fielder and leader on a Rose team that won Marv’s first state championship, but that didn’t matter to Marvin.

     “He understood the guy sitting on the bench as well as he understood the superstar, that person was no more important to Marvin than the guy who never got to play,” Moye said. “Everybody was Marvin’s favorite player.”

     Marvin did not just treat every player the same, but he carried over that attitude into his day to day life.

     “I’ve never met anyone as close to the niceness and the genuineness, and the honesty that I know in Marvin,” Moye said.


Contributed Photo

     Moye would go on to play baseball for ECU, and in turn would see just how much Marvin cared about others. As Marvin attended as many Rose sporting events as he possibly could, he could not make it to many of Moye’s ECU games. However, that never stopped him from keeping track of Moye.

     “Whenever I would run into him he would know how I was playing, he followed my stats and he followed our team,” Moye said. “While he wasn’t directly involved with my baseball at East Carolina, I still was accountable to him for how I played.”

     Brian Fields, who graduated in 1993 and went on to play baseball for NC State, ECU and then in the minor leagues echoed Moye’s praise.

     “He wanted to see everyone do well, and he would talk to everybody.” Fields said. “And I think just his interest in not just athletes, but any student showed because he knew people’s families, he knew their backgrounds.”

     Fields also grew up in Greenville, and similar to Moye, Marvin has been around for as long as he can remember.

     “I just remember going to Elm Street to play big fry and small fry and him always being there,” Fields said. “You would go by him and he would always have that hand up waiting for a high five.”

     As Fields grew up seeing Marv everywhere he went, he was totally comfortable around him when he reached high school.

     Many players were amazed by Marvin’s intense memory of obscure subjects and would ask endless random questions, but Fields took advantage of Marvin’s knowledge the best he could.

     “We would often ask him questions in a joking way, but one of the things I would do was go and ask him for the scouting report for the next team I was playing,” Fields said.” Those scouting reports were always interesting, he knew who these teams were and he knew the people that played on them.”

     These questions were mostly asked for the players entertainment, but Marvin's presence and opinion always put players at ease.

     “I remember him doing pregame drills, whether it was doing the alligator back and forth or something like that,” Fields said. “It was one of those things that kinda loosens everybody up and you could have some fun with him.”

     Marvin’s calming presence was something that continued to ring true 30 years later, when Rose was in the middle of another state title run.

     “He’s an overall joy to be around, you’ll never catch him not smiling and cracking jokes,” 2021 graduate and current UNC baseball player Ryker Galaska said. “Marv would always walk over and say some sort of words of wisdom and keep my head straight when times were tough.”

     Galaska was a leader and starting catcher on that team, and Marvin was a calming force as he had known him since he started walking around Elm Street when he was just five years old. Marvin’s impact on players like Galaska is one that will live on throughout the rest of his life, similarly to Fields and Moye.

     “He’s influenced so many people’s lives and he’s gone, but what he stood for, what he was and how he was will definitely stick around,” Galaska said. “I think if we all live like him the world would probably be a better place.”

     Marvin was a man who transcended generations and he is one of few people that could truly talk and connect to anyone he met.

     “It’s such a cool thing to see all the different generations that got to know Marvin, grandfathers and fathers and sons talk about Marvin and they all talk about him in the same way,” Fields said. “He’s going to be a legend, he is a legend.”

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