The Washington Jewish Week‘s Eric Fingerhut published this profile on the Nats’ new pitcher. It’s refreshing to see such sentiments about religion on display.
Before coming to DC, Marquis pitched in Atlanta, St. Louis, and Colorado.
“They’ve invited me to synagogue to talk, invited me to synagogue on the High Holidays,” even invited him to their houses for dinner on Jewish holidays, recalls Marquis. And the first Jewish National says he’s looking forward to getting to know the D.C.-area Jewish community as well.
“I don’t shy away from that,” Marquis said in an interview Sunday at the Nationals’ annual NatsFest for fans. “I have such a demanding schedule during the season, but whenever I get a free moment where I’m able to do something, I try to do it.”
Brooklyn, N.Y., native Marquis, who signed a two-year, $15 million contract with the Nats this off season, comes from a family of Conservative Jews.
“Judaism was stressed in my household growing up” in Staten Island, N.Y., said Marquis, noting that his mother’s parents were Holocaust survivors.
A top pitcher in Little League at the time, Marquis recalls that his bar mitzvah party had a baseball theme, and “I remember studying hard and practicing hard trying to learn the words to the Torah.”
And he said that Judaism has “played an important part in what I am today.”