Jack 'Bugs Bunny' Marder: Battling more than a position change

Jack 'Bugs Bunny' Marder: Battling more than a position change »Play Video

"He's Bugs Bunny"

Oregon baseball head coach George Horton brings up a good analogy.

Jack "Bugs Bunny" Marder probably could play all nine positions on the field (like the famed Looney Tunes rabbit did in "Baseball Bugs"),  that is if coach allowed it.

Marder would do whatever his coach wanted, except for maybe pitching."If he asked me to pitch, I would kind of look at him weird."

Coming off a highly-successful Freshman campaign with the majority of his time spent in right field and at first base, the coaching staff asked Marder to make a big step for the team in the off-season. Behind the plate and behind the mask at catcher.

Marder said once coach asked, he was all for it.

Converting to catcher is likely the most difficult position change to make on the diamond, but Marder's development is pressed even more by an off-the-field game he manages 24-7.

Marder was diagnosed with type one diabetes in the eighth grade.

"It's only a minor inconvenience and that's how I explain it to other people," Marder said.

Jack used to be embarrassed by being the kid who packed around test needles to school but now, with the help of his insulin pump, Marder is open to dugout ribbing from his teammates.

"I will be sitting down in the dugout and testing myself in between innings and some guys will gather around me trying to guess my number." Marder added, "I will have nine pitchers line up with a cup of water, cup of Gatorade in between each inning, making sure I am staying all right."

Marder went on to say, "You wouldn't know that I had diabetes unless you were a friend of mine. The advancements they are making are unbelievable to where it's not even a big deal at all."

Taking his game to the next level is hard enough, tack on diabetes and the goal might be tougher to reach, but don't tell that to Jack or his coach.

Horton said,"If Jack can hold up to the physical challenges of the catching position and he's a good enough hitter, he'll catch in the big leagues."

Click the video tab above or below to view the full story with KVAL's Nick Krupke.