Jameson Jarvis: He’s EMU’s First ‘Ghost’

Royals Hope To Build On Jarvis’ Legacy

By Mike Barber, Daily News-Record

EMU senior Jameson Jarvis, baseball player
Senior third baseman Jameson Jarvis (Courtesy Wayne Gehman)

His coach and teammates talk about next year, and about what Jameson Jarvis will mean as a “ghost.”

Jarvis, the lone senior on this year’s Eastern Mennonite University baseball team, isn’t thinking about his supernatural life-after-baseball. What, then, was the third baseman thinking about as he took the field for the final home game of his EMU career?

“Do what I do every day, just try to go out and play hard,” Jarvis said after the Royals were swept in a doubleheader by Southern Virginia. “Fell short, once again.”

Perhaps the best Royal tenure since that of catcher Erik Kratz is coming to a close – and with little fanfare.

Wednesday, Jarvis played his last home games in front of about 30 people.

Jarvis’ father made the drive from Culpeper. His nephew split time between cheering and running laps. His fiancee took in the game from a blanket behind the backstop, and their dog, a brown dachsund named Oscar, clad in a Jarvis jersey, barked – sometimes at key moments, other times at fans or other dogs passing by.

The games unfolded like so many others in this 9-29 season. EMU dropped the opener 6-5, stranding seven runners. In the second game, the Royals took a 3-0 lead in the fourth inning, then got outscored 10-2 over the final three innings, and lost 10-5.

But afterward, it wasn’t Jarvis’ 2-for-8 showing or his two runs scored that his teammates and coach were talking about.

‘Born Leaders’

EMU senior Jameson Jarvis, baseball player
Senior third baseman Jameson Jarvis (Courtesy Wayne Gehman)

“Some people are born leaders,” junior infielder Derek Butler said. “And I think that’s what Jarvis is.”

Said coach Mark Mace, who arrived with Jarvis three seasons ago: “Jameson’s the heart and soul of this team. He’s the leader. That kid means a lot to me. He’s a ‘yes sir, no sir’ kid. He represents our university well and I was very honored to coach him.”

That’s why Mace said Jarvis will have an impact on next year’s Royals team – and those down the line.

“Jameson’s going to be our first ghost,” Mace said. “He’ll always be with this program. When games get close later down the line, he’ll step up as a ghost and we’re going to win those games.”

In a voice soft yet forceful, Jarvis admitted he’s not sure how people will look back on his career or what impact he had on his young teammates.

“I’m not in their minds,” said Jarvis, who transferred to EMU after two years at Division II Shepherd. “I don’t know what they think of me. I’d like to think that I carried myself in a respectable manner as someone they could look up to. Hopefully, I did.”

He has a career .295 batting average, having started all 109 games he’s played in at EMU. He has 112 hits, 67 runs and 79 RBIs in that span. His 18 home runs rank 11th in school history, and if he finds a way to drive out two more in his final two games, he’d move up to a tie for 10th.

Wednesday, his leadership manifested itself vocally.

With his team trailing 5-2 midway through the fourth inning of the first game, Jarvis tried to lift some hanging heads.

“Let’s go,” he said. “Let’s start swinging the sticks.”

After the second game – one that saw EMU cough up seven runs in a painful sixth inning – Jarvis explained his approach.

“Whether you give up a seven-run inning or you don’t, I’d like to think it doesn’t affect the way I play,” he said. “Still try to get the hit, try to make the play in the field. That’s all you can do.”

Again Wednesday, like so many times in the past three seasons, his encouragement and effort weren’t enough. The Royals have a 27-85 record during Jarvis’ career.

For his part, Jarvis said he thinks Mace has the Royals going the right direction, though he said the big picture isn’t something he focuses on. He prefers the cliche of one game at a time.

“I’m a player. That’s something a coach would have to answer,” Jarvis said. “But as long as the youth stays here and stays together, I think they’ll keep building. Each year I think we’ve made minor improvements here and there. It’s not something that happens overnight.”

At EMU, it’s something that may require the help of a ghost.