In a season where Justin Marra suffered a devasting personal loss, the Toronto Maple Leafs catcher/infielder courageously battled through the adversity on the baseball field.

Even after the death of his father, Lou, in early July, Marra continued to be a force with a bat and those efforts were recognized Sept. 12 when he was named the Intercounty Baseball League’s Most Valuable Player for 2018.

The power hitter received 28 first-place votes, well ahead of Barrie Baycats third baseman Kevin Atkinson who finished second with 17 votes.

In his third season with the club, the former Chicago Cubs prospect slashed .353/.453/.690/1.143 batting at the top of the Leafs order. He added a team-leading 10 home runs and 31 RBI and placed in the top five in several of the league’s offensive categories.

Marra, who was also named an IBL First-Team All-Star, wasn’t the only Toronto player to win a league award. Rookie outfielder Garret Takamatsu was named the IBL Rookie of the Year.

This marks the second-straight season a  Leafs player has bagged the award, with outfielder Zac Orchard taking the honours last season.

Takamatsu was a force at the plate, slashing .320/.391.437/.828 with one home run and 17 RBI. His nine doubles tied Marra for the team lead.

The former Ontario Blue Jays player finished with 22 votes, two more than Brantford Red Sox rookie third baseman David Mendham.

Marra’s brother, Dan, was also recognized by the IBL with the second baseman being named a Second Team All-Star. Dan finished with a .364 batting average, hit three doubles and drove in 10 runs while stealing nine bases.

Barrie led the league with five all-stars.

 

FIRST TEAM ALL-STARS

C: Justin Marra, Toronto

1B: Jordan Castaldo, Barrie

2B: Kevin Atkinson, Barrie

SS: Yorbis Borroto, Kitchener

3B: David Mendham, Brantford

OF: Justin Gideon, Burlington

OF: Ryan Spataro, Barrie

OF: Vaughn Bryan, Burlington

DH: Sean Reilly, Guelph

RHP: Emills Guerrero, Barrie

LHP: Frank Garces, Barrie

MGR: Dean Castelli, Hamilton

 

 

 

SECOND TEAM ALL-STARS

C: Mike Gordner, Kitchener

1B: Grant Arnold, Hamilton

2B: Dan Marra, Toronto

SS- Chris Beer, Hamilton

3B: Colin Gordner, Kitchener

OF: Tanner Nivins, Kitchener

OF: RJ Fuhr, London

OF: Josh Garton, Guelph

RHP: Yunior Yambatis, Guelph, Starlin Peralta, London

LHP: Chris Lazar, Hamilton

MGR: Dave teBoekhorst, Guelph

 

PHOTO: Toronto Maple Leafs catcher Justin Marra was named the 2018 Intercounty Baseball League Most Valuable Player on Sept. 12th. The Leafs slugger finished with 28 votes, well ahead of the 17 votes collected by runnerup Kevin Atkinson of the Barrie Baycats. ERIN RILEY PHOTO

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