Marjama, who dealt with an eating disorder as a teenager, has accepted a job with the National Eating Disorders Association
Mike Marjama knows the dangers of an eating disorder all too well. As high school wrestler in Sacramento, he found himself wasting away from anorexia as he tried to cut weight during the season. It got to the point where he had to be sent to a private facility for treatment.
In his later life as a catcher in professional baseball, he talked openly about his battle with anorexia and he became a vocal spokesperson about the issue, including being the subject of a short documentary film.
Now spreading awareness about eating disorders will become his full-time job.
On Friday, Marjama informed the Mariners that he was retiring from baseball to take a position with the National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA). Marjama’s departure leaves the Mariners with 37 players on their 40-man roster.
Marjama was officially on the roster of Class AAA Tacoma at the time of his retirement. He’d been on the disabled list since June 19 because of a concussion. In 43 games with the Rainiers this season, he was hitting .247 (39 for 158) with nine doubles, two triples, five home runs and 23 RBI. He was acquired in a trade with the Rays late in the 2016 season.
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His career was a winding one. After missing all of his junior baseball season at Granite Bay High School (California) to recover and regain the 60-plus pounds of weight lost, he came back for a solid senior season. He went on to play for Sacramento City College, which was coached at the time by Andy McKay, the current Mariners director of player development. From there, Marjama moved on to Long Beach State and was eventually selected in the 23rd round of the 2011 draft and converted to catcher by the White Sox. He was traded from Chicago to the Rays and then the Mariners.
His journey culminated with making the Mariners’ opening day roster out of spring training. And with Mike Zunino injured, Marjama was the starting catcher for Felix Hernandez on opening day vs. the Cleveland Indians. He appeared in 10 of the season’s first 17 games, hitting .111 (3 for 27) with three doubles. He was optioned to Class AAA Tacoma on April 20 when Zunino came off the disabled list.