Grant Martin is a member of the Belmont Athletic Hall of Fame and played baseball for Belmont from 1997-2000. Upon graduation, Martin held Belmont records for career leader in hits, doubles and at-bats, while also holding the single-season standards in hits and doubles. He also helped the Bruins post four consecutive winning seasons and played an intergral role as the program transitioned from NAIA to NCAA Division I.
Grant recently spoke to BelmontBruins.com about how his four years at Belmont shaped him as well his present life as a husband and father here in Nashville.
Why did you choose Belmont?
They were clearly the most interested school in helping me pursue a college baseball career. Plus, we had several family friends who worked there that I trusted.
What is your fondest athletic memory at Belmont?
Largely due to Coach Jarvis’ philosophy about focusing on the process rather than results, I actually did approach most every game the same, so that makes it more difficult for them to stick out individually. The primary ‘athletic’ memory I have is simply being a part of the team. On and off the field, from the time I set foot on campus as a freshman, the baseball team and all of its supporters became family. I feel that way even now.
Who had the biggest influence on you during your athletic career at Belmont?
My wife, then girlfriend/fiancé, but at Belmont, Dave and Martha Whitten get the majority of the credit. Dave Whitten called me up to college baseball and Martha Whitten ‘WUZ’ and is one of the most supportive, precious human beings in history. However, they had help too from the people who referred me to Belmont in the first place. That same family and community kept me aware that I am always accountable for my actions for more people than just myself. Then Dave Jarvis came in and totally prepared me for the Division I transition, mentally and mechanically. So it’s hard to give a single prize.
What is the most valuable thing you gained or learned from your time at Belmont?
A humble awareness of the grace and mercy of God. I did not fully appreciate it while at Belmont. But to see His grace and mercy carry me through that time, is a book by itself. Opening my eyes to see how that path to that school had been paved before I was born, to having people come into my life to protect, prepare, preserve, and provide for me. My reflection on my time at Belmont consistently brings a crushing humility and gratitude for His grace and mercy.
What advice would you give to current members of the baseball team?
Find who Jesus really is and who He is to you. Not just who somebody else tells you He is or shows you who they think He is. Then, find out how that relationship is relevant to you in the wisdom, knowledge, and relationships in church. Find out how that relationship is relevant to you in the classroom. Find out how that relationship is relevant to you on baseball field. Then don’t blink, and don’t waste time with anything else. Be present and hyper-focused on what you’re there to do. Of course baseball. But crush it in the classroom, weight room, and cafeteria too. Then go to bed!
Who was your favorite professor and why?
That’s certainly a loaded question. I will give a tie for first to Lori LeBleu and John Gonas. They were graciously understanding of my athletic schedule, but they also just related to me very well personally. I guess they had a future vision of me that didn’t wear a baseball hat everywhere I went. They were both very passionate about the curriculum and subject matter, and had a way to answer what that meant to me as a Business major. But SO many other business professors were influential as well.
Where do you live now?
Who is your employer?
I have two employers. I have been in the mortgage business since 2001, and have now worked for American Mortgage Service Co. for almost 4 years. We secure financing for residential and commercial real estate.
I also developed and run an athletic training program called 99 Mental. It is a series of audio tracks and curriculum that helps parents and coaches connect with their athletes, as well as helps the athletes prepare for their sport by providing specific and general perspective.
Tell us about your family.
I’ve been married to my beautiful wife, and fellow Belmont Alum for 15 years. We have an 11-year-old daughter who acts, sings, writes songs, plays music, and draws. She is stunningly talented artistically. She’d be a good athlete too, but doesn’t like to keep score.
We have a 9-year-old son. He is better at math than I am, despite 15 years in finance. His lefty swing is better mechanically than mine ever was and he has better hair. Other than playing sports, his favorite past time with me is watching the Bible series or History shows on Netflix.
Then we have a 2-year-old, lefty, with red, perfectly combed-over hair. He is definitely a prospect…
My dad, the driver behind my left-handed swing and sometimes obsessive competitiveness, lives in Brentwood also. He is now retired and enjoying a busy social schedule of ballgames and plays with his granddaughter and five grandsons. He is the best Big Pop ever.