This week on Stormin' the Nest with AD Hall, baseball player Jarvis Miller, a junior from Nashville, Tennessee, talks about suffering a career-changing injury in high school, and about why he enjoys being a member of the Stormy Petrels.
Hall: Who is your favorite professor here at Oglethorpe University?
Miller: Spanish with Dr. [Viviana] Plotnik. Mainly because I always wanted to learn Spanish. I thought it would be relatively easy based on what I saw on movies and everything, and it’s a lot harder than what I thought it would be. She’s been great with helping me and spending time with me, making sure I completely understand each lesson. Many of my classmates have taken it in high school. I took Chinese, and so this is a totally different transition for me, and she took the time out to help me. I’m in Spanish II right now and she is definitely my favorite professor. I chose Chinese in high school because it was a different option for me. My major is communications and I’m minoring in business. I want to do some creative advertising with my degree. You know the Doritos and Sprite ads you see out there? I want to do that. I’m okay with smaller ads too, and I want to be involved in the creativity.
Hall: Why do you enjoy being a Stormy Petrel?
Miller: Originally, I had not heard of the campus at Oglethorpe University. Many of my friends went to big schools, and I saw how they were just one small piece of the campus, where they could be one out of a hundred in class or on a campus of thousands. Getting on campus and seeing the campus here and how everyone seems to know everyone was a big plus for me. The close knit community helps, and you know mainly everyone here.
Hall: What does the term "Give ‘em The Bird" mean to you?
Miller: Give ‘em the Bird, it’s a mindset. No matter what the circumstances or the outcome, continue to press forward…to give ‘em hell, if you will. To not really worry about what’s happening in the moment or the outcome, to continue to give it all you have.
Hall: What is the most valuable life lessons you’ve learned through the sport of baseball?
Miller: I would say to be comfortable with failing, and to understand failure. Being comfortable in uncomfortable situations. Failure will happen in sports and life, but it’s all in how you come back from it. If you’re not strong-minded in sports, it can eat you up. You have to be able to bounce back.
Hall: What will you be doing after you graduate from Oglethorpe University?
Miller: I’m still kind of young and so I hope to continue to play baseball at the next level, and so I would love to have the opportunity to play a little longer. After that, I would want to work for an advertising firm in New York or California, or go back to Florida. If I’m not working for a firm, then I’d like to create my own.
Hall: What has been your most memorable sports moment?
Miller: Probably breaking my jaw my junior year of high school. I was running to third, their third baseman came way out trying to block the base, I slid head first into the bag and fractured my jaw into at least 12 fragments on the right side. I had to be airlifted to Vanderbilt University hospital, where I was in surgery for seven-and-a-half hours. That would probably be the most life-changing experience. Coming back from the injury increased my level of passion for the game, and for food. My jaw was wired shut for six weeks. I lost 18 pounds through that, and I’m just now getting back to where I was before the injury. This happened the day we got out for spring break, so I got to spend my first few days on spring break in the hospital. I ate a lot of mashed potatoes and drank a lot of Gatorade. It was tough, and so that has probably been the most memorable sports moment.
Hall: How did you first get involved in baseball? Do you remember how old you were and how it all happened?
Miller: I was 4 years old down in Tampa, Florida. My dad played football and basketball, and he felt those sports were over-saturated. He thought the longevity in baseball was better for me. Plus I wasn’t a 6-footer or taller! I played other sports growing up: football, track, basketball and baseball. I narrowed it down to baseball my sophomore year. That’s when I knew that was the way for me to go. I played shortstop before, but when you are faster than some, they push you into the outfield.
Hall: Do you have a favorite place on campus to hang out or socialize?
Miller: As a commuter, I’m here and kind of all over the place. I’m probably on campus 90 percent of the time for baseball, so I would say the baseball field is the place where I hang out. I know that sounds pretty cliché being a baseball player, but that’s where it is.
Hall: Does Coach Giordano use any clichés or words of wisdom with the team to motivate you guys that you are willing to share?
Miller: He uses a lot of cliché terms. I would have to say he uses the word "sloppy" a lot when we play that way. For the hitters, he says, “Hitters stay stacked." People might not know what that means, but he says it a lot. We know what it means.
Be sure to check back each week for a new edition of Stormin' the Nest with AD Hall. For previous installments in the series, click here.