Bob Amalia considers Tyler Marburger “one of the top players to ever play at Blackhawk and maybe the best power hitter ever.” But Marburger’s old coach remembers him as an even better person.
The former Blackhawk slugger, who set home run records for the Cougars earlier this decade, died Sunday following a struggle with intestinal ailments. He was 22. A 2006 graduate, Marburger broke Blackhawk’s single-season record with nine homers as a junior and earned the career record as a senior with 15.
“I’m crushed,” Amalia said. “He truly was a great kid; everything you’d ever want from a student-athlete. He was a tremendous student; he was a great athlete, very humble, quiet and respectful. He’s one of my all-time favorites.”
The outfielder redshirted his freshman season at Northern Iowa before illness forced him to leave the team.
“He had the best bat speed of any kid I ever had,” Amalia said.
Amalia said Marburger wrote an inspirational letter to Blackhawk’s baseball team last year while battling health issues similar to Crohn’s disease or colitis.
“My kids love him,” said Amalia, adding that his youngest daughter said a prayer every night for Marburger to get better. “I’m just devastated.”
A service will be held Thursday at 11 a.m. at the Chippewa Evangelical Free Church on 239 Braun Road in Chippewa Township. In lieu of flowers, donations will be accepted to the Blackhawk Foundation, c/o Ty Marburger Baseball Scholarship Fund, 500 Blackhawk Road, Beaver Falls, Pa. 15010.
– Chris Harlan (firstname.lastname@example.org)