Name: Mark Delano Little
School: Aurora High School
Hobbies and Interests: Baseball, chess, random trivia
Appearance: Mark Little is everything his name implies he isn't. At 6'4", 215 lbs, he towers over the average student, and his already muscular frame is still filling out. His barrel-chested torso branches out into four longish limbs that are built like small tree trunks unto themselves, and a similarly long, thick neck. He carries himself incredibly well; his posture makes him seem even taller than "merely" six foot four. His always clean-shaven face is well-tanned, making his sharp blue eyes stand out even more than they otherwise might. He sports a nearly perpetual, friendly smile, set between a strong, square jawline and a straight, narrow nose, the whole ensemble topped off with a mop of short, messy blond hair. His wardrobe is simple, favoring comfort over style, sticking almost exclusively to t-shirts and jeans when not on the field of play.
Biography: Born March 15, 1994, in Walla Walla, Washington, and having lived in Seattle since age seven, Mark Little has never had to want for much of anything. He is the lone son of a pair of professional athletes, his mother, Melissa, having spent nine years as a point guard in the WNBA, while his father, Aaron, was a situational lefthander for three teams between 1996 and 2001, including the Mariners, for whom he had a career year in 2000. His lifelong dream has been to follow in their footsteps, something he's been given every opportunity to do. As such, all his life, his destiny has seemingly been laid out before him. Every year since he was old enough to swing a bat, he's been playing baseball in some form, from tee-ball to Aurora High's varsity team, quickly developing into one of the best catchers in his age group, if not the best, year after year. Even in little league, his skill at blocking the plate earned him nicknames like "The Great Wall of Walla Walla" and "The Immovable Object" over the years.
His home life has always been happy, if not always consistent; his parents love him unconditionally and do their best to show it when their jobs allowed them to be around. He was usually raised by babysitters in his early years, until his mother retired from basketball with an elbow injury and entered work in insurance when he was seven. His father never really left the sport, bouncing between minor and independent league teams until 2005 in the hopes of making it back to the show, which he eventually did, albeit in the front office rather than on the field. For all this, Mark came out fairly well-adjusted, and has never shown anything but admiration for his parents, even when things weren't as stable as they are now.
Baseball is in his blood, and he's grown up around the sport all his life. In addition to his father, his grandfather, Steven Little, was a journeyman catcher for parts of fourteen seasons in the sixties and seventies, and was notable for being one of just two men to play for both of Seattle's Major League ballclubs. Both men still work for the team as scouts, a fact that, in addition to his impressive athletic ability, has placed him on the organization's radar for some time leading up to the 2012 amateur draft. Between his talent, the value placed on his position, and his signability, he's generally expected to go to the Mariners with the third overall pick come June.
Despite the apparent pressure such a pedigree could reasonably expect to bring, Mark manages to take it in stride, not letting it go to his head. He's well aware of how fortunate he is, both to have chanced on his natural talent and opportunities to do what he loves, but he stays humble about it, and isn't content to simply rest on his laurels, believing firmly that he can always do better. As such, his work ethic is the stuff of legends; he can be found in the gym, on the field, or in the weight room almost as frequently as anywhere else combined. Success on the field is his primary motivation in life, almost, but not quite, to the detriment of having a personal life.
Mark is, after all, a person as well as a ballplayer, even if he tends to view himself as the latter first and the former second. Underneath the seemingly imposing jock, he's nothing if not friendly and outgoing, getting along easily with nearly anyone who will approach him. A perpetual optimist, he doesn't tend to see things in shades of gray, instead always looking for the good in others, and it takes almost an active effort to get on his bad side. The phrase "gentle giant" seems to fit him quite well. He doesn't quite conform to the dumb jock stereotype, but with only average grades and a naive outlook on life, he's easy to write off as such before getting to know him. In fact, he has a mind like a steel trap, he simply tends toward using it less for academic purposes than for memorizing scouting reports and assorted facts about nothing in particular, the latter of which he tends to spout off to fill in awkward silences or start conversations. He's also taken to studying chess theory in recent years, operating under the belief that since baseball is a thinking man's sport, it benefits him to flex his mental muscles just as it does his physical ones.
His focus on success in his athletic pursuits hasn't really helped his academics, but neither has it hurt them. His focus on his mental development and the distraction from his studies that baseball poses effectively cancel each other out. On the field, he takes on a leadership role, as catchers tend to do, which translates to a rather personable character off it. His family's local celebrity status can make him intimidating to approach, but his attitude makes this fact easy to forget, and he makes friends easily, not particularly discriminating between one clique and the next, though he tends to gravitate toward the "popular" crowd, and he manages his time just well enough not to alienate others for the sake of his sport.
Advantages: When it comes to physical advantages, Mark is the total package. He's tall, with good reach, and his near-spartan training regimen gives him the edge over nearly any student in Aurora in strength and durability. Being able to absorb a full-body hit from an oncoming baserunner and shrug it off is the reality of his position on the field, and he's built accordingly.
Disadvantages: Mentally, he could not be less prepared for something like Survival of the Fittest. His naivete, optimism, and inexperience with things not simply going his way all but neutralize him as a significant threat. His size makes him an easy target to hit, largely negating the advantage offered by his durability, and his intelligence is not the sort that would serve a purpose anywhere but on the baseball field or Jeopardy.
Mark's profile looks pretty great, but he's DENIED pending a bit of editing.
Basically, I just want more detail. What sport was his mom into? How does he balance his sports with school (as in, does it ever get in the way beyond not being his focus)? Is he on the Aurora High team? Who are his friends? How does his position affect his relationships with others? How well does he get along with his family? Has he ever had any periods where things were different for him than they are now? What was his life like growing up?
Basically, I've got an excellent picture of Mark on the field and as he relates to his chosen sport, but I want more of the rest of him, even if he views it as less important.
Post when you've got Mark edited and we'll give him another look. Thanks!