The Marion Barons were a minor professional hockey team that played in the International Hockey League for the 1953-54 season. They were the minor league farm team of the Cleveland Barons of the American Hockey League.
The Marion Barons were the brainchild of Jim Hendy, general manager of the AHL's Cleveland Barons. Although Marion had never had a hockey team before, Hendy viewed the city as potentially receptive to a team. The team was announced in April of 1953. The Barons played in the Marion Coliseum at the Marion County Fairgrounds; ice was installed particularly for the Barons. The team's president was Frank Foster, Tony Hemmerling served as its general manager, and 43-year old Ott Heller was the team's player-coach.
Training camp was held in Barrie, Ontario in September 1953. The first player signed was Ken Schultz, a former member of the Cleveland Barons. The team opened their league schedule on October 16 against the CIncinnati Mohawks, losing by a score of 7-1 in front of about 3,500 fans. By November, withthe team last in the standings, attendance had dropped to around 2,000 fans per game. Although the team went on a winning streak late in the season, taking 30 of their last 47 games, hockey never really caught on in Marion. Only 1,487 fans were present for the Barons last game, a playoff loss against Cincinnati.
The club operated through the summer as though they would return for the 1954-55 season, with several players making their off-season homes in Marion, however on August 12, 1954, the Barons announced that they would suspend operations for one year, citing unacceptable monetary losses from the venture. The team also noted that 60% of its fans came from outside of the city of Marion. Despite a promise to return, the Marion Barons never reactivated, and Marion has never iced a professional hockey time since.