Hudson loses a legend in Martin; Green makes bid to make Giants
The Hudson County sports family lost a true legend last week when long-time United Way president Bill Martin passed away at the age of 80.
Martin was very generous with his time, and his efforts to help support Hudson County athletics on all levels were endless.
So many local organizations were blessed to have Martin's generosity on their side, like United Cerebral Palsy, the Boys and Girls Clubs of Jersey City and the Hudson County Catholic Youth Organization, which Martin once headed for more than 40 years.
There were countless other groups that Martin and the United Way proudly supported over the years. He had a kind heart to all activity groups that were in need, especially those that helped youth and the handicapped.
Martin was also so very proud to have been a part of having the 1996 Olympic Torch Relay run come through Hudson County. Martin served as the chairman of the committee that picked the sports people who ran with the torch. The torch made its way to Atlanta in time for the Olympics.
Bill Martin also honored me by selecting me to serve on that committee.
"Jimmy, nobody knows as much about sports people in Hudson County than you do," Bill told me when he called me. "You have to help us."
If someone like Bill Martin wanted my help, you can be rest assured that he was going to get it. And he had that effect on a lot of people.
We painstakingly went through hundreds of applications to narrow the group down to a select few that were lucky enough to run with the torch. People like new Jersey City Recreation director Bob Hurley, Jersey City police officer John McLellan and long-time track and field coach John Knath - just to name a handful.
When I worked for the CYO about seven years ago, starting an outreach program at the Jersey City YMCA, a few people showed up for the grand opening at the center.
One of the people who took the time to attend was Bill Martin, who presented me with a fine, framed picture from the United Way, called "People Who Care." Getting that award from perhaps the person who cared the most about people in Hudson County was a downright thrill for me. I still cherish the picture as one of the finest gifts I've ever received.
For someone who dedicated his entire life to try to better the lives of thousands of children in Hudson County, Bill's generosity and kind heart will always be remembered.
Bill Martin didn't want any funeral services, so none of the people who cared for him got a chance to pay their proper respects and pay tribute to his endless generosity. I hope this serves as a fitting tribute.
Legends like Bill Martin don't come around every day. There is no way that he can be replaced. And most definitely, Bill Martin will be sorely missed...
In case you missed this: The international soccer power A.C. Milan usually gets the players that they want, but failed last week in trying to lure Eddie Abu of Potomac, Maryland, to sign a professional contract with the team for a reported $750,000.
There was one problem with the contract offer. You see, Eddie Abu is a 12-year-old kid, going into seventh grade.
Have we really stooped that low in professional sports, offering contracts to grammar school kids? I know the NBA has been plucking kids out of the high school ranks for years and baseball scouts are looking at kids ages 16 and older. But a 12-year-old? That's going way too far.
I'm a firm believer that the only way a 12-year-old should be three-quarters of a million bucks is while performing on a Las Vegas stage with his four brothers...
Reports out of Giants' camp in Albany have Jersey City's Anthony Green holding his own, as he tries to crack the Big Blue roster as a fullback.
Green, the former Lincoln High product who went on to West Virginia, has impressed Giants' coaches with his ability to block and his ability to catch passes out of the backfield. He could very well earn a spot on the Opening Day roster, considering the injuries that the Giants have already endured in the backfield during training camp...
Roshown McLeod was traded to the Boston Celtics last week. The former St. Anthony and Duke University standout spent most of last season not knowing what his status was with the Philadelphia 76ers, after being traded there by the Atlanta Hawks. McLeod barely played for the Sixers.
Now, McLeod will get a new beginning with a new team - and a coach, Jim O'Brien, who knew his talents well when he played in college. And it marks the first time that a player coached by Bob Hurley will get a chance to play for the coach's all-time favorite team...