Jim Martin: A lifetime of service to the Cape League
Jim Martin, the longtime general manager of the Y-D Red Sox who stepped down during the offseason after 22 years with the Cape Cod Baseball League, is the 2014 recipient the Fred Ebbett Lifetime Achievement Award, given to an individual for outstanding contribution and dedication to the league.
Martin, who was a second baseman and shortstop during his days at Yarmouth-Dennis Regional High School, developed a love for baseball and the Cape League from a very early age. Martin's family housed Cape League players throughout the years, and he grew close to many of them.
"When I was younger it was like I had older brothers and when I was around their age it was like I was living with my friends," Martin said. "As years went on, we would receive engagement notices and wedding invitations."
Involvement in the Cape League was a family affair for Martin, whose brother, Jack, was general manager of the Red Sox before Jim took the reins in 1991. Under Jim Martin's reign, the Y-D Red Sox won the Cape League championship three times: in 2004, 2006 and 2007; captured four postseason division championships and five regular-season championships.
Over the years, Martin wore many hats: as treasurer, executive committee and budget committee member, in corporate development, overseeing construction and design of the Hall of Fame; and as GM.
One of Martin's more notable contributions was collaborating with Cape League President Judy Walden Scarafile on the creation of the Safe Transportation Project 11 years ago. This project is responsible for bringing buses to each team for travel to and from games.
But perhaps the biggest achievement by Martin, the 2012 recipient of the John Wylde General Manager of the Year Award, was helping rebuild the Y-D Red Sox franchise.
Among Martin's prized possessions? His Cape League championship rings.
When Martin took over in 1991, his goal was to improve the entire franchise, from the team itself to a new field to a new press box and bleachers. Under his regime, the team achieved tremendous success both on and off the field.
Martin used a grant from the Yawkey Foundation to help cover renovation expenses and also made a 20-year agreement with Yarmouth-Dennis Regional High School to use the field. The school also plays a large part in maintaining the field throughout the year.
Martin was responsible for the institution of Y-D Red Sox youth baseball clinics to help young athletes gain fundamental skills as well as sportsmanship. Martin's intent was to give kids the opportunity to draw on experience from the nation's top baseball top players and in turn grow and nurture a loyal fan base within the community.
In early November, Martin received a phone call informing him he had been chosen to receive the Fred Ebbett Lifetime Achievement Award.
"I have been very humbled and honored by the Hall of Fame and the community," he said. "I am very appreciative of receiving the award and for all the people who have helped me to get to this point. They deserve recognition too.
"What has amazed me the most over the 22 years with the league is all the unpaid volunteers and all the help the league has received over the years. That's what makes you want to stay each year."
This is Martin's first summer away from the league in 22 years. While he is thoroughly enjoying spending time with his family, he said he hopes to return to the league in some capacity in the future.
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Cape Cod League Stories from July 29, 2014
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