Islander known for his commitment to youth baseball died Sunday

Jim Martin was known as
Jim Martin was known as 'Old Man' by those involved in youth baseball on Vashon.
— image credit: Leslie Brown/Staff Photo

Jim Martin, a beloved Islander known for his unflagging support of youth baseball and his commitment to Island teens, died in his sleep Sunday, just days after turning 82.

Martin, who with his wife Anne moved to Vashon in 1985, was also the honory mayor of Vashon town three years ago.

Martin played baseball through college, captaining the University of Montana baseball team his senior year. In 1990, after retiring from his position as a wood products salesman, he poured his considerable energy and enthusiasm into youth baseball on Vashon, umpiring as many as 126 games a season at his peak. He also served as the assistant coach of the high school baseball team for a decade or so, his family says.

“His passion was the high school age person making their way into adulthood, and he did everything he could for anyone he felt was working hard,” his son, Islander Greg Martin, said. "He dispensed advice freely, especially when he felt it was needed."

Chris Ott, in an e-mail to The Beachcomber, described him as the "heart of youth baseball" on Vashon.

"The players called him 'Old Man,' and every player had his or her growling, snarling interpretation of him. He was a true Pirate, and loved every minute of mockery," Ott wrote.

His wife Anne died in August. He's survived by his five children and nine grandchildren.

Islanders are asked to sign the guest book for Martin at

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