May 13 – Happy Birthday Marty Harrington

MartyI usually think of two things whenever I hear the name Marty Harrington. Love of family first and foremost. His beautiful wife Val, his four children, who he was so proud of, his adorable grandkids, his beloved parents and his tribe of siblings and in-laws, Marty absolutely cherished them all. The second association is the striped shirt. Marty Harrington didn’t just look like a perfect game official, he was a perfect basketball and football official, one of the most able and respected in this entire region.

I first met him when he was four years old and I was the kindergarten classmate and good friend of his older brother Timmy. The Harrington boys ended up going to St. Mary’s and Scully but we’d stay in touch by spending our boyhood summers together at the Guy Park Avenue School playground. We reconnected years later when I was coaching Babe Ruth baseball and was fortunate enough to have Marty’s son Kyle on my team.

Kyle was a solid ball player but that’s not why I felt so fortunate to have him on my team. He was also a class act kid, polite, respectful, a great teammate, truly a pleasure just to be associated with. After every game, when the rest of the team had hurried off with their parents, we’d be cleaning the mess the kids made in the dugout and trying to locate all our team’s bat’s, balls and helmets and we’d look up and there’d be young Kyle helping us with the pickup. Standing just a few feet away would be Marty, leaning up against the fence, watching his boy do something nice for a couple of coaches who truly appreciated the gesture. That’s the way he and Val raised their kids. And that’s why the picture I’ll always keep of Marty in my mind will be him with his arm around the shoulder of his son walking back to their car up at Shuttleworth Park.

Marty died in January of 2016 after a valiant battle with cancer. Though his time on this Earth was far too short, he did an amazing job.

One thought on “May 13 – Happy Birthday Marty Harrington

  1. Great tribute Mike ! Marty was the best as was/is the whole Harrington Clan . My first memory of Marty and Timmy goes back to playing football , baseball , basketball or Army on Tryon Street when were all kids . Those baseball games you mention at Shuttleworth I remember as well as used to Umpire that league at the time . Marty was always a class act on the field and off . He will be sorely missed .

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