June 16 – Amsterdam Birthday Bits

jamesMartin222The Electric City’s loss was the Rug City’s gain when 18-year-old James Martin (born June 16, 1930) and his family moved into a house on Amsterdam’s Harvard Avenue in 1948. He finished his last year of high school at Wilbur Lynch, then went to Clarkson College where he played varsity football and got a degree in engineering. Enlistment in the US Navy came next along with marriage to a young lady from Granville named Monica Minogue. He thought he might want to then become a lawyer but decided to try selling insurance for a career instead. It proved to be a very good choice. He became an agent for Northwestern Mutual and would eventually become partners in his own agencies, Martin & Bergen in Amsterdam and Martin & Holloway in Gloversville. Before he retired, he had become one of the top agents in the history of the Northwestern Mutual network. He had also become a pillar of the Amsterdam community,

Besides insurance, Jim Martin’s trademarks were his…

clarkAlfred “Allie” Clark’s (born June 16, 1923) time in Amsterdam was brief, productive and painful. He was part of the 1941 Amsterdam Rugmaker Opening Day lineup, starting at second base for Manager Paul O’Malley’s ball club which had five future big league players on its roster, the most of any Rugmaker team in history. Clark, who was still known as “Al” at the time and not yet “Allie,” started off that year on fire with his bat and after 20 games, he was averaging a robust .368 and leading the team in hits. But he also had developed a sore right arm that got so bad, the team sent him home to Perth Amboy, New Jersey to recuperate. Unfortunately for Rugmaker fans, when Clark’s arm felt better, the Yankee front office assigned him to their D-level affiliate in Easton, Maryland, where the young infielder continued the torrid hitting he had exhibited in Amsterdam, batting .325 in the 80 games he played there. The parent club’s player development brain trust then decided to let Clark skip a return to C-ball, sending him instead to their B-level team in Norfolk, Virginia where the youngster continued to rip the cover off the baseball.

Serving his country during WWII interrupted his ascent to the big leagues but by 1947 he was wearing pinstripes and playing in the Bronx. He appeared in 24 games for Manager Bucky Harris’s club that season. Most of those appearances were as a first baseman. He was one of the last Yankees to…

My complete birthday posts for both Jim Martin and Allie Clark will appear in the new second edition of A Year’s Worth of Amsterdam, NY Birthdays, which will be available before the 2016 Holiday season. On June 30, 2016, I will also once again begin distributing an Amsterdam, NY Birthday Blog Monthly Newsletter that will include the full birthday posts for three of the twenty-to-thirty  people whose birthdays I will recognize each month. Each newsletter will also include an Amsterdam Birthday Quiz that will test your knowledge and memory of people and events in your hometown.

The monthly newsletter is free. If you’d like to receive it, just make sure your name and e-mail address are included on this list. If you received the first wave of Amsterdam Birthday Blog newsletters sent during the Fall of 2015, your name is already on the list. But if you’re not sure, go ahead and sign up again because our software will eliminate any duplicate e-mail addresses.

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