New England Sports Network mourns the loss of John Martin, who passed away yesterday at the age of 51. A beloved NESN cameraman for 19 years, John fought amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, for the past two years.
John Martin was a mainstay of NESN’s telecasts and a constant presence at Fenway Park and TD Garden. He was part of the fabric of Boston sports for two decades and covered the Celtics and Patriots and numerous other events that defined our region.
“John battled the cruel, progressive disease of ALS with strength, dignity and humanity,” said NESN CEO and President Sean McGrail. “He was a beloved colleague dedicated to bringing New England’s fans an inside look at our champions. His joy, humor, and energy was cherished by all of us who worked with him, and by the athletes and teams he covered. It was his personal character that gained him the love and respect of everyone he came into contact with. On behalf of all NESN employees we express our deepest sympathies and condolences to John’s family.”
John Martin’s friendships spanned players and management at both the Red Sox and Bruins as well as Boston print, radio, and TV media outlets. The industry and community rallied around the Martin family’s advocacy to find an ALS cure. For the 2017 Oldtime Baseball game that benefitted John’s fight, Pedro Martinez showed his support by not only playing but also driving with John to the game. In 2018, Café Martin hats became part of the locker rooms and press boxes of Boston’s professional sports teams.
For nearly 30 years, he was “Coach John” in Boston’s South End Little League. During his career, his peers recognized his craft by awarding him five Emmy Awards in addition to the 2018 Silver Circle Award for his significant contributions to television. He has written two books – one that evoked the love of his job, ‘Waiting for Greatness: Memories and Musings of a Sports Television Cameraman’ and ‘Every Ten Minutes’ that chronicled the cruel realities of his fight with ALS.
John Martin was born in Worcester, Massachusetts and is survived by his wife Adrienne, and his two young daughters.