Harry Martenson lived in Jamestown all of his entire life and was active in baseball most of those years.
Martenson first became involved in sandlot baseball and played for a team called the Triangles in 1929. He was an outstanding pitcher and took his talent to the Jamestown Chair team which was managed by Joe Nagle, who is a Chautauqua Sports Hall of Fame inductee.
In 1941 Martenson bought a restaurant, Harry's Lunch, on Forest Avenue and baseball was always the topic of conversation there. In 1964 Martenson and some other players formed a team to play the Warren Oldtimers which led to the formation of the Jamestown and Area Oldtimers team. It was formed by Martenson, Nagle and Morrie Mistretta, another 1987 CSHoF inductee. The Oldtimers' organization continued to grow and now plays a full schedule, each summer including road games in Ohio and Pennsylvania. Martenson was named the organization's secretary-treasurer in 1964 and held the position for many years.
The main function of the Jamestown and Area Oldtimers is not to play baseball, but to support youth baseball. Every year the Oldtimers raise money to provide equipment and trophies to youth leagues in the area. Martenson has been very active in the fund raising and usually uses his home as a distribution point for the equipment. A trust fund was established by the Oldtimers and all the interest from it used to purchase equipment for youth leagues.
Martenson remained one of the most active members of the Oldtimers and when he was not handling his duties as secretary-treasurer, he kept the media informed of the organization's upcoming events.
Harry Martenson was inducted into the Chautauqua Sports Hall of Fame in 1987. He died in 2003.
Video ArchiveThe Chautauqua Sports Hall of Fame has a collection of DVD's chronicling sports in Chautauqua County, the Hall of Fame inductees and interviews with sports personalities. They are available for viewing by visitors at the hall. See the complete list on our video archive page.