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2024 Jim McElroy Jr. Lifetime Achievement Awards

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2024 Recipient Jim McElroy Jr. Lifetime Achievement Award 

TOM ABRUSCATO 

HEAD COACH W.T. CLARKE H.S. (EAST MEADOW)



2024 Recipient Jim McElroy Jr. Lifetime Achievement Award 

ANTHONY CHIRONNO 

FOUNDER/DIRECTOR LONG ISLAND CHALLENGER JAMBOREE (MASSAPECQUA)




James McElroy Jr. Biography

McElroy, James F. (Jim) Jr. –  Beloved husband of Joan, father of Jim (Mary), brother of Mary Patricia, grandfather of Matthew, Deirdre, James, and John, and mentor and friend to all who knew him. Longtime leader of the Cadets Baseball Club, Jim was involved with sandlot baseball from a young age. In 1944 he played on the first Brooklyn Cadets team, which is reported to be the oldest active amateur baseball program located in New York State. Coach McElroy was associated with the Cadets for an astounding 72 years, first as a player, then coach, manager, chairman and director, but more than that, he was the heart and soul of the organization, together with his beloved and devoted wife Joan, who served at his side.
During such a long career, he knew and coached many players who went on to sports success, including: Joe Torre (Manager, Los Angeles Dodgers and NY Yankees) Frank Torre (Boston Braves), Fred Wilpon (Owner, New York Mets), Sal Campisi (St. Louis Cardinals), Bob Aspromonte (Houston Astros), Frank Tepedino (New York Yankees), Rusty Torres (New York Yankees), Matt Galante (Houston Astros), Bob Quinn (San Francisco Giants) and George Kalafatis (Detroit Tigers).
In addition to the Cadets, he was a driving force of the AAABA (All American Amateur Baseball Association), headquartered in Johnstown, PA, an organization dedicated to advancing youth baseball. Having played in their annual tournament as a teenager, Jim stayed with the AAABA, coaching and managing several teams that made it to the annual summer classic, then serving as its president, liaison and historian for their national committee. He also was a staunch committee member of the AAABA Hall of Fame, responsible for the induction of many former major league and division one college players who had spent their formative years playing in the tournament.
He was so dedicated to coaching and being part of the tournament, that when his son, James III (Jim) was being born, he kept an open phone line to the press box so he could hear the play-by-play of his Brooklyn team winning the championship. Local baseball was close to his heart, and he coached for St. Francis College while becoming assistant athletic director and earning his Bachelor’s Degree magna cum laude in 1977. Jim always was a part of baseball and garnered inductions into the Parade Grounds League Hall of Fame, AAABA Hall of Fame, Saint Francis College Hall of Fame, CW Post Baseball Program Hall of Fame and the Brooklyn Sandlot Hall of Fame. He was honored at Shea Stadium in 1977 by the Greater New York Mets Boosters, and received numerous awards including the USA Baseball National Volunteer Coach of the Year (1993); the Steve Lembo Award from the New York Professional Baseball Hot Stove League (1994), and the National Golden Diamond Award for Coach of the Year (1993).
A printer by trade, Jim rose in the field of financial printing to become a Customer Service Representative, responsible for making sure jobs were done right, on time, and to the satisfaction of demanding customers. His attention to detail, diligence, quick wit, and charming personality made him successful in this endeavor.
After his retirement, as if running the Cadets Baseball Club were not enough, Jim became the Executive Director of the Catholic High School Athletic Association for the Diocese of Brooklyn. There he served as a liaison between the high school principals and athletic directors,
where his intricate knowledge of sports, ability to manage diverse viewpoints, and knack for cutting to the heart of an issue allowed him to handle issues that arose with aplomb. His sense of fairness boosted the cause of girls’ sports in particular, and this April Jim was inducted into the Girls Catholic High School Athletic Association Diocese of Brooklyn Hall of Fame.
Jim will always be remembered for being the mainstay of Cadets Baseball, where he encouraged players, coaches, and managers, and for his invaluable contribution to the sport of baseball in its purest, most joyful form – that comes from fair play for the love of the game, and how it helps young people pursue their best selves. Jim’s beloved wife, Joan, his sister, Mary Patricia, his daughter-in-law Mary, and his grandchildren, Matthew, Deirdre, James, and John, will remember and cherish his love, guidance, and continuing influence in our lives.







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