By Joe Sullivan
Joe Adelizzi, the former sports editor of the Asbury Park Press, passed away Saturday at the age of 70. I worked with him for 11 years and I’ll remember a lot of things about him.
— How one of the first cars he owned died on the road and he just walked to the first house he could find to make a phone call, but ended up buying a car from that person.
— How he was the first customer at a brand-new loan company in Toms River because he somehow mismanaged his uncle’s lobster traps.
— Stories about his days working on the Seaside Park Boardwalk running the games of chance like the Big Wheel. “This game’s for Joe!’’
— The eephus move, something he detected in the Daily Racing Form past performances that could lead to big payouts.
— Various strategies involving wagering on his ability to consume a great deal of food, including the best advice of all: Never have them cut the pizza into slices.
Most of all, however, I will remember that he was a great boss and a tremendous journalist. His connection to APSE improved his newspaper, his career and eventually my career. For that I’m eternally grateful.
Joe was the first collaborative editor I ever worked for. He would have meetings where ideas were welcome and acted upon. The ideas were his and others in the room; the best of which became part of daily duties.
Many of the ideas sprang from the APSE meetings Joe attended and the ones he conducted as a region chair. The execution of those ideas transformed the Asbury Park Press from just another sports section into one of the best of its kind in the country. The APSE plaques were proof of that.
A young, fun-loving group, we improved as individuals and as a team. It led to a lot of other job opportunities for us. It was the reason I got a chance to work at the Boston Globe, and I continued to rely on APSE for inspiration and motivation; both of which played a large part in my career and becoming the sports editor. It never would have happened without Joe and APSE.
Joe had plenty of opportunities to leave the Jersey Shore, including an offer from the The National, but he stayed at the place he loved the most. He was a local legend right to the end.