The “G” might as well have stood for Giant, because that’s what he was to thousands of kids who grew up playing youth sports in Edison for the better part of three decades.
Forget Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and The Big Bopper. Last Thursday, January 13th, 2022 might as well have been “The Day The Music Died” for anyone who played baseball or football as a child in the 1970s, 1980s, and most of the 1990s.
That’s when the man they all know as “Mr G” – William Giampolo – passed away at the age of 82.
Mr. G coached the Edison Falcons and Jets of local youth football fame. He led the Edison Boys Baseball League from 1973 to 1998, a quarter-century run that saw great growth, including an achievement that stands to this day, the development of the baseball complex along Suttons Lane near the Highland Park border.
Everyone who pulls up their stirrups this Spring – whether for the high school Eagles or Hawks, or the youngest slammin’ tee-ball player – owes a debt of gratitude to Mr. G, whether they ever met him or not.
He was instrumental in the Edison Youth Sports Council, back when long-time six-term mayor Tony Yelencsics ran things.
The line is sure to be out the door Friday at Runyon-Costello Funeral Home in Metuchen, where services will be held from 4-8 pm, and again Saturday from 9:30 to 10 am. People in line who might never otherwise have met each other will trade stories about Mr. G., realizing their shared expereinces, even if they were 20 years apart.
To find out more, and read the full obituary, click here.
Brian Calantoni, current President of the Edison Boys Baseball League, wrote to Central Jersey Sports Radio about Mr. G:
“It is with sadness and regret that we announce the passing of a legend. Mr. William J. Giampolo has passed away. Mr. Giampolo was president of Edison Boys Baseball League for many years. Mr. G was the type of man every man aspires to be. A family man, a businessman, a man of the community. Cared about morals, rules, and traditions and passing them down. He’s the reason why most of us coach and volunteer. He was our coach and our leader from a young age and he was there for many generations. Thanks to him we have a place to play, he secured B Field at Suttons Lane for EBBL. He was the one who was on the youth sports council dealing with Mayor Yelencsics. Everything was for the kids. Everything we have at Edison Boys Baseball is because of him. He was a Godlike figure growing up. Coaching baseball, coaching football, president of the league… The man who got the most respect in town, and that never changed! Mr. G paved the way for all of us. He made the blueprint on how to run a youth organization and we followed. He is the reason that us kids volunteered when we get older. The reason why we had such a great experience was because of him and his ideas and his leadership. But the truth thanks, goes out to his family. To his wife, to his children, to his grandchildren. Thank you for lending him to us and for allowing him to make a difference in all of our lives. He is a man that will be emulated but never duplicated. The world lost a great human being but he will be remembered forever. Thank you Mr. G for everything you did for us. Condolences to the family. Mr. G was “Dependable”, the most “Dependable” man ever! We love you!!!!“
Click below to hear Coach Calantoni talk with Central Jersey Sports Radio about the legacy of Mr. G:
I’m shocked- sorry I came upon this article just tonight. I had no idea. I send Our most sincere condolences and prayers to his family. Mr G (or Bill) – Thank you for all you did in teaching, molding, caring and being a guiding voice for our sons, for so many years. A finer man you’ll not find! You will be sorely missed by so very many. You Rest now Bill. ❤️ Suzanne & Mario
Orsogna ( Mr & Mrs .O)
I’m in the team picture from 1978 shown in the story and still remember Mr. Giampolo. I grew up just across the street from the baseball complex he helped forge and still have great memories of Edison Boys and Mr. G was a big part of that. I know for sure I am not the only one who shares a simillar story. I think many of us now as adults pay it forward and volunteer/coach the youth sports. . helping repay what people like Mr. G did for us when we were young. My condolences to Billy and his family during this time.