CLARK, NJ – The Union County Baseball Association announced its 84th Annual Hot Stove League Awards Dinner.  The event, set for Sunday, February 9 at the Gran Centurions represents the start of the local baseball season for players and fans alike.

 According to UCBA President Jim Iozzi, this year’s Union County Baseball Hall of Fame inductees include:

  • Jim Dietz of Summit, an All-American catcher at Moravian College (and starting quarterback) and minor leaguer with the Philadelphia Phillies, who returned to Summit to teach math and coach baseball and football for more than 30 years.
  • Alexander Mirabella of Fanwood, a Union County Freeholder since 1998 and five-time Chairman of the Board, who has been a longtime advocate for youth baseball leagues and other recreational opportunities throughout Union County.
  • Gene Mirabella of Roselle Park, an outstanding high school wrestler, All-State pitcher, and captain of the football team, whose pitching success at Brookdale College earned him Region 19 Tournament MVP and Pitcher of the Year, and a stint in the minors with the Cleveland Indians.
  • Karen Pedersen, formerly of Berkeley Heights and Scotch Plains, the longtime Secretary of the Union County Baseball Association, who has helped administer the numerous activities of the UCBA for decades.

Iozzi shared other highlights of the event-filled day.

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“We have a special program planned for this year’s awards dinner, beginning with our featured speaker, former New York Mets outfielder, Mookie Wilson,” said Iozzi,. “In addition, special tribute will be paid to the players and coaches from the Elmora Youth League, who brought honor and excitement to the residents of Elizabeth, Union County, and the state of New Jersey this past season by finishing as a top-four team in the country at the Little League World Series in Williamsport, Pennsylvania.”

Athletes from throughout Union County will also be recognized during the ceremonies for their accomplishments in high school, college and Union County Youth Baseball leagues.

 Tickets for the 84th Annual Hot Stove League awards dinner may be purchased online at or by writing to the Union County Baseball Association, PO Box 176, Fanwood, New Jersey 07023.

 Sponsored by the Union County Baseball Association, in cooperation with the Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders and the Department of Parks and Recreation, the Hot Stove League awards dinner is the primary annual fund-raising effort for the Union County Youth Baseball Leagues. The summer and fall leagues have given more than 40,000 boys and girls an opportunity to participate in an organized baseball program for the past 70 years.