Sports

Al Santorini to be Guest Speaker at Hot Stove Awards Dinner

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SCOTCH PLAINS, NJ – Union High School graduate and major league pitcher Al Santorini will be the guest speaker at the upcoming Hot Stove Awards Dinner where Sydney McLaughlin of Union Catholic High School, the youngest track and field Olympian in 44 years, will be honored by the Union County Baseball Association.  The organization’s 81st annual Hot Stove awards dinner will be held on Sunday, February 12, beginning at 1:00 p.m., at The Gran Centurions in Clark, New Jersey.

Santorini pitched in six Major League seasons for the Atlanta Braves, the San Diego Padres, and the St. Louis Cardinals.

McLaughlin is a senior at Union Catholic High School and she is one of the greatest high school track and field athletes in U.S. history.  Before she competed at the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro last summer, she broke the national indoor record in the 400 hurdles and was named the 2016 Gatorade National Female High School Athlete of the Year.

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The Union County Baseball Association will present Sydney McLaughlin with its Joseph Lombardi Memorial Award for the Outstanding Female Athlete of Union County, an award the UCBA offers each year to the most deserving female scholastic athlete from a Union County high school.

Other scholastic athletes also will be honored at the afternoon ceremonies on Feb. 12, including:

Taylor McLaughlin, brother of Sydney, a graduate of Union Catholic High School and a two-time All American in track at the University of Michigan, will receive the Chris Zusi Award for the Outstanding Male Athlete of Union County.

Gianna Randazza of Arthur L. Johnson High School in Clark will receive the Banyasz Brothers Award for the Most Valuable Scholastic Softball Player.

Chris Rinaldi of Westfield High School will receive the Edward Cooper Award for the Most Valuable Scholastic Baseball Player in Union County.

The UCBA will induct three new members into the Union County Baseball Hall of Fame during the award ceremonies, including:

Mark Teutsch of Elizabeth, who pitched for St. Patrick’s High School and went on to play in the Chicago White Sox and Texas Rangers organizations;

Greg Randazza of Clark, who pitched for Roselle Catholic High School, Elizabeth High School and Seton Hall University; and

Ed Grzybowski of Linden, who won back-to-back state finals on the mound for Linden and later played for Kean University.

Tickets for the 81st annual Hot Stove League awards dinner may be purchased online at www.UCBA-NJ.org 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 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 69 years.

For more information call Jim Iozzi, UCBA president, at 908-917-2523.

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