UNION, NJ - Union Little League kicked off its 66th season with Opening Day festivities on Saturday at Hall Stadium.
“Who could believe that 65 years have passed,” said Jim DiGiovanni, a member of the Board of Directors. “Back in the autumn of 1953, little league was hardly more than a registered trademark and the thought of little league baseball was just a dream here in Union”
DiGiovanni said a monument at Hall Stadium Memorial Park is dedicated to the founders of Union Little League. “We are forever indebted to them and to all of the volunteers who followed, many of whom have remained active through the years, long after their kids have left the program. They all helped make Union Little League what it is today -- one of the finest organizations in the United States.”
Players and coaches from the 2019 teams were announced and called to the field. Major, minor, and t-ball teams include the Fireflies, Bulls, Yardgoats, Hooks, Bats, Thunder, Mets, Reds, Braves, Tigers, Yankees, Giants, Panthers, Hawks, Rays, Phillies, Astros, Rockies, Pirates, Nationals, Jaguars, and the Wildcats.
“As I look around, I see families who are very committed to the recreation of their children,” said Union Mayor Michele Delisfort. “I see children who are extremely excited. I wish all of you the best of luck.”
Union Little League President Bill Morrison presented the Major League Sponsor Championship to Connectone Bank, a long-time sponsor of the league. The Minor League Championship was awarded to Antonelli Chiropractic.
Rob O’Connell, President of the Union Rotary Club, accepted the 2019 Distinguished Sponsor Award. “The Union Rotary has been an active part of our community in many areas,” said Morrison. “They have been a sponsor of the Giants team since our inception in 1954 and this year they are sponsoring a second team.”
A Service Recognition Award was presented to John Dennis, for his dedication to Union Little League since 1990. “John has been one of the most respected people in the league, “said Morrison. “He teaches the kids the game and makes sure they have fun. He never says no when asked for something.”