UNION COUNTY, NJ — The Union County Baseball Association will induct five new members into the Union County Baseball Hall of Fame and honor local student athletes for their achievements in 2015 during the 80th annual Hot Stove League Baseball Dinner on Sunday, Feb. 21, at 1 p.m. at the Gran Centurions banquet hall, 440 Madison Hill Road, Clark. During the afternoon awards ceremonies, the UCBA will induct five new members into the Union County Baseball Hall of Fame: Joe Alvarez of Elizabeth, Ray Crepeau of Linden, Walter Englehardt of Elizabeth, Bruce Henderson of Rahway, and Damien Kane of Roselle.
Sparky Lyle, best known to baseball fans in Union County for his seven-year stint as a relief pitcher for the New York Yankees, will be the special guest speaker. The celebrated southpaw will always be remembered for his clutch pitching in big games for the Yankees and his book about those days in pinstripes, “The Bronx Zoo.” Younger fans will recognize Sparky Lyle as the manager of the Somerset Patriots ballclub from 1998 to 2012.
Since 1937, the Hot Stove League Dinner has been the primary fund-raising effort for the Union County Baseball Association’s summer and fall programs. Over the years, the awards dinner has honored many local and national baseball luminaries – including Phil Rizzuto of Hillside, Don Newcombe of Elizabeth, Joe Collins of Union, Jeff Torborg of Mountainside, Willie Wilson of Summit, and Elliott Maddox of Union.
Tickets for the dinner are $50 each and are available from the Union County Baseball Association by visiting www.UCBA-NJ.org. For more information, call Jim Iozzi at 908-917-2523. Proceeds will help fund the Union County Summer Youth Baseball League for youngsters 8 to 15 years, and the Fall Wood Bat League for teens.