Born: March 20, 1954
Town: Belleville, New Jersey
Paul Thomas Mirabella was born March 20, 1954 in Belleville. The Mirabellas moved to Parsippany when he was a boy and he attended Parsippany High School. The son of an Iwo Jima veteran, Paul combined toughness and talent as he came up as a pitcher through the youth-league ranks. He joined the Redhawks a year after Richie Zisk graduated and accepted a baseball scholarship to Seton Hall. Coach Jack Mott helped Paul develop into a top college prospect. He ended up going to Montclair State and played for Clary Anderson.
Paul was selected in the 16th round of the draft after his junior season, but opted to finish college. His senior year was fantastic. He went 7–2 with a 1.18 ERA and 84 strikeouts in 83 innings. In the 1976 draft, Paul was the first pick of the Teas Rangers.
Paul joined the big-league club in 1978. After his rookie year he was shipped to the Yankees with Dave Righetti in exchange for Sparky Lyle. After one season as a Yankee, Paul was packaged with Chris Chambliss and Damaso Garcia for Rick Cerone. The Blue Jays used him as a starter in 1980. He won only 5 of 17 decisions and from that point on he was used almost exclusively as a long reliever.
Paul was often called upon to get one key out. Needing a second pitch, he developed a good sinker to go with his heater. That served him well during a 13-year career that saw him toil for six different teams, including the 1983 Orioles, who won the pennant. Paul was not on the team’s World Series roster, however. From 1985 to 1987, he pitched mostly in the minors.
Paul’s best year as a big-leaguer was 1988, when he had a 1.65 ERA in 60 innings with the Milwaukee Brewers. Paul pitched his last four seasons for the Brewers, retiring after the 1990 campaign. After baseball, Paul got into the tire-exporting business with a cousin in Garfield.