The loyal Bolognese baseball following will have its share of excitement when UnipolSai Bologna hosts the European Champions Cup from June 4-8, 2019. Having won its first Serie A1 title in 1948 and most recently its 12th Italian Championship under the leadership of manager Daniele Frignani in 2018, Fortitudo Bologna is a baseball hub which attracts both an international roster and ever-faithful fan base.
After more than a 30-year absence, Fortitudo Baseball once again welcomes the return of the European Champions Cup to Bologna. The five-day international competition brings together the top continental baseball club teams at Gianni Falchi Stadium in Bologna and Teseo Bondi Stadium in Castenaso.
In celebration of this monumental event, a special logo was created and designed to pay tribute to the host Italian city. Incorporating Bologna's most iconic and beloved monuments--including the Statue of Neptune, the Basilica of San Luca, the Two Towers and the façade of the Church of Santo Stefano, the tournament logo truly represents the capital of the Emilia-Romagna region. The blue and white colors are reminiscent to that of Fortitudo’s team colors, while the gray color foul lines and stars complete the diamond with home plate under the year 2019.
The 2019 European Champions Cup Group A includes Bonn Capitals (Germany), Neptunus Rotterdam (Netherlands), Rouen Huskies (France), and Parma Clima (Italy), while Group B consists of UnipolSai Bologna (Italy), Deurne Spartans (Belgium), L&D Amsterdam (Netherlands) and Ostrava Arrows (Czech Republic). Neptunus Rotterdam won back-to-back Champions Cups in 2017 against UnipolSai Bologna and again in and 2018 against Rimini. Parma has won the most amount of European Champions Cup titles (13), while Fortitudo Baseball Bologna has claimed the European Champions Cup trophy five times (1973, 1985, 2010, 2012 and 2013).
Parma Clima battles reigning European Champions Cup holder Curacao Neptunus in the afternoon preliminary round opener on Tuesday, June 4, 2019 at 2:30 pm, and UnipolSai Bologna hosts L&D Amsterdam in the nightcap at 8:30 pm. On the following day, Parma Clima travels to nearby Castanaso to play Rouen Huskies while UnipolSai Bologna stays home under the lights at 8:30 pm for a game against Ostrava Arrows. The preliminary round concludes on Thursday, June 6 when Parma Clima remains in Castanaso for an early 11 am contest with Bonn Capitals, and UnipolSai Bologna plays against Deurne Spartans in its third consecutive 8:30 pm game at Gianni Falchi Stadium.
The semi-finals in Bologna begin on Friday, June 7 when the runner-up of Group B challenges the Group A winner at 2:30 pm, and the winner of Group B takes on the Group A runner-up at 8:30 pm. The losers of the playoff contests in Bologna compete for the European Champions Cup bronze on Saturday, June 8 at 2:30 pm on the Gianni Falchi diamond. The two top teams in the semi-finals go head-to-head in the 2019 European Champions Cup Final on the last night of the tournament in Bologna at 8:30 pm. Forza #Italia! #LetsMakeItHappen
by Roberto Angotti