At the invitation of FIBS Academy head coach and residence coordinator John Cortese, Chicago Cubs scout Nick Belmonte worked with FIBS Academists on the Acquacetosa campus located at the CONI “Giulio Onesti” Olympic Training Center in Rome on September 30, 2019. The young and talented Italian prospects received instruction from one of the best professional coaches and scouts in baseball.
Mentored by the great Demie Mainieri, who also coached National Baseball Hall of Famer Mike Piazza at Miami Dade Community College, Nick Belmonte transferred to the University of Florida, where he set a single-season record for stolen bases (42 in 1976). He received a World Series ring over 40 years later for his role as a scout and a base-running instructor for the Chicago Cubs (2000-2001). After playing as a minor leaguer and winning a minor league championship as the manager for the Salt Lake City Trappers in 1991, Nick Belmonte went on to become a pro scout and was instrumental in the signing of many MLB players including Rey Ordonez, Kevin Millar, and Eddie Oropesa. He has since become a very popular collegiate baseball television color commentator for Fox Sports, SEC Network, and ESPN.
Nick Belmonte took time out of his busy work schedule to visit the FIBS Academy and conduct a very well-received base-running clinic. Both the coaching staff and the ballplayers found the experience to be invaluable. Based on the glowing reviews and positive feedback from FIBS Academy staff, it would not be surprising to see Nick Belmonte return to Italy to help grow the game in the not too distant future.
Nick Belmonte reflected on his recent experience in Italy and said, "I had a great time. My grandfather was from Italy, and it was an honor to be teaching baseball in his native country. I would like to be invited back and help the Italian players reach their goals in this great game of baseball." Forza #Italia!
by Roberto Angotti