Team Italy manager Gilberto Gerali builds off momentum generated from New York and Florida trips

New Azzurri skipper Gilberto Gerali made a very good impression on baseball colleagues internationally after a recent meeting at MLB New York City headquarters, a broadcast interview with at the second annual Italian American Baseball Foundation (IABF) Dinner on December 7, 2017 at Carmine & Sons Restaurant in Brooklyn, and a follow-up interview on the MLB Network at the 2017 Baseball Winter Meetings in Orlando from December 10-14, 2017. All 30 MLB teams and their 160 Minor League Baseball affiliates were represented at the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort. Accompanied by Federazione Italiana Baseball Softball (FIBS) president Andrea Marcon, vice president Fabrizio De Robbio, and media respresentative Marco Landi, Team Italy manager Gilberto Gerali impressed everyone with his fluent trilingual skils in Italian, English, and Spanish while explaining his desire to work closely with both Major League and Minor League teams. Considering there is a growing number of Italian-born MLB-affiliated  players who developed their craft and honed their skills at the FIBS Academy in Tirrenia before signing professional baseball contracts, it makes perfect sense that the multi-talented Team Italy leader cultivate long term alliances with movers and shakers in MLB. Building relationships with American ballclubs is a forward-thinking strategy with unlimited potential fothe growth and development of baseball in Italy. Thanks in part to the coordinated efforts of the IABF, which was co-founded by former Big Leaguer and current Team Italy coach Frank Catalanotto and Mint Pros president Joe Quagliano (both of whom joined the international delegation in Florida), the united efforts to catapult Italy into the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo is underway. Never before has there been this powerful vehicle to bring together the best Americans of Italian descent in a united fashion in order to advance and grow the game abroad. Equipped with the backing of the IABF, Team Italy aims to be the lone European representative and one of six baseball countries to qualify for the upcoming Olympics. Forza #Italia! #LetsMakeItHappen

by Roberto Angotti