When Azzurri slugger Chris Colabello was a senior at Milford High School in 2001, he was awarded the 60th Annual Daniel Cardone Memorial Scholarship to help pay for his tuition as a student athlete at Assumption College in Worchester, Massachusetts. Chris and his father, Lou Colabello, decided it was time to pay it forward in 2018 so they created the Colabello Family Scholarship to be given to a promising Milford High School graduate seeking a college education. Lou Colabello said, "This is a great way to recognize Chris's accomplishments both on the field, and most of all, to demonstrate what kind of person he is. I am extremely proud of his perseverance, battling through adversity, and most of all having reached the goal every young man dreams." Although brothers Vince, Joe, and Dom DiMaggio may be the most famous Italian American Baseball Family, the Colabellos from Milford, Massachusetts are a perfect example of the modern day Italian American Baseball Family. Father Lou Colabello was the starting pitcher for Team Italy against host Team USA at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles during the 1984 Olympics while his son Chris Colabello later played baseball in Italy as a youth and, like his father, eventually went on to represent Team Italy in the 2013 and 2017 World Baseball Classics.The Colabellos and Milford Schools Assistant Superintendent Craig Consigli have put together a free, family-friendly event celebrating Italian American baseball on the campus of Milford High School at Davoran Auditorium on Saturday, January 27, 2018. The Milford High School Music program kicks off the festivities at 4 pm with the playing of the Italian and American National Anthems followed by the world premiere screening of the Russo Brothers Italian American Film Forum Award-winning documentary, Italian American Baseball Family. The hour-long movie examines how Italians assimilated into popular culture through America’s favorite pastime, baseball. The film also explores how Italian Americans have circled back to Italy to help grow the game abroad by playing for Team Italy in the Olympics and the World Baseball Classic. The documentary features interviews with Professor Lawrence Baldassaro, author of Beyond DiMaggio: Italian Americans in Baseball as well as with MLB past and present players including Tommy Lasorda, Frank Viola, Nick Punto, Francisco Cervelli, Chris Colabello, Brandon Nimmo, and Gavin Cecchini. Immediately after the conclusion of the film screening at Milford High School, Chris and Lou will host a Q & A discussion with the audience.
Everyone is encouraged to participate in the online silent auction or make a donation to the Colabello Family Scholarship by visiting www.32auctions.com/colabello before noon (EST) on February 3, 2018. Items up for bid include tickets to see the Boston Red Sox host the Toronto Blue Jays, signed MLB bats from José Bautista and Troy Tulowitzki, a signed MLB baseball from Terry Francona, a signed NFL football from Rob Gronkowski, a Rich Gedman autographed baseball, a Tim Wakefield autographed picture, and a Chris Colabello autographed bat and ball. All proceeds from the online silent auction and donations collected will fund the Colabello Family Scholarship for Milford High School grads. To register for free tickets to the Italian American baseball celebration at Milford High School, visit www.milfordpublicschools.com/Page/6968 Forza #Italia! #2020Olympics #LetsMakeItHappen
by Roberto Angotti