Italy named 2017 Little League Europe and Africa Baseball Country of the Year

At the recent joint Confederation of European Baseball and European Softball Federation Ordinary Congress in Paris, Italy received the 2017 Little League Europe and Africa Baseball Country of the Year Award. Region director Beata Kaszuba-Baker recognized the Italians' dedication, support and achievements in the development of the Little League program. She said, "We are proud to see the success and growth that Italy has been able to produce this past year and hope to continue to develop those successes throughout all of our programs in Europe and Africa." Recipient of the 2017 Baseball Country of the Year, Italy has produced its share of champions in the Little League program. For the past two years, Emilia Romagna Little League represented the Europe and Africa Region at the Little League Baseball World Series in Williamsport, Pennsylvania. In addition, a team from Emilia Romagna Little Leagues represented the Europe and Africa Region at the 2017 Senior League Baseball World Series in Easley, South Carolina. “The development of baseball and softball throughout Europe and Africa continues to grow thanks to the dedication and support of all of our volunteers,” said Stephen D. Keener, Little League President and CEO. “On behalf of Little League International, I thank each and every volunteer that has helped develop and grow the Little League program throughout Italy and look forward to your continued support of our program.”

Bobby Valentine premiato alla cena IABF 2017 (Chris Heider)Coupled with the efforts of the Italian American Baseball Foundation, a 501(c)(3) charity foundation whose mission is to bring awareness of the game to Italian youth through clinics, camps, and education, baseball in Italy is about to experience a renaissance. The Italian American Baseball Foundation (IABF) is a community of fans, MLB players, and baseball executives dedicated to the future of Italian American baseball in Italy and the USA. The IABF plans to support youth baseball in Italy by building and maintaining ball fields, awarding scholarships and financial aid to student-athletes who qualify academically to play high school and college baseball in America, purchasing uniforms and equipment as well as organizing pitching, fielding and hitting clinics with MLB instructors under the guidance of Federazione Italiana Baseball Softball (FIBS). For further information or to pledge your support to the IABF, visit

by Roberto Angotti