The Confederation of European Baseball has awarded two of its most popular international baseball competitions to two important Italian baseball cities with strong fan bases in 2019. Nettuno will serve as the battleground for the U15 European Championship from July 15-21, 2019 to determine who will qualify for the 2020 U15 Baseball World Cup. Team Italy U15 manager Roberto De Franceschi looks forward to having a built-in home crowd advantage and winning the 2019 European Championship title in front of thousands of hardcore Nettunese baseball fans. The loyal Bolognese following will have its share of excitement when Bologna hosts the European Champions Cup from June 5-9, 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, Bologna is a baseball hub which attracts both an international roster and following.
Although Rome may be the largest Italian city, tourists who venture 43 miles south may find some of world's biggest baseball fans in a quaint coastal community that reminds visitors with large signs that they have entered "Nettuno - the City of Baseball". It was there along the Tyrrhenian Sea that the game came ashore in 1944 when allied soldiers arrived to free Rome from its Nazi occupiers in the historic Battle of Anzio. U.S. troops brought weapons along with an ample supply of baseball gear which enabled Italians to learn and play the ever-growing American sport. The Sicily-Rome American Cemetary in Nettuno is the final resting place for more than 7,800 U.S. soldiers who lost their lives in the line of duty. Former World War II serviceman and National Baseball Hall of Famer Joe DiMaggio discovered his deep Italian roots after retirement and visited Nettuno in 1957. His monumental trip is reminisced in the film "City of Baseball". Forza #Italia! #LetsMakeItHappen
by Roberto Angotti