Sheldon family name is big in Italian baseball and softball

Team Italy softball manager Enrico Obletter thinks highly of the Sheldon family. He said, “David Sheldon was a great baseball player and one of the best ever to come to Italy. He was a shortstop and third baseman who played for Italy in the Sydney 2000 Olympics. David is also a good coach with tons of experience. He is the man. His wife, Simona Meroni, played softball competitively in Italy. I coached their daughter Kelly Sheldon at Bussolengo for two years. She was a talented ballplayer and midfielder who could pitch. I also coached their daughter Melany Sheldon recently while playing for Team Italy in the Super 6 in Holland. She is athletic and tough. Melany plays sound defense.”

Melany Sheldon literally proved her weight in gold at shortstop when she won the 2016 Italian Softball League Golden Glove award. Shortly thereafter, Melany ventured abroad for two years studying and playing softball at Chipola College in Marianna, Florida. She recently transferred to the University of Massachusetts (UMass) Lowell to begin her junior-year season competing in NCAA Division I as a member of the River Hawks softball team. UMass Lowell head coach Danielle Henderson said, "She's a very good fielder, very good defensively, with good range and good hands. That was something right off the bat that we were able to see. Knowing that she wants to make her national team, I think we know that there is going to be a level of commitment and drive."

David SheldonWith a father who played baseball professionally after being selected by the Chicago White Sox out of the University of San Francisco in the 1985 MLB Amateur Draft, Team Italy infielder Melany Sheldon credits her father for mentoring her into the person she is today. Melany said, “Just the way he explained things, taught me things and showed me the way he played made me more interested in college and the USA." David Sheldon met his wife, Simona Meroni, in Italy while playing in the Italian Baseball League and never left. Among foreign-born players, he is a baseball legend holding the throne of nearly all Italian statistical categories. Ranking as one of Italy’s all-time leaders in games played, home runs, RBI and runs scored, David Sheldon enjoyed a brilliant baseball career spanning over two decades.

Like her father did in playing for Team Italy in international baseball competition, Melany Sheldon has proudly represented her country as a solid contributor to the Azzurre softball squad at the U12, U16, U19, and U22 levels. She describes the experience unlike any other when playing with her Team Italy jersey on, and believes it is the culmination of all her efforts on the field. "It's kind of the goal of your whole sports career. It is the moment you feel like all of your hard work matters and that is the time where you want to give it your all." Forza #Italia! #LetsMakeItHappen

by Roberto Angotti