After making a presentation with Federazione Italiana Baseball Softball (FIBS) English language editor and filmmaker Roberto Angotti to middle school students at Community Roots Academy in Laguna Niguel, California on February 28, 2020, MLB ambassador Lenny Randle passed on lessons learned from renowned base stealer Maury Wills to Team Italy speedster Aldo Koutsoyanopulos. During the 2019 regular season playing for Serie A Parma Clima, Aldo Koutsoyanopulos hit .317 with five doubles, three triples, one home run, and 12 walks in 63 at-bats. He was also successful in six of seven stolen bases. While playing for Team Italy in the 2019 European Baseball Championship, Aldo Koutsoyanopulos was second in runs scored (7), and sixth in on-base percentage (.409) with four hits (including one double), four RBI, three walks, two HBP, and one stolen base.
Maury Wills is credited for bringing back the stolen base to modern day baseball when he stole 104 bases and was named National League MVP in 1962. The former MLB switch-hitting shortstop and seven-time All-Star won three World Series Championships with the Los Angeles Dodgers. Lenny Randle believes with the knowledge he has ascertained through the wisdom of Maury Wills and other greats can help Italian baseball and softball. Having worked with Team Italy baseball brothers Nico and Giovanni Garbella in the past, it was not surprising to see Lenny Randle host the Team Italy softball squad for a practice at San Diego State University and an impromptu hitting competition on the beach prior to the 2019 WBSC U19 Women's Softball World Cup in Irvine. It was then that he had the opportunity to meet and work with Aldo's sister, Giulia Koutsoyanopulos. She has since blossomed into a future collegiate All-American who may very well be on her way to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics with the Team Italy senior softball squad.
Lenny Randle, who was the subject of an article in Rolling Stone and the MLB Network special Lenny Randle, “The Most Interesting Man in Baseball,” was also the first American-born MLB player to launch a successful baseball career in Italy. His love for the country and its athletes was apparent when he was seen recently working with Team Italy's Aldo Koutsoyanopulos on bunting and base running in Orange County. Lenny Randle has high hopes for the Parma Clima and Team Italy infielder, who he believes can make a difference for any ball club. Known primarily for his speed, Aldo Koutsoyanopulos has adopted an intensive off-season physical training regime which includes weightlifting to increase his strength. Now equipped with more power than ever and ample speed to boot, he would like nothing more to demonstrate his true talent potential for Team Italy under the new leadership of manager Mike Piazza. Forza #Italia!
by Roberto Angotti