Italian Baseball and Softball Champions celebration at CONI in Rome

CONI President Giovanni Malagò celebrates with Italian Baseball and Softball Champions at Italian National Olympic Committee headquarters in Rome

Introduced by Federazione Italiana Baseball Softball (FIBS) President Andrea Marcon, Comitato Olimpico Nazionale Italiano (CONI) President Giovanni Malagò took the stage inside the Hall of Honor at the Italian National Olympic Committee headquarters in Rome on October 23, 2020 to celebrate the accomplishments of the Italian Baseball and Softball Champions despite the challenges presented by COVID-19.

FIBS President Andrea Marcon thanked CONI President Giovanni Malagò for advocating for the 2020 Italian Baseball and Softball Champions ceremony as well as making the season financially feasible. He said, "I want to take this opportunity to thank you for today's celebration, which I emphasize was your idea. But I also want to thank you because we managed to get to the end of this season because of you. It all began in March when I called you one evening to request CONI contribute money allocated to our athletes' preparation for the Olympics be used for their participation on their respective club teams this year. Thanks to you Giovanni and everyone at CONI who allowed us to play. Thank you also for your support of our national baseball and softball program as we feel your love and passion for our sports."

With members of Italian Baseball and Softball Champion teams UnipolSai Bologna, MKF Bollate, Lions Nettuno, Bsc Grosseto, Blue Girls Pianoro and Leonessa Brescia attending and practicing social distancing, the words of Giovanni Malagò resonated to those listening to his heartfelt speech. CONI President Giovanni Malagò said, "When I meet athletes I am a happy person because they are the engine of the sport. I must acknowledge your resilience and perseverance in reaching the end of this troubled season. Congratulations to all the winning teams, but also to those who fought for Italian baseball and softball. It will be a season that we will never forget in light of the lockdown associated with the pandemic."

The highlight of the Italian Baseball and Softball Champions celebration was the introduction of the 2020 Triple Crown winners. Sluggers Federico Celli (San Marino Baseball-51 H/47 R/38 RBI/11 HR/.451 BA/.534 OBP/.867 SLG) and Beatrice Ricchi (Softball Forli-5 HR/24 RBI/.559 BA/.644 OBP/.898 SLG) as well as pitcher Ilaria Cacciamani (Softball Forli-10 W/3 SV/0.96 ERA/117 K) were heralded during the Triple Crown awards ceremony. Forza #Italia!

by Roberto Angotti