In search of the synergy he and the late and great Bill Holmberg shared in winning two back-to-back European Baseball Championships, Team Italy manager Mike Piazza has formed a powerful international trinity with Canadian baseball brothers Wally and Vince Horsman. Having dedicated their professional lives to the game and the training of athletes of all ages and levels of expertise, Wally and Vince Horsman are world-class instructors with decades of coaching and playing experience who aspire to take Team Italy baseball to new heights on the global stage.
Having spent 30 years on the baseball diamonds of North America, Wally Horsman was born in Halifax , Nova Scotia, Canada. He began his collegiate baseball career at Parkland Community College in Champaign, Illinois, where he played from 1981-83 as the squad’s catcher. Wally Horsman earned the right to represent his country as the starting catcher for Team Canada in the Pan American Games and the Intercontinental Cup in 1987. In addition to winning the 1987 Olympic Trust Fund Award, he was named 1988 Nova Scotia Male Athlete of the Year after leading his independent league team to a national championship title.
After a successful playing career, Wally Horsman served as an associate scout for the Montreal Expos (1990-92) and the New York Yankees (1999-2001). During that same time, he was general manager at the prestigious Bucky Dent Baseball School in Delroy Beach, Florida, where the invaluable coach remained until 2008. Wally Horsman was sought after as the personal hitting coach for the likes of MLB greats Mike Piazza, Ryan Howard, Jim Thome, Juan Pierre, Raul Ibanez, and Matt Treanor. He was recruited by former MLB slugger Mo Vaugh to become the current hitting and catching coach at the Vaugh Sports Academy in Boca Raton, Florida. A close associate of MLB veteran coach Demarlo Hale (current Cleveland bench coach), Wally Horsman is synonymous with coaching excellence.
With over 36 years of baseball experience under his belt, brother Vince Horsman takes on the role of new Team Italy pitching coach. Born in Halifax in 1967, he signed his first professional baseball contract in 1984 with the Toronto Blue Jays and pitched for five seasons in Major League Baseball (1991-95) with the Toronto Blue Jays (1991), Oakland Athletics (1992-94) and Minnesota Twins (1995). He played in the postseason in 1991 and 1992, when he made 58 pitching appearances and had an outstanding 2.49 ERA. Vince Horsman pitched in a total of 141 games during his five-year MLB career with a 4-2 record, one save, and a 4.07 ERA in 110 innings of work.
Vince Horsman pitched overseas in Taiwan in 1987 before launching his coaching career with the Baltimore Orioles from 1998-2004. After becoming the bullpen coach for the 2005 Sultanes de Monterrey in Mexico, he served as pitching coach in the Toronto Blue Jays organization from 2006-2019. Accolades included a 2018 Eastern League Championship title with the New Hampshire Fisher Cats, a team featuring Bo Bichette, Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Cavan Biggio and Lourdes Gurriel Jr. Influential in the successful pitching careers of Aaron Sanchez, Noah Syndergaard, and Team Italy hurler Jordan Romano, Vince Horsman is one of only eight players from the Canadian province of Nova Scotia to have played in Major League Baseball. He was inducted into the Nova Scotia Sport Hall of Fame in 2012. Forza #Italia!
by Roberto Angotti