FIBS mourns with Team Italy manager Mike Piazza after the passing of his father, Vince

FIBS mourns with Team Italy manager Mike Piazza after the passing of his father, Vince
18/09/2021
The Federazione Italiana Baseball Softball (FIBS) Federal Council met in Piemonte, site of the European Baseball Championship. FIBS President Andrea Marcon opened with his deepest condolences for Team Italy manager Mike Piazza and his family after the passing of his father, Vince. The Federal Council also recognized Baseball5 as an official discipline and also announced the locations of the 2021 Youth Finals.

FIBS President Andrea Marcon set a somber tone when opening the Federal Council meeting in Piemonte with the sad news of the passing of Team Italy manager Mike Piazza's father, Vince Piazza. He said, “Mike postponed his return to the United States to stay with the team in the semifinal last night. After the game, he asked for permission to be excused from the bronze medal game tomorrow so that he could be with his family. I expressed my deepest condolences and thanked him for his working with the team despite the tragic circumstances."

The Federal Council then proceeded to recognize Baseball5 as a federal discipline. Beginning with the Baseball5 Student Games, the event will be used above all as a potential tool for the promotion and accessibility to the discipline with a competitive edge. The construction of the first two permanent fields for the 'street' diamond discipline has been confirmed in Aosta.

President Andrea Marcon thanked all the clubs involved in hosting and organizing four continental baseball and softball competitions in the U18, U23 and Senior level with the support of the FIBS staff. He said, "In Castions delle Mura, Castions di Strada, Cervignano, Porpetto, Ronchi dei Legionari, Macerata, Montegranaro, Verona, San Martino Buon Albergo and now here in Torino, Settimo Torineses and Avigliana, we have demonstrated the organizational capacity to successfully produce competitions that attract worldwide attention and check all the marks that neighboring confederations have come to expect from us."

The FIBS President continued with praise for his loyal staff. “I also want to publicly say thanks to the Federation staff, who managed and coordinated these events with tireless professionalism and commitment. And it's not over yet. In a couple of months, Rome will host the Congress of the historic union of CEB and ESF in WBSC Europe."

The upcoming 2021 Youth Finals are set to take place during the first weekend of October in the following locations for softball: U13 Caronno, U15 Collecchio, U18 Bollate; and for baseball: U12 Modena, U15 Cupra, U18 Godo/Ravenna. It is possible that the major categories will play the semifinals at the same time. Pairings will be drawn on September 27th.

FIBS Vice President Gigi Mignola reported on the programming for Team Italy baseball, He said, "The function of the newborn U23 category and and its integration in the senior program represent the beginning of a long-term project. It is essential that over time the senior national team staff develop a collaboration with the clubs aimed not only on the Azzurri level but also for the growth of the younger players. They are two worlds that must meet. The charisma and experience of manager Mike Piazza are a precious treasure for our program. With this completely new staff, there is an opportunity to change a mentality that has too often been tied to the past and its methodologies. It will not happen overnight, but without a shadow of a doubt better must come one day."

The integration project of the U12 and U15 national team programs has already started with the support and involvement of the FIBS Regional Academies coaching staff. The session ended with the ratification of the first promotions in the championships and the analysis of the promotional projects presented by the Regional Committees. The next session Federal Council meeting is scheduled for October 27, 2021. Forza #Italia!

by Roberto Angotti

(Photo of Vince Piazza during Mike Piazza's induction into the MLB Hall of Fame courtesy of MLB.com)