Team Italy patriarch pitcher Alessandro Maestri retires from his international baseball playing career

Team Italy patriarch pitcher Alessandro Maestri retires from his international baseball playing career
12/05/2021
Italian baseball ambassador Alessandro Maestri, who has played for Team Italy in every World Baseball Classic since its inception in 2006, has hung up the cleats for good to end his illustrious playing career which spanned four different continents

Italian baseball ambassador Alessandro Maestri, who has played for Team Italy in every World Baseball Classic since its inception in 2006, has hung up the cleats for good to end his illustrious playing career which spanned four different continents. From the diamonds of Italy as a child playing for the , Alessandro Maestri was mentored by former Team Italy coach Donald Landolphi. One day Donald Landolphi asked Bill Holmberg to help this young and talented right-hander, and the rest is history.

Years later Alessandro Maestri became the first Italian-born and developed pitcher signed by MLB when Chicago Cubs scout Bill Holmberg scooped up the non-drafted free agent on January 6, 2006. Although he never made his MLB debut in a regular season game during his five-year minor league stint with the Chicago Cubs organization, Alessandro Maestri managed to strike out Orlando Cabrera, Matt Holliday and Eric Chavez during a 2009 MLB Spring Training game.

From the United States, Alessandro Maestri went on to become an international baseball sensation in Mexico, Japan, South Korea and Australia. His loyal following in Italy stayed up at all hours of the night to watch him compete globally. While representing Team Italy, Alessandro Maestri made 41 pitching appearances on the mound and helped the Azzurri win the bronze medal in the 2010 Intercontinental Cup. Prior to that major feat, he was hero in the IBAF World Championship in 2007 when the Azzurri defeated USA.

Starting pitching ace Alessandro Maestri was also instrumental in Team Italy winning back-to-back European Baseball Championship titles in 2010 and 2012. He played a major part of the success of the Azzurri squad up until the Italians took silver in the 2019 Euros. Alessandro Maestri made his final pitching appearance for San Marino against UnipolSai Fortitudo Bologna in the 2020 Italian Baseball Series.

With his playing career in the rear view mirror, Alessandro Maestri is now giving back to grow the game in Italy. Having been elected last November to serve on the Federazione Italiana Baseball Softball (FIBS) Federal Council as the official athlete representative, Alessandro Maestri is on a mission to help players navigate the complex world of professional sports. In addition, he and his family are busy running the day-to-day operations of .

Better known as AleMae since retiring, the former Team Italy pitching patriarch has a bright future ahead of him. He said, "I have a life and professional projects to carry on with like the company that I built with my wife. There is the desire and motivation to keep growing and progressing. Life is made up of phases, and a playing career ends at a certain point. It is always difficult to concede and retire, but we must always be content with what we have been blessed with and look forward to what life has to offer us." Forza #Italia!

by Roberto Angotti