Tiago Da Silva in the AAA Liga Mexicana de Beisbol

When Tiago Da Silva began in the Italian Baseball League back in the 2008, we all knew that he could swing the bat

When Tiago Da Silva began in the Italian Baseball League back in the 2008, we all knew that he could swing the bat. Da Silva in his previous three seasons in Italy’s second division had hit .390 (2005 with Redipuglia), .455 (2006 with Redipuglia) and .384 (2007 with Marina di Ravenna), all well playing shortstop. His bat was never really a question in his game, but his defense was, and when San Marino picked him up as a foreigner back in ‘08 it seemed a little strange that they were going after a shortstop to play in the IBL who had committed 36 errors in his previous 3 seasons. What was the thinking behind the move? Well, Da Silva at the time was in the process of receiving his Italian passport, which he was eligible for through marriage. With the passport in hand San Marino had no intension of using him at short, in fact, it was their plan all along to give the Brazilian born (March of 1985) a shot on the bump, a position that he was well familiar with having pitched back in his native Brazil.

Who could have written the story that is Tiago Da Silva. This 29 year old right hander, who was born in Brazil and discovered on the mound by San Marino after a well traveled tour that took him from Brazil, to Taiwan, and through a Dominican summer league, before a coach of his back home suggested that Italy may be a good bet for him. So he gave it a shot, excepting an offer by Redipuglia to man the shortstop position. It was four years later that San Marino came call, offering the righty an opportunity at joining their club as a foreigner, a move that at the time no one understood. Why would San Marino put out an offer to a shortstop whose only experience was in the second division, especially when they had La Fera (ex National Team SS) who was already occupying the spot? It just didn’t make sense, or it seemed as so. Soon there after joining the club Tiago was granted his Italian citizenship and thus free to pitch on the mound in more then one game a week, and that’s when the true talent was finally brought into the limelight. He was quick to make an impact with his new ball club, and with his unique style of pitching (similar to that out of the Japanese League) hitters across the league immediately began to fear him. From 2008 to 2013 Da Silva racked up 117 appearances on the hill where he accumulated 60 wins and 670 strikeouts in 587.2 innings pitched. Power, control and deception.. he has all the makeup necessary to reek havoc on opposing teams. In 2009 Da Silva chalked up his first awards in the IBL, winning the best pitcher as well as the best Italian pitcher in the league, in 2011 he won the award as the best starting pitcher, and in 2012 Da Silva once again picked up the award for the best Italian pitcher. On the international level with Team Italy, Tiago was a member of the 2009 and 2011 World Cup, the 2010 and 2012 European Championship (two time winner), the 2010 Intercontinental Tournament, and finally the WBC in both 2009 and 2013.

We’re speaking of a true champion; one may even say that Tiago is too good for the IBL and should be given a shot at more. In fact that opportunity has arrived in 2014, an opportunity is sending Da Silva to Mexico to partake in the AAA Liga Mexicana de Beisbol with the Delfines di Ciudad del Carmen. Tiago will be one of three foreign pitchers on the roster along with the Dominicans Julio de Paula and Yonata Ortega.

“When I was in Venezuela this December I got a call with an offer that I just couldn’t refuse,” said Da Silva. “Although it’s an opportunity that was going to take me away from Italy it’s a chance for me to try my hand in a prestigious league, and I’m excited to see where I can go with it.” Tiago has most certainly earned this opportunity having had a superb 2013 season between the WBC, the IBL and the Venezuelan Winter League with the Leones di Caracas where he pitched as a starter, in relief and as a closer. “I can’t wait to get this season going! I’m ready more then ever and am also looking forward to having some fun on the diamond as always.”