FIBS and Udinese Calcio celebrate partnership with Team Italy Softball and Baseball
19/05/2024 2 Minute Read

FIBS and Udinese Calcio celebrate partnership with Team Italy Softball and Baseball

Prior to the start of the soccer match between host Udinese Calcio and Empoli FC on Sunday, May 19, 2024, members of the Team Italy softball squad displayed the WBSC Softball World Cup trophy on the field in celebration of the upcoming international competition in Castions di Strada from July 15-20, 2024. Team Italy Baseball Elite manager Mike Piazza and FIBS President Andrea Marcon also spoke at the Club House and greeted fans.

After recently being revealed at the Internazionali BNL d'Italia tennis event, the WBSC Women's Softball World Cup trophy was once again on display but time in front of Udinese Calcio soccer fans to celebrate the partnership with Federazione Italiana Baseball Softball on Sunday, May 19, 2024.

In the festivities prior to the start of the Udinese Calcio and Empoli FC soccer match at Bluenergy Stadium, Team Italy softball stars Giulia Longhi, Ilaria Cacciamani, Elisa Cecchetti, Marta Gasparotto, Noemi Giacometti and Melany Sheldon posed with the WBSC Softball World Cup trophy, which will be up for grabs just minutes away from the soccer venue in in Castions di Strada from July 15-20, 2024. Then the Italian softball squad received a roaring welcome from the 25,000 tifosi fans in attendance. Also receiving a round of a applause was Mandy, the official Softball World Cup eagle mascot, who is symbolic for the Friuli Venezia Giulia Region and was created by Federico Cautero of Italy QB.

Another big attraction took place adjacent to the stadium inside the Friulian facility auditorium, where Mike Piazza, guest of honor of the Udinese Club House, was interviewed by Francesco Pezzella alongside FIBS President Andrea Marcon. The interview was a journey through his amazing baseball career which eventually led to his current position as Team Italy manager. He expressed his visceral love for Italy and family, which traces back to his ancestral roots in Sciacca, Sicily.

The National Baseball Hall of Famer and Italian skipper also spoke about the Club Italia LA28 development program that aims to qualify Team Italy for the 2028 Los Angeles Olympics. Mike Piazza said, “We must build on the great passion that animates baseball people in Italy and take that extra step that leads to the creation of an Italian baseball culture. Young people are the key and internationalization is the tool to create opportunities for our talents to play high-level matches, bringing together the great passion for the game and for the Azzurri blue shirt, with the support of all those who share it, wherever this culture has already developed.”

FIBS President Andrea Marcon echoed the sentiment and approved the Club Italia LA28 initiative. He said, “Thanks to the figure of Mike and to the enormous attention that Team Italy has received as result of his managerial success in the 2023 World Baseball Classic. We receive continuous requests for meetings and the start of collaborative projects from important organizations from all over the world. I'm talking about Major League franchises, American colleges, but also Taiwan and the Korean professional league. Many appointments, clinics and gaming opportunities will start in October for Club Italia LA28 which will thus begin the season extension program with quality activities starting with Haarlem Week in July.”

Forza #Italia!

by Marco Landi and Roberto Angotti

(Photo of FIBS President President Marcon,Udinese Calcio Magda General Director Franco Collavino, Udinese Calcio Magda Marketing Director Magda Pozzo, Team Italy Baseball Elite manager Mike Piazza and the Team Italy softball stars by ML FIBS).