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Italy national baseball team

The Italy national baseball team represents Italy in international baseball competition. The Italian national team was as of 2018 ranked 16th in the world.[1]

Italy national baseball team
Country Italy
ConfederationConfederation of European Baseball
ManagerMarco Mazzieri
Italy's national baseball uniform
World Baseball Classic
Appearances3 (First in 2006)
Best result7th (1 time, in 2013)
Olympic Games
Appearances4 (First in 1992)
Best result6th (2 times, most recent in 2000)
World Cup
Appearances17 (First in 1970)
Best result4th (2 times, most recent in 1998)
Intercontinental Cup
Appearances12 (First in 1973)
Best result 3rd (1 time, in 2010)
European Championship
Appearances34 (First in 1954)
Best result 1st (10 times, most recent in 2012)

Tournament recordEdit

Competition Appearances       Total
World Baseball Classic 3 0 0 0 0
Olympic Games 5 0 0 0 0
Amateur World Series and Baseball World Cup 17 0 0 0 0
Intercontinental Cup 13 0 0 1 1
European Championship 34 10 17 4 31
Universiade 0 0 0 0
Total 10 15 4 29

World Baseball ClassicEdit

World Baseball Classic
Tournament Results
United States 200610th
Canada 200910th
United States 20137th
Mexico 201712th
Medal Tally
World Baseball Classic record Qualification record
Year Round Position W L RS RA W L RS RA
2006 Round 1 10th 1 2 13 14 No qualifiers held
2009 Round 1 10th 1 2 7 19 No qualifiers held
2013 Round 2 7th 2 3 29 24 Automatically qualified
2017 Round 1 12th 1 3 26 33 Automatically qualified
Total 4/4 5 10 75 89 - - - -

Team Italia competed in the inaugural World Baseball Classic in 2006,[2] though with a much more Americanized roster than the team ordinarily uses in international play. Of the 30 players on Italy's roster, at least 23 were born in the US. A player is eligible to participate on a World Baseball Classic team if:

  • The player is a citizen of the nation the team represents.
  • The player is qualified for citizenship or to hold a passport under the laws of a nation represented by a team, but has not been granted citizenship or been issued a passport, then the player may be made eligible by WBCI upon petition by the player or team.
  • The player is a permanent legal resident of the nation or territory the team represents.
  • The player was born in the nation or territory the team represents.
  • The player has one parent who is, or if deceased was, a citizen of the nation the team represents.
  • The player has one parent who was born in the nation or territory the team represents.[3]


Italy competed in Pool D, which included Venezuela, the Dominican Republic & Australia. All games during round one for Pool D were played at The Ballpark at Disney's Wide World of Sports in Lake Buena Vista, Florida.

Italy secured an impressive 10–0 win over Australia in its first game, invoking the mercy rule after seven innings. However, they dropped their next two games to Venezuela, 6–0, and the Dominican Republic, 8–3, and failed to qualify for the second round of the tournament.


With only ten players on their roster with any major league affiliation, Italy was a heavy underdog in Pool C of the 2009 World Baseball Classic.[4] With Canada, the U.S.A. & Venezuela completing Pool C, it was arguably the toughest pool in the WBC.

MLB pitcher Jason Grilli represented Italy in the 2006 & 2009 WBC

Prior to the start of the WBC, Italy played two spring training games against the Washington Nationals and New York Mets. Italy trailed through most of the game against the Nationals until Chris Denorfia and Michael Costanzo drove in a run apiece in the seventh inning, and an eighth inning two run home run by Valentino Pascucci tied the game at six. A ninth inning walk off three run home run by Roger Bernadina capped off a late rally in the Nats' 9–6 victory over Italy.[5]

Against the Mets, Italy led 2–0 going into the ninth inning. Cory Sullivan hit a two-run home run to tie the game at two, and Jeremy Reed doubled in Daniel Murphy to give the Mets a 3–2 victory.[6]

Italy was again shut out by Venezuela in their first 2009 WBC game, 7–0 on March 7. Starter Mark DiFelice held Venezuela scoreless through the first four innings; however, Venezuela immediately took advantage of Italy's less experienced bullpen, exploding for 4 runs in the fifth.[7]

Against Canada on March 9, Italy pulled off one of the more surprising upsets in the 2009 WBC, winning 6–2, and eliminating the heavily favored Canadian team. Italy led 3–0 heading into the fourth inning, until Canada jumped on starter Dan Serafini for two runs. With the bases loaded and only one out, reliever Chris Cooper struck out Peter Orr, then got Chris Barnwell to fly out to center to end the threat, and keep Italy in the lead. In all, Italy's bullpen pitched six innings without giving up a run.[8]

With this victory, Italy faced their nemeses, Venezuela, a second time. After three scoreless innings pitched by Italian starter Adam Ottavino, Venezuela again dominated Italy's bullpen, scoring four runs in the fourth, and five in the fifth to win 10–1, and eliminate Italy from the World Baseball Classic.[9]

Chicago Cubs farmhand Alex Maestri was the first Italian-born pitcher to sign with a Major League team


Again considered a heavy underdog, Italy won its first two games in Pool D, 6–5 with a 9th-inning comeback over Mexico[10] and 14–4 over Canada[11] in a game called in the 8th inning due to the mercy rule. They lost both games in Round 2 against the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico, thus eliminating them from the tournament.


Italy National Baseball Team roster
Players Provisional roster Coaches





After a win 10-9 against Mexico, and defeats 11-10 against Venezuela, and 9-3 against Puerto Rico, Italy clinched qualification for the next WBC in 2021.

Olympic GamesEdit

Summer Olympics record Qualification
Year Host Round Position W L RS RA
1984 United States Preliminary 5th [a] 1 2 11 33   1983 European Baseball Championship
1992 Spain Preliminary 7th 1 6 25 62   1991 European Baseball Championship
1996 United States Preliminary 6th 2 5 32 59   1995 European Baseball Championship
2000 Australia Preliminary 6th 3 4 33 43   1999 European Baseball Championship
2004 Greece Preliminary 8th 1 6 19 58   European Qualification Tournament
2008 People's Republic of China Did not qualify 7th, 2007 European Baseball Championship
Total [b] 4/5 7 21 109 222
  1. ^ No medals awarded; tournament was a demonstration sport only
  2. ^ Totals only include years 1992 to 2008, during which baseball was an official medal sport.

Italy failed to qualify for the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing for the first time since baseball became an official Olympic sport in 1992. Italy's best finish in an Olympics is sixth place, which they did in both 1996 & 2000. The first time an actual baseball tournament was held at an Olympics in 1984, Italy finished with a 1–2 record, with its only victory coming against the Dominican Republic. There was no official placing as Baseball at the 1984 Summer Olympics was a demonstration sport.

At the International Olympic Committee (IOC) meeting on July 8, 2005, baseball and softball were voted out of the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, becoming the first sports voted out of the Olympics since polo was eliminated from the 1936 Summer Olympics.[12]

Because Team Italy finished in the top five in the 2019 European Baseball Championship it moved on to the 2020 Olympics qualifiers, in Italy September 18-22.[13][14]

IBAF Amateur World Series and Baseball World CupEdit


Italy's best finish in the Amateur World Series has been fourth place, which they did in 1974. In 1986, the event became known as the International Baseball Federation's (IBAF) World Cup. Italy's best finish in a Baseball World Cup is also fourth place, which they did when they served as the host nation in 1998. Italy also hosted the 1978 and 1988 games. The 2009 IBAF World Cup was hosted by Europe. It was the first time in history the World Cup was hosted by a whole continent rather than an individual country.

2007 IBAF World CupEdit

On November 9, 2007, Italy handed the U.S.A. team their only loss in Team U.S.A.'s route to win the 2007 Baseball World Cup in Taiwan. It was the U.S.'s first loss to Italy in 21 years and the first time it ever lost to Italy with professional players, as the team consisted of Major League Baseball players and top minor league prospects.

Both Italy and Panama ended up with 3–4 records in the 2007 games; however, Panama's 5.85 run ratio versus Italy's 4.73 placed them in fifth place while Italy settled for sixth.


MLB catcher Francisco Cervelli again represented Italy in the 2017 WBC

The 2009 Baseball World Cup took place from September 9–27. Seven European countries hosted and participant in the tournament of 22 teams. The event was made up of five groups consisting of four teams each, for a total of 20 teams. Italy (Bollate, Bologna, Codogno, Florence, Godo, Macerata, Parma, Piacenza, Reggio Emilia, Rimini, San Marino, Torino, Trieste, Verona, and Vicenza) and Netherlands (Rotterdam, Haarlem & Amsterdam) serve as hosts of the 16 teams of the second round (September 14–20), and therefore received first round byes. The groups were as follows:[15]

The group Italy hosted in the second round included Australia, Canada, Chinese Taipei, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands Antilles & the U.S.A.. Italy's first three match-ups against Chinese Taipei, Mexico, and Australia all resulted in losses. Their first victory came against Japan on September 18. Italy lost two more to Canada and the U.S.A. before winning their final game against Netherlands Antilles. Italy finished the second round with a 2–5 record, and were eliminated.[16]

Italy hosted the final round from September 22–27 in Grosseto, Nettuno, Anzio, Matino, Caserta, Messina, Palermo & Rome, consisting of eight teams.[17] Team USA won the gold medal game of the 2009 IBAF World Cup in Nettuno 10–5 over Cuba.

Intercontinental CupEdit

  • 1973 : 6th
  • 1975 : 7th
  • 1977 : did not qualify
  • 1979 : did not qualify
  • 1981 : did not qualify
  • 1983 : 4th

The Intercontinental Cup is another international baseball competition sponsored by the IBAF. Italy hosted the first ever Intercontinental Cup in 1973, and finished in sixth place. Italy's best finish ever was third place, which they did in the 2010 games.


In the tournament held in Taichung, Taiwan November 9–19, 2006, Italy finished sixth. They secured an impressive 13–3 victory over Chinese Taipei in their first game of the tournament, however, they lost their next three match-ups to Netherlands, Cuba, and Australia (13 innings). After coming back with a victory against the Philippines, Italy lost their next two to Japan and South Korea to end the round robin first phase of the tournament with a 2–5 record.

Italy came back to beat South Korea in the first game of the following round, 8–3. In the battle for fifth place, Italy lost to Australia, 3–2.


Mario Chiarini is the captain of the national team since 2010

Italy beat Chinese Taipei 4–3 in the bronze medal game, gaining the first medal in its International Cup history.

European Baseball ChampionshipEdit


The European Baseball Championship is the main championship tournament between national baseball teams in Europe, governed by the Confederation of European Baseball (CEB). Italy won the inaugural European Baseball Championship in 1954. It is currently held every other year in odd-numbered years with a total of 30 European Baseball Championships having been played.

Italy has won nine gold medals in the European Baseball Championship, with their most recent being in 2012. In total, Italy has won 27 medals (16 silver, 3 bronze). The only country to have fared better is the Netherlands (21 gold, 7 silver). Italy served as the host nation for the 1956, 1964, 1971, 1979, 1983, 1991, and 1999 games.

2009 European Baseball ChampionshipEdit

Italy qualified for the 2009 European Baseball Championship from the 2007 competition. The other qualifiers were Netherlands, Great Britain, Spain, Germany, France, and Sweden.

Qualification for the 2009 European Baseball Championship was held from July 7 to July 12, 2008, with 23 nations vying for the remaining five spots. Belgium, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Greece and Ukraine were the winners.

However, the tournament was delayed to 2010. Italy won it 13 years after their last victory.

2019 European Baseball ChampionshipEdit

Team Italy competed in the 2019 European Baseball Championship, coming in second and winning the silver medal. Among the players competing for it were John Andreoli, Chris Colabello, Filippo Crepaldi, Murilo Gouvea, Luis Lugo, Alessandro Maestri, Drew Maggi, Giuseppe Mazzanti, Sebastiano Poma, and Alessandro Vaglio.[18]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^
  2. ^ "World Baseball Classic". Archived from the original on 2009-06-25. Retrieved 2009-03-11.
  3. ^ "Dan Serafini Wins One For Team Italy". Retrieved 2009-03-21.
  4. ^ "Italy World Baseball Classic Team Page". Archived from the original on 2009-06-25. Retrieved 2009-03-11.
  5. ^ "Italy drops exhibition opener vs. Nats". Archived from the original on 2009-03-12. Retrieved 2009-03-11.
  6. ^ "Italy lets victory slip away late vs. Mets". Archived from the original on 2009-03-13. Retrieved 2009-03-11.
  7. ^ "Italy watches Venezuela slip away". Retrieved 2009-03-11.
  8. ^ "Bravissimo: Italy boots out Canada". Retrieved 2009-03-11.
  9. ^ "Italy sees its Classic dreams end". Retrieved 2009-03-11.
  10. ^ "Italy Saves Its Best for Last". Retrieved 2013-03-08.
  11. ^ "Tuscan Raiders: Italy Serves Up Desert Surprise". Retrieved 2013-03-08.
  12. ^ "Singapore 2005: 2012 Olympic Sport Vote". International Olympic Committee. Retrieved 2007-03-18.
  13. ^ Retired, shmired | Jewish Baseball News
  14. ^ MLB Monday (August 26-September 1, 2019) | Jewish Baseball News
  15. ^ "IBAF announces groups for first round of 2009 Baseball World Cup" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2009-03-24. Retrieved 2009-03-15.
  16. ^ "IBAF Federazione Italiana Baseball Softball (FIBS) Page". Retrieved 2009-09-25.
  17. ^ "IBAF World Cup 2009 in Europe". Archived from the original on 2009-03-24. Retrieved 2009-03-15.
  18. ^ [1]

External linksEdit