It’s a fact that some of the greatest ever to play the game of baseball were of Italian origin: DiMaggio, Berra, Campanella, Rizzuto. But, Italian baseball? Who knew?
Apparently, the hotbed of Italian baseball is in Nettuno, not very far from Rome. According to ESPN, Nettuno and a few other Italian towns (e.g., Grosseto, Parma, Rimini) “play three games a week against the same opponent. The first game is played Friday at 9 p.m., and then two games are played Saturday, one at 4 p.m. and the other at 9 p.m. At least three umpires call the game (usually four); seven during the playoffs. Tickets cost about 7 Euro.”
It’s safe to say that you won’t get MLB-caliber play at these ballgames. But if you’re in Italy over the summer and craving a bit of the American classic, a trip to the ballpark isn’t a fantasy. Lord knows, with the way the Yankees are playing this season, a little bit of Italian baseball may be a breath of fresh air.
Italian American Sports Hall of Fame
Federazione Italiana Baseball Softball
Photo by Ilesino