Italian U-18 Softball team “invades” Toronto

TORONTO – Italian U-18 Softball (Women’s baseball) team “invades” Toronto.

Toronto is becoming a Mecca for the Italian Federation for Baseball and Softball training to compete in international tournaments. Following on the precedent set by the U-!8 Men’s Baseball team in 2022 in preparation for the World Cup, the team will use the renowned Baseline Sports Complex in Toronto to hone the skills of its core group of players who will compete for Gold in the 2028 Los Angeles Olympics.

The Ladies, who arrived on July 15, are scheduled to test their skills against some top flight Canadian teams from cities in the GTA and beyond, including Oakville, Etobicoke, Aurora, Toronto, Vaughan, Whitby, and Woodstock.

This event goes beyond sports. Organizers hope to use baseball as a catalyst for cultural and athletic exchange. Athletes from both countries will benefit from shared experiences, and an environment that fosters mutual respect and passion for the game.

That passion guided the 2022 U-18 Team Italy Boys National Baseball Team to an undefeated tournament record against their Canadian hosts (University teams) and prepared them for a respectable placement in the subsequent World Cup in Florida. Among the standout players was Alessandro Volpe, the first Canadian-born player to join the Italian national team.

Volpe shone brightly, finishing third in hitting and delivering a remarkable four-hit game against the world’s second-ranked team. Sixteen players from that Italian team were recruited into the (American) National College Athletic Association league.

This year’s Italy-Canada Baseball-Softball Week is sponsored, supported, and organized by Canadians of Italian origin and led by Toronto-born Flavio Volpe, appointed as the Federazione Italiana Baseball Softball (FIBS) Ambassador for Canada. The president of FIBS, Andrea Marcon, his collaborator on the Italian side, was born in Montreal before his family returned to Italy, has been a key figure in enhancing Italy’s international competitiveness in baseball and softball.

In recognition of his efforts, Marcon received the Italian Chamber of Commerce of Ontario’s Bridgebuilder Award in 2023.

Another Canadian, Toronto-born Gianmarco Faraone is the teams sports director for development. They work together with Major League Baseball’s Hall of Famer – Mike Piazza.

Best of luck to all participants. We will feature the players and their places of origin over the course of the Tournament.

Isabella  (Local Journalism Initiative candidate)

In the pic above, the Ladies of Italian Under 18 women’s baseball in Toronto (photo: Corriere Canadese)

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