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Team Italy Practices in Arizona, Enjoys Send-off Dinner Before Heading to World Baseball Classic

 Leif Skodnick  |    Mar 1st, 2023 9:16pm EST

Staff Reports
World Baseball Network

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. – Italy has taken off to Taiwan for the 2023 World Baseball Classic after several days of practice at Notre Dame Preparatory High School in Scottsdale.

Italy built its roster for the WBC with players from Major League Baseball, as well as players from the high minor leagues and a few players from the Italian Serie A1 circuit.

The team had a send-off dinner Monday night at Tomaso’s in Phoenix, with many key figures in baseball attending, including former Los Angeles Dodgers general manager Ned Colletti, Los Angeles Angels president John Carpino, Kansas City Royals manager Matt Quatraro, and Federazione Italiana Baseball Softball president Andrea Marcon. World Baseball Network was a sponsor of the event, along with the Italian American Baseball Foundation.  

Italian American Baseball Foundation board member Chris Vaccaro spoke on behalf of the IABF, a not-for-profit organization that is developing paths for players from Italy to play in the United States at the collegiate level through athletic and academic scholarships initiatives. 

Italy manager Mike Piazza addressed the attendees on the improvements in the Italian baseball culture and the competitiveness that the team will bring to the diamond when they take the field in their first game of the tournament.

Italy will play in Pool A at Taichung Intercontinental Baseball Stadium against Cuba on March 9 at 6 a.m. EST on Tubi. The three other teams that will play in Pool A of the World Baseball Classic are the Netherlands, Panama, and host nation Chinese Taipei.