by Riccardo Schiroli, FIBS
The Seattle Mariners General Manager of Baseball Operations, Jack Zduriencik, officially announced last night that Alex Liddi will make his debut in the Major Leagues on Tuesday, September 6. Along with Liddi, outfielder Michael Saunders and right handed pitcher Steve Delabar have been called up making all three players eligible for tonight’s game (4 am local Italian time) versus the Los Angeles Angels. Liddi will wear number 16 and as previously noted, Liddi is the first homegrown Italian player ever to make it to the Major Leagues.
OTHER ITALIANS IN THE MAJOR LEAGUES (ALL PLAYERS BORN IN ITALY BUT GROWN IN USA)
Born in Sanremo in 1988, Alex Liddi has been an athlete of particular national interest since the 2003 season. As a 16 year-old, he participated in the 2004 Junior World Championships and played in the Italian Series A2 League with Sanremo and Rosemar respectively while still a teenager. In 2006, Liddi made his Italian National Team debut during the Intercontinental Cup and played for Italy at the World and European Championships in 2007 and in the World Baseball Classic in 2009.
In 2005 Liddi was selected to the FIBS Academy in Tirrenia but having participated at the first Major League Baseball European Academy held at the CONI complex in Tirrenia the same year, he decided to sign a professional contract with the Seattle Mariners. Now he will be the first player from the MLB European Academy to play in the Major Leagues.
Liddi‘s rise in the Minor League circuit has been constant and this year he finished among the top four Minor League players to have at least 100 runs scored and 100 RBI. This year for AAA Tacoma, he also led the team with 30 homeruns.
“I saw Alex for the first time in Tirrenia after receiving information from Marco Mazzieri who was coaching a selection of Cadet players” explains Bill Holmberg, technical director of the FIBS Academy in Tirrenia. “Alex caught everyone’s attention. What is the first thing I remember about Alex after seeing him for the first time? That he was very active and never stayed still on the field”.
“Today is an historic moment for Italian Baseball”, FIBS president Riccardo Fraccari explains. “On a personal level, all of us who have seen Liddi grow are experiencing a joy that is very difficult to put into words”.