by Pim van Nes
On Tuesday in Rome it was announced by Municipality, that the new baseball and softball project by SS Lazio in the Italian capital will be named after the club’s and nation’s greatest pitcher ever: the 84 years and 1 month old Giulio Glorioso.
The meeting was attended by Rome alderman for schools, sports and youth policy Paolo Masini, general president for SS Lazio club Antonio Buccioni and Lazio baseball president Giuseppe Sesto. Renovation started in 2011 under scepticism of the poor conditions of the city, financially close to bankrupcy. The zone, however, was requalified for youth activities by a cableway, skatepark, pingpong and other facilities. Lazio club since decades has offered developments in 40 sport disciplines.
The baseball field will be next to the club’s swimming pool with the traditional club colours. Lazio baseball and softball played on national level in the past and their softball club even clinched a European Cup. Aware of the Italian ambition to host a European Championship tournament, Lazio wishes to participate in the organisation. Contrary to most sport complexes in outskirts of town, Lazio is ready to receive other clubs and players in the heart of Rome, capital and eternal city.
Eternalized will be multi champion Giulio Glorioso, born 4 January 1931 in Udine, Italy, but as a softball and baseball player grown up with Gilda and Lazio in Rome. His name will enlight the future of his ancient club in the city of his residence. According to the Italian Enciclopedia del Baseball 1985 by Giorgio Gandolfi and Enzo di Gesu, Glorioso at the age of 16 fell in love with the American hit and run sports, when he saw US army teams play on Italian westcoast after liberation from World War II.
He started to play softball as a left fielder with Gilda and with a team of the national railroad company. As a baseball player in 1949 Glorioso was called by American coach Dick Leone from outfield to the mound. His performance as a pitcher was unbelievable, as already on 8 July 1951 he picked up a no-hit-no-run result for Lazio in a road game versus Monza. In Italy’s first international game ever, on 31 August 1951, Glorioso was starting pitcher versus Spain. His first international no-hitter was in 1960 versus the Netherlands, however the Dutch beat Italy 1-0.
Glorioso played for Lazio till 1959, for Roma till 1961, for Milano till 1963, for Nettuno till 1966, for Parma till 1967 and then back to Lazio till 1975. Wherever he put on his cap, the club obtained the Italian championship title: Lazio 1955, Coca Cola Roma 1959, Europhon Milano 1961 and 1962, Simmenthal Nettuno 1963, 1964 and 1965. Only Parma did not manage the Glorioso trick in 1966. European Cup succes was booked with Simmenthal Nettuno in 1965.
Glorioso was nominated best pitcher of the season in 1959 (Roma, ERA 0.68), 1961 (Milano, ERA 0.46), 1962 (Milano, ERA 1.27), 1963 (Nettuno ERA 0.68), 1964 (Nettuno, ERA 0.81) and 1966 (Parma, ERA 1.65). Also at bat he was succesful as best hitter in 1960 (Roma, average .423) and in 1961 (Milano, average .444).
Giulio Glorioso collected the following career records as a pitcher in Italian Serie A seasons: 2706 innings, 2884 strike-outs, 943 bases for balls, 1699 hits, ERA 1.90, 235 pitcher’s wins and 83 losses. For the Italian national team he took the mound in 68 games.
At the age of 70, the veteran pitcher from Rome was invited by former opponent the Netherlands to attend the 2001 World Port Tournament in Rotterdam and on June 30 he executed the ceremonial first pitch for the 100th game between the two eternal rival countries Italy and the Netherlands, aired live by national television broadcaster NOS. Professional photographer Cor Vos pictured the throw for next day edition of newspaper Rotterdams Dagblad. Yesterday both newspaper and photographer complimentary authorized Mister-Baseball.com to publish the same photo on internet at this occasion.
Photo by Joep van der Pal/Fotobureau Cor Vos