The lights had switched off at Jalisco Stadium when Roberto Angotti ’84 finished writing an article about Team Italy’s comeback to beat Mexico in the 2017 World Baseball Classic.
“It was 4 a.m.,” said Angotti, the English language reporter for Federazione Italiana Baseball e Softball. “The team shuttle had left and I was stranded on the outskirts of Guadalajara, Mexico, without a peso in my pocket.”
Angotti hitched a ride to his hotel with Team Venezuela’s shuttle in time to work on a film grant proposal.
While covering the 2013 Classic, Angotti met a number of Italian American fans and former players, like Hall of Famer Mike Piazza and Los Angeles Angels manager Mike Scioscia, all connected by their heritage and love of the game. Seeing underdog Team Italy win inspired him to explore the history of Italian American baseball players in a documentary film.
The resulting film, Italian American Baseball Family, won the Russo Brothers Italian American Film Forum Award at the National Italian American Foundation’s 42nd Anniversary Gala in Washington, D.C., on November 4.
In the years since he graduated from Claremont McKenna College, Angotti has followed one passion after another as a radio DJ, a sportswriter, and now an award-winning film maker – threads he links back to his time at CMC.
Angotti first grew accustomed to all-nighters as a student, when a job at the Claremont Colleges’ KSPC radio turned into an unexpected early career start.
“I would get pizza from Harvey Mudd delivered to the station,” Angotti said, “and then I would be on air until 3 in the morning.”
As KSPC’s program director, Angotti did play-by-play broadcasts for college baseball games and hosted a late-night reggae radio hour. His reggae program attracted a number of listeners, including KNAC Program Director Jimmy “The Saint” Christopher who needed an overnight replacement for DJ Dick Sheppard (Richard Blade).
When Angotti was a sophomore, Christopher asked him to cover a graveyard slot at KNAC. Angotti took the slot for the night. He covered another the next night and it turned into a full-time job by his senior year.
After he graduated, Angotti worked as a radio DJ and on-air personality for over 20 years, hosting “Roberto’s Reggae Revolution” at KNAC and then at KROQ.
Originally, Angotti came to CMC for the economics department and access to KSPC, but CMC’s interdisciplinary curriculum took him down another path. He was interested in communication, film, music, and history, so he took a film studies class with Michael M. Riley, Emeritus Professor of Film and Literature. Professor Riley encouraged him to connect these interests through documentary filmmaking, Angotti said.
“Professor Riley taught me that filmmaking is a reflection of the self,” Angotti said. “You place yourself in your films, whether you realize it or not. That’s what I did at CMC and that’s what I did in the documentary.”
The production of Italian American Baseball Family started with a number of on-camera interviews Angotti conducted with players and managers to accompany his articles. For five years, he said, he was working on the film every time he interviewed an Italian American from the majors.
The film – funded by a $7,500 grant from the Italian Sons and Daughters of America and the National Italian American Foundation – features interviews with prominent baseball figures, including former Los Angeles Dodger manager and executive Tommy Lasorda.
For Angotti, watching Lasorda lead the Dodgers to World Series championships in 1981 and 1988 was moving not just as a Dodger fan, but as an Italian American. He said being able to interview Lasorda for the film was a milestone.
“Tommy Lasorda is the Italian American hero,” Angotti said. “I want my next documentary to be about him.”
Angotti plans to make a series of Italian American baseball films. He sees his first documentary as a way to educate young Italian Americans and others on the plight of Italian immigrants, using baseball as a focal point.
Italians were once second class citizens in the United States, he said, and invisible in baseball before players like Yankee Hall of Famer Joe DiMaggio rose to prominence in the 1940s.
“Not having an appreciation of your heritage is like an olive tree with no roots,” Angotti said. “Baseball is a part of mine.”
Six of the top seven teams in the Italian league play one another, highlighted by Roma vs. Lazio in the Rome derby on Saturday, and leader Napoli’s match against AC Milan.
On Sunday, six-time defending champion Juventus visits surprising Sampdoria and Inter Milan hosts Atalanta, which was last season’s revelation.
Here’s a look at the big matches:
The first derby since longtime Roma captain Francesco Totti retired is the most anticipated meeting between the capital’s two clubs in years.
Both Lazio and Roma have had strong starts to the season and sit fourth and fifth, respectively, in the standings with only one point separating them.
It will be a matchup between last season’s Serie A scoring leader, Roma’s Edin Dzeko (29 goals in 37 matches), and this season’s scoring leader, Lazio’s Ciro Immobile (14 in 11).
Roma boasts the league’s best defense, having conceded just seven goals in 11 games, while Lazio is one of only three squads to have scored 30 goals or more.
Both clubs also feature young coaches who are making a growing impact — Simone Inzaghi at Lazio and Eusebio Di Francesco at Roma. Inzaghi and Di Francesco used to face each other in the “Derby della Capitale” when they were players for Lazio and Roma, respectively.
As always in the derby, security will be high, especially after Lazio fans littered the Stadio Olimpico with images of Anne Frank — the young diarist who died in the Holocaust — wearing a jersey of city rival Roma last month.
The displays of anti-Semitism are being investigated by the football federation and could result in a stadium ban for Lazio.
Meanwhile, Roma may want to keep something in reserve for Wednesday’s visit to Atletico Madrid in the Champions League.
After losses to Lazio, Roma, Inter and Juventus, big-spending AC Milan is in desperate need of a big win to provide job security for embattled manager Vincenzo Montella.
Milan, which was bought by a Chinese-led consortium in April, spent more than 200 million euros (nearly $250 million) on new players in the offseason but is struggling to stay in the Europa League places.
Napoli, meanwhile, is on course for its first Serie A title since Diego Maradona led the club to the 1987 and 1990 championships.
But the southern club showed signs of weariness before the international break, following consecutive losses to Manchester City in the Champions League with a scoreless draw at Chievo Verona.
Napoli winger Lorenzo Insigne should be motivated after being relegated to a bench role in Italy’s playoff loss to Sweden — which was seen as one of the main tactical reasons for the 1-0 aggregate defeat Monday.
Napoli will also need a win over Shakhtar Donetsk on Tuesday to keep alive its chances of reaching the Champions League knockout stages.
No club is more associated with Italy’s squad than Juventus, so it will be interesting to see if Gianluigi Buffon, Andrea Barzagli and Giorgio Chiellini have recovered from Azzurri’s first failed qualification in six decades.
Both Buffon and Barzagli announced their national team retirements after the playoff, while Chiellini said he was debating retirement.
Full attention will be needed for a Sampdoria squad that has lost only twice.
Sampdoria features a combination of veterans like Fabio Quagliarella — who leads the squad with seven goals — and talented young players like 21-year-old midfielder Lucas Torreira — who leads the league in takeaways. Sampdoria has been able to improve despite an offseason overhaul that included high-profile sales of players like Patrik Schick, Milan Skriniar and Luis Muriel for a combined 70 million euros.
Juventus then hosts Barcelona in the Champions League on Wednesday looking to improve on the 3-0 loss to the Spanish club in September.
Atalanta finished a club-record fourth last season and qualified for Europe for the first time in more than a quarter century.
But the Bergamo squad’s worst performance of the season came in a 7-1 rout by Inter Milan in March.
So Atalanta would love nothing more than to hand regional rival Inter its first loss of the season.
More AP Serie A coverage: https://apnews.com/tag/SerieA
Andrew Dampf on Twitter: www.twitter.com/asdampf
Currently ranked second in its qualifying group, Italy will most likely have to face off with another runner-up in order to seal a place for Russia.
ITALY 2018 HOME KIT
This images shows the Italy 2018 home kit for the World Cup.
As we previously learned, a brand-new redesigned FIGC crest graces the left chest of the Italy 2018 home kit for the World Cup in Russia.
Navy blue is used for the v-collar and the sleeve cuffs of the Italy 2018 shirt. Country-specific detailing in the form of jacquard printing round off all of Puma’s Italy 2018 World Cup kit. For example, an Italian flag detail is present at the sleeve cuffs.
Blue shorts and socks, both with navy trim and white brandings, complete the clean look of the Italy 2018 kit.
The Italy 2018 kit will be launched in mid-October, with the away following in early March.
Royal blue and navy. What are your thoughts on the Italy kit for the 2018 World Cup? Drop us a line below, and check out the World Cup Kit Overview for more.
BY BEN GLADWELL
Italy goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon says he will not be affected by criticism of his performance against Spain on Saturday, saying he has been written off for years.
Juventus star Buffon, 39, accepted he had been at fault in the 3-0 defeat, which effectively ended Italy’s hopes of qualifying for the World Cup directly as group winners, but he said some of the criticism has overstepped the mark.
“In football, everything is subject to opinion, and often opinions can go beyond the truth,” he said. “You’ve got to accept criticism like the change of seasons — it is inevitable, and it’s fine.
“It gets to you if you face real and constructive criticism, but when it comes to just pigeon shooting then you might even hit me but that’s not what I am and not I want to be.
“Since my first mistake seven years ago, people have been saying I’m finished, yet just a week ago I was voted as the best goalkeeper of the Champions League.”
Buffon has reacted well to criticism in the past, silencing his doubters following the Confederations Cup semifinal defeat to Spain in 2013 with a match-winning performance in the third-place playoff just days later.
He has been Italy’s undisputed No. 1 since the turn of the millennium and, according to former AC Milan and Chelsea goalkeeper Marco Amelia, he remains the best.
“Despite the criticism of Buffon, I still cannot see Gigio [Donnarumma] becoming Italy’s No. 1 yet,” he told Radio 24. “At the moment, I still say no. The Juventus goalkeeper is going to be at the World Cup. Donnarumma’s time will come.”
Italy host Israel in their next World Cup qualifier in Reggio-Emilia on Tuesday.
Ben Gladwell reports on Serie A, the Italian national team and the Bundesliga for ESPN FC, UEFA and the Press Association. @UEFAcomBenG.
CHICAGO – The National Italian American Sports Hall of Fame is proud to announce inductees and honorees for the 40th Annual Induction & Awards Gala to take place at a dinner on Saturday, November 18th, at the Westin Chicago River North. Last year’s Sportsman of the Year award recipient, Eddie Greco of Greco and Sons, will chair the dinner. The program will be emceed by 2016 Baseball Hall of Famer Mike Piazza and New York Mets Radio Announcer Wayne Randazzo. Previous inductees including Tommy Lasorda, Jerry Colangelo, Ray “Boom Boom” Mancini, Franco Harris, Vince Ferragamo and more will be in attendance on this evening.
The NIASHF Class of 2017 inductees include John Carpino, Mike Adamle, Barry Zito, Doug Bruno, Mike Manganello, & the Acerra brothers. Vincent Viola will be honored as the Sportsman of the Year and Rick Porcellowill receive the Yogi Berra Athlete of the Year award.
Accepting induction into the Contributor Division is John Carpino, President of MLB’s Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. Carpino grew up in Elmwood Park, IL and visited the first location of the NIASHF. Today, he oversees all areas of business, sales, marketing and communications for the Angels. Carpino’s top priority is the fan’s value and experience in all areas of the game. As the principal executive in charge of business operations, he has helped the Halos welcome millions of fans through Angel Stadium turnstiles over the years. Carpino continues to seek out ways to create value for Angel fans, focusing not only on the game inside the lines, but on the entire ballpark experience.
Joining Carpino in the Contributor Division is Mike Adamle, former American football player and sports broadcaster. Adamle played 6 years in the NFL for the Kansas City Chiefs, New York Jets and Chicago Bears. Post-football career, Adamle was a sports broadcaster for Chicago stations including WLS-TV, WBBM-TV, and most notably Channel 5 WMAQ-TV. He hosted American Gladiators and worked for World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) in a variety of roles, including interviewer, play-by-play commentator, and General Manager of Raw.
Former professional baseball pitcher and Cy Young award recipient, Barry Zito, will be inducted into the Modern Division. He played 15 seasons in Major League Baseball for the Oakland Athletics and San Francisco Giants. His curveball was voted best in the Major Leagues in a 2005 Sports Illustrated poll. In addition to winning an AL Cy Young award, Zito is a 3 time MLB All-Star, a World Series Champion, and an AL Wins Leader.
Also being inducted in the Modern Division is Doug Bruno, head coach of the DePaul Blue Demons women’s basketball team. In 2016, he completed his 30th season as head coach. In 2007, Bruno completed a two-year term as President of the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association, a position to which he was elected by his peers. Under his tenure, the Blue Demons have qualified for post-season competition play in 21 of his 30 seasons, including the last 14 seasons. He received the 2008 Carol Eckman Award, 2005 C-USA Coach of the Year, Conference USA’s Coach of the Decade.
In the Veterans Division, retired American Thoroughbred horse racing jockey, Mike Manganello, will be inducted. On June 25, 1964 he rode five straight winners at Ohio’s Thistledown Racecourse. He was a long-time fan favorite at Florida Downs in Oldsmar, Florida where he won four races on a single day on February 15, 1968, set a season record with 75 wins in 1969, and by 1975 had won five riding titles. In 1970, Manganello won the Blue Grass Stakes at Keeneland Race Course in Lexington, Kentucky aboard Dust Commander then rode the colt to a commanding five-length victory in the most prestigious race in American horse racing, the Kentucky Derby. In addition to winning the 1970 Kentucky Derby, Mike also had mounts in 1969, 71, 72 & 74.”
Twelve Acerra brothers will be inducted posthumously in the Veterans Division. In the late 1930’s the oldest nine brothers formed their own semi-professional team with their father as coach. Every brother had his place in the team and they all worked together to do what they love most. In the 1940’s the team disbanded when six brothers left to serve their country in World War II. When the war ended, all the brothers returned home to resume their all-brother team for another six years. The Acerra’s were the longest-playing all-brother team in baseball history. In 1997, the Baseball Hall of Fame held a special ceremony to honor them.
Vincent “Vinnie” Viola will be honored as the 2017 Sportsman of the Year. He is Chairman, Owner and Governor of Sunrise Sports & Entertainment, the Florida Panthers Hockey Club, the BB&T Center, and SSE’s additional operating entities. He is Chairman Emeritus of Virtu Financial and is one of the nation’s foremost leaders in electronic trading. Vinnie also co-owns Always Dreaming, winning horse of the 2017 Kentucky Derby. Past recipients of the Sportsman of the Year award include Jerry Colangelo, Richard Parrillo Sr., and Eddie Greco.
Boston Red Sox starting pitcher and 2016 American League Cy Young award winner, Rick Porcello, will be receive the 2017 Yogi Berra Athlete of the Year award. Last year, he had 22 wins (against four losses) and posted career bests in most major statistical categories, including innings pitched, strikeouts, ERA and WHIP. He led the major leagues with a 5.91 strikeout-to-walk ratio. With 26 quality starts, he tied for the AL lead. In addition to the Cy Young award, he received the AL’s Outstanding Pitcher Award. Past recipients of the Yogi Berra Athlete of the Year include Olympic Medalist Mary Lou Retton, All-Star baseball player Anthony Rizzo, and 2015 Indy 500 winner Alexander Rossi.
The National Italian American Sports Hall of Fame is located at 1431 West Taylor Street in Chicago, IL. For advertisement opportunities or to purchase tickets for the gala dinner, please call (312) 226-5566 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
by AdVantage News August 2, 2017
The Fire & Ice Soccer Club, a semi-pro team owned and coached by Alton High grad and AHS Athletic Hall of Famer Lindsay (Kennedy) Eversmeyer, won the Women’s Premier Soccer League title on Sunday. The squad completed a perfect 12-0 campaign and was the last team standing out of 110 from across the U.S., Canada and Mexico.
On Sunday the Fire & Ice Soccer Club of Belleville hoisted the Women’s Premier Soccer League championship after defeating the Gulf Coast Texans 2-1 in Corona, Calif.
The semi-pro soccer franchise is owned and coached by Alton High grad Lindsay (Kennedy) Eversmeyer and featured soon-to-be senior at AHS Briana Hatfield, Edwardsville High grad and former Lewis and Clark and Mizzou standout Katya Hessel and former LCCC All-American Nicole Howard, who is now at Louisiana State University.
Fire & Ice SC was the last standing out of 110 teams from across the U.S. and even Canada and Mexico. The championship also closed out a perfect season for the squad, which compiled a 12-0 mark on the season.
Fire & Ice SC plays its home games at Belleville West High School and Belle Clair Soccer Park in Belleville.
The Bocce world descends on Rome, New York.
The 44th annual World Series of Bocce kicked off on Friday from the Rome Toccolana Club, where thousands of spectators and over 140 teams gather to compete for over $30,000 in prize money.
There are dozens of courts with games going on simultaneously throughout the weekend, as well as live music and countless food and beverage options.
“This is a big event,” United States Bocce Federation Eastern Sector President Guy De Santis said. “It attracts young and old and from all over which is great for Bocce. “You get to see people that you really don’t see that often in the Bocce world. This is like a meeting place. Everybody comes here. It’s a great event.”
Some people traveled to Rome from as far as Tuscon, Arizona, including Team YMCA Bocce player Kevin Marts, who’s back for a second straight year.
“This is amazing,” Marts said. “This is my second year and we play at tournaments on the west coast in San Diego, Las Vegas and Seattle. Nothing compares to the atmosphere, nothing compares to the level of play that this one has. This is a great tournament.”
The event wraps up on Sunday.
HOW TO LOCK DOWN WAVES IN THE LAND OF LOVE
The shock feels like it should have worn off by now, but Italy has surf. Fun surf. Sometimes great surf. This Mediterranean country’s coastline is exposed to swells from multiple directions and, on the right days, can go off. Numerous surf publications and films have covered this, especially in the past 10 to 15 years, and now they even have one of their countrymen battling it out on the ‘CT in the form of Leo Fioravanti. For an insider’s guide to surfing in the Land of Love, we turned to professional Italian surfer, Roberto D’Amico.
One of the reasons why most tourists, and even Italians, would never guess that their coastline can produce surf is because the prime seasonal window isn’t so inviting. Like most places on earth, people come to the beach to cool off during hot spells, often from inland. Summer is generally when the waves are less prevalent and powerful. When the wild wintertime weather arrives, as does the swell, it drives the droves away from the sea.
“I would definitely go around November or December,” says D’Amico. “When the cold starts to arrive, the surf starts with windswell from the south and ends with northwest direction. The northwest swells have longer periods, which tend to clean up the waves.”
WHERE TO FIND SURF:
Italy has a lot of coastline, but the majority of swells are pretty mild in strength, generally speaking. On the other hand, if you know where to go, and when, you can actually score some great waves. For D’Amico, the best bet for getting consistent surf is off the West Coast of Sardinia, which can easily produce double overhead surf during strong swells.
“That’s one place that pretty much gets every swell direction,” say D’Amico. “Most of the swells are windswell, but sometimes the period goes up, and that’s when you can score some real waves. There are so many options — beachbreaks, pointbreaks, and slabs. I think there is still a lot to be discovered.”
Surfing in Italy is much different than in Indonesia or Hawaii. You aren’t going to need a giant quiver or worry about breaking boards left and right. If you’re used to lugging board bags around the world that are stuffed to the zipper, choosing Italy as a surf destination is much less stressful. D’Amico doesn’t see the need to bring more than two boards. “I would bring a fun board for small waves and a regular board,” he says. “You don’t really need a bigger board. Here, the water feels thinner and easier to surf compared to other places. It feels like every board is a good one, so never stress too much in choosing your quiver.”
There have been hardcore surfers in Italy for decades, especially in the south. “We actually have a few Italians who surfed Pipe in the early days,” says D’Amico. “Guys like Giorgio Pietrangeli — he helped name my home spot in Santa Marinella, ‘Banzai.’ Then we had Nicola Bresciani, who is probably the one who took Italian surfing to another level, and now Leo. He’s living what we were dreaming as a kid.”
D’Amico and his Italian brethren are thrilled about Fioravanti’s role as a rookie on this year’s ‘CT.
“He’s such a big inspiration for the kids here,” he says. “He shows that with enough hard work, you can make it, no matter where you come from.”
As far as crowds, surfing and the beach lifestyle in Italy have recently seen a popularity boom, which means fuller lineups, and more inexperienced surfers.
“Italians closely follow trends,” D’Amico says. “Now that surfing is becoming the cool thing to do, there are hundreds of kooks who basically only surf for fashion. Literally looking like a surfer is a good thing, so everyone wants to be a surfer. Of course I don’t like crowds, but it’s beautiful that surfing here is such a new concept for a lot of people, something that many thought was impracticable in our sea.”
NIGHTLIFE AND FOOD:
Even if you get skunked for surf, these are the parts of Italy that D’Amico guarantees won’t disappoint you.
“Our food is the best in the world! There is so much culture behind every single place, subtle differences among every little town,” he says. “The best way to find the really good food is to contact someone who knows the spots. Don’t go to the center of any town. Go find little local places where you can see the owner smile as you enjoy his plate.”
And if you are looking to party, you need go no further than Rome.
“Nightlife is pretty crazy. I live near Rome, and there is always something to do,” D’Amico says.
“Personally, I don’t like big discos. I like to go to Campo de Fiori in the center of Rome, have a couple drinks, and see what happens. Roma, Firenze [Florence], and Venezia [Venice]: those are the cities you must check out while visiting Italy. Especially Rome. Once you go there, you can smell it in the air. Roma has its own flavor.”
[Featured Image: Roberto D’Amico. Photo by Capannini]
Italy have finished third in the Under-20 World Cup after Alessandro Plizzari’s penalty shoot-out heroics against Uruguay.
The Azzurrini had already faced Uruguay in the group phase of the tournament on May 31, losing to a stunning Rodrigo Amaral free kick, but they reunited in the battle for the bronze medal.
Coach Alberigo Evani made numerous changes, including 17-year-old Milan talent Plizzari, but simply by reaching the final four it was already Italy’s best ever showing in the U-20 World Cup.
Augustin Canobbio hit the side-netting in the opening minutes after failing to make the most of a Matteo Pessina error, while Santiago Mele fingertipped a Giuseppe Panico volley over the bar and flapped a Leonardo Sernicola cross off the feet of Andrea Favilli from close range.
Juventus-owned Rodrigo Bentancur turned over from the edge of the box and Plizzari was fortunate to get away with a clumsy block on Santiago Viera.
Amaral’s angled drive skimmed the upright after the restart and Plizzari reacted quickly to parry Joaquin Ardaiz’s effort from point-blank range.
Italy had the ball in the net on 59 minutes, but Panico was correctly flagged offside for his stunning curler into the far top corner from a tight angle, as he’d wandered off when Rolando Mandragora made the through ball.
Nicolas De La Cruz spotted Plizzari off his line and tried from midfield, while Favilli just failed to get a touch to Panico’s cross-shot.
In the final minutes, Uruguay went on a rapid counter and Plizzari had to palm the Jose Rodriguez finish out from under the bar.
Deep into stoppages and with penalties looming, Plizzari flew to palm a Jose Rodriguez curler away, while Mandragora flashed an audacious snapshot just wide from distance.
It went to a shoot-out and was Uruguay’s third of the World Cup. This competition used the new ‘ABBA’ system where teams took two efforts back-to-back.
Plizzari guessed right to save Amaral and Boselli spot-kicks in a row, both of them to his left, giving the Azzurri a double advantage. Mandragora and Panico completed the rout on penalties to win third place in the Under-20 World Cup.
Uruguay 0-0 Italy (4-1 on pens)
Penalties: Valverde (goal), Vido (goal), Marchizza (goal), Amaral (saved), Boselli (saved), Mandragora (goal), Panico (goal)
Uruguay U20: Mele; José Rodríguez, Rogel, Viña, Mathías Olivera; Viera, Valverde, Bentancur; Canobbio (De La Cruz 61), Ardaiz (Boselli 77), Amaral
Italy U20: Plizzari; Sernicola, Romagna (Coppolaro 72), Marchizza, Pezzella; Orsolini (Bifulco 57), Cassata (Vido 87), Pessina, Mandragora; Favilli, Panico
Ref: Palazuelos (MEX)