A selected team made up of North End Athletic Association Little Leaguers had the rare opportunity to play a baseball team from another country, Italy, at Langone Field on Commercial Street.
The team from Italy has made stops in New Jersey and New York before heading to Boston’s North End to compete against some of the best players from the NEAA Majors.
It turned out to be a perfect night for a baseball game, the sun was shining, the temperature was near 80 degrees and the wind was calm.
“This was a first for the NEAA,” Baseball Coordinator John Romano said. “The NEAA has never been able to play a baseball game against a team from another country.”
“This was a great opportunity for the NEAA and its players,” Commissioner Ralph Martignetti said. “Playing a team from another country is a once in a lifetime event for our coaches and team.”
Both teams were introduced and lined up on the first and third base foul line and took their hats off for the playing of the Italian and American National Anthems by two of the Italian Team players, on the clarinet and violin. The American and Italian flags were displayed at the park.
Gifts were presented to the team from Italy by the NEAA player and Boston Mayor Thomas Menino sent them gifts as well. After the game both teams enjoyed a great Italian meal at the Nazzaro Community Center.
NEAA President Dom Campocchiaro tossed out the traditional first pitch.
North End Team: John Pezzuto, Owen Locke, Jase Cherchi, Vincent Coppola, Zach Taieb, DJ DiCenso, Evan Frechette, Colman Shea, Michael Troiano, Brett McAllister, Tim Martin, Joseph Dulla and Raymond Baez.
Italian Team: Lorenzo Degli Esposti, Umberto Frisoni, Alberto Lazzari, Alessandra Lazzari, Amedeo Maggia, Massimo Pilutti, Giulio Da Re, Riccardo Bertossi, Giovanni Spinelli, Simone Franchin, Federico Gambedotti, Paolo Pilutti and Gioele Maggia.
Ralph Martignetti and Dom DiCenso coached the local team.
In a slugfest, the North End team won 13-12. John Pezzutto was the game’s Most Valuable Player.
Mike Giannasoli and Eric Etienne provided the food from funding from a North End Reunion BBQ they organized last summer.
Organizing the game were Jessica DelloRusso, Dom DiCenso, Ralph Martignetti, Paul D’Amore and Paolo Castignini of Italy.
In addition the Nazzaro Community Center, NEAA, Carl Ameno and Matt Conti contributed to the playing of the game.