Aug 14, 2015

The First MLB Player To Be Born & Raised In Italy: Alex Liddi (2011-2013)

Allessandro Liddi (known as Alex) was born on August 14th 1988 in San Remo, Imperia Italy. San Remo is a beautiful popular resort town on the Italian Riviera bordering France.

Although he was not the first player born in Italy, he was the first to be born & raised there.

His grandparents left Italy after World War II & opened up a tailor shop in America. Alex's father lived in America attending Beverly Hills High School where he played baseball. After graduation he went to Italy & met his future wife Flavia, settling in San Remo for good. His father passed down his love for the game of baseball to young Alex.

The six foot four, Liddi played for the Italian National Team in 2004 & then attended the European Baseball Academy which is run by MLB. It was there he was signed to an MLB contract, with the Seattle Mariners at the age of 17. Liddi a right handed first baseman, third baseman & outfielder with a strong arm is the first player born Italy to make it to the majors since 1954.

He would compete in various tournaments through the next years for Italy; European World Championships, International Cups & Baseball World Cups. In the 2006 World Baseball Classic he was on Team Italy under coach Mike Piazza. In 2009 he batted & hit third in the Futures Game at St. Louis.

Liddi has become the face of European Baseball & will hopefully generate interest while opening the door for many future MLB Players from Italy as well as the rest of Europe.

Liddi played four years at A ball, winning the California League MVP Award batting .345 with 23 HRs & 104 RBIs in 2009. In 2010 he played at AA West Tennessee before making it to AAA Tacoma in 2011. That year he hit 30 HRs with 104 RBIs earning a call up to the big leagues with Seattle on September 7th.

On September 19th, Liddi hit his first career HR, it came off the Indians David Huff at Cleveland's Jacobs Field.

In his second game he got his first career hit, a double off Kansas City's Jeff Francis. In 15 games that month, he hit three HRs with six RBIs while batting .225.

In 2012 he began the year with Seattle but was sent back to Tacoma in early June after batting .231 with three HRs. On May 23rd, Liddi hit a grand slam HR at Safeco Field coming off the Texas Rangers Scott Feldman.

In 2013 Liddi, was called up from AAA Tacoma on May 30th. He hit poorly, batting just .059 in eight games through June 17th & was sent back down. In July his contract was purchased by the Baltimore Orioles. He was granted free agency & signed with the Chicago White Sox, but was realesed there as well. Five days laterhe signed a deal with the Los Angeles Dodgers.

In three short seasons (61 games) he batted . 208 with six HRs eight doubles & 16 RBIs.

Honors: Alex Liddi was honored in 2013 by the Federazione Italiana Baseball Softball (FIBS) for his valuable contributions to the game. FIBS president Riccardo Fraccari called Liddi “the real ambassador of Italian baseball”.

Mike Piazza with Alex Liddi

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