Hall of Fame catcher Mike Piazza will manage the Italian national team in the European Baseball Championship and World Baseball Classic.
Piazza made the announcement Wednesday morning, and will coach the team in the EBC in 2020 and the 2021 WBC.
"Excited to announce I have reached an agreement to manage the Italian National Baseball team," Piazza wrote. "This will include a European Tournament next year and the 2021 @WBCBaseball Classic."
Piazza retired from baseball in 2008 having spent a total of 16 seasons between the Los Angeles Dodgers and New York Mets, along with brief stays with the Oakland Athletics, the then-Florida (Miami) Marlins and San Diego Padres. He won 10 Silver Slugger awards as a catcher and was a 12-time All-Star.
Inducted in the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2016, Piazza has never managed or coached. But there is managerial success in the family bloodlines. Tommy Lasorda is a distance cousin of Piazza's father, Vince.
Piazza was briefly the majority owner of third-tier Italian soccer team AC Reggiana. The franchise folded relatively soon after Piazza took control in 2016, ceasing operations at the end of the 2017-18 season.
Italy was runner-up at the European World Baseball Championship in 2019.
--Field Level Media