EASLEY—Teams who come to Easley from the Big League World Series are generally all-star teams who come together for a few weeks or months. They get to know each other and learn to play together as a team. For most it is a once in a lifetime experience.
But, this year’s team from Italy is has lasted longer than that. In fact, the time playing together for most of the team goes back four years.
Ten players —-Davide Bertoldi, Diego Dose, Alex Ceccotti, Marco Mari, Andrea LeRose, Alessandro Tonzar, Enrico Varin, Pier Paolo Bertolttitti, Alberto Domini and Daniel Furlan —- along with Manager Diego Minin made their third trip to a Little League sponsored World Series event this year.
In 2009, the manager and 10 players traveled with other team members to Taylor, Michigan for the Junior League World Series. A team from Easley was also in that tournament
“The first time we came the players were in awe of just being in America,” Minin said through an interpreter.
In 2011, the 10 players and manager were part of an Italy team that advanced to the Senior League World Series in Bangor, Maine, where they finished third.
“The competition was more level there,” said Furlan. “We felt we had a chance to win.”
This year the players are in Easley for the Big League World Series where both Furlan and his manager said the competition has been tougher. Furlan said the Puerto Rico team in this year’s Big League World Series is the best they have played against.
Both said they have received great hospitality at all three events although Furlan joked that “there were more girls” at the event in Easley.
In addition to the 10 who have played together in all three, one other player —-Gabriele Volpi —-played in 2009 and on this year’s but did not play last summer in the Senior League World Series.