Mike Piazza will manage the Italian national baseball team, all the way through the upcoming 2021 World Baseball Classic.
The former catcher and Mets star, who played for Italy in the very first World Baseball Classic in 2006, shared the news in a tweet.
“Excited to announce I have reached an agreement to manage the Italian National Baseball team,” Piazza wrote. “The will include a European Tournament next year and the 2021 @WBCBaseball Classic.#MLB #Italia"
The Hall of Famer also had stints with the Dodgers, Padres, and Athletics, swatted over 400 home runs, including 396 as a catcher, earning a reputation as one of the greatest hitting catchers of all time. He hit .308/.377/.545 over a 16-year career, made 12 All-Star teams, and finished top-five in the National League MVP race five times.
Piazza has previously served as a hitting coach for Team Italy. His connection to Italian sports doesn’t end with baseball.
He briefly owned and operated A.C. Reggiana, an Italian soccer club. His foray into soccer lasted just two years and was far less glorious — Piazza and his wife, Alicia, were accused of ruining the team into the ground and leaving it bankrupt.
Team Italy earned a silver medal in the 2019 European Baseball Championship, and has qualified in all three World Baseball Classic tournaments.