IABF Mission Statement

The Italian American Baseball Foundation works to bridge the gap between Italy and the United States through baseball and softball. IABF’s mission is to grow the game and provide opportunities for youth development through education. The core functions of the foundation are to build a pipeline of baseball and softball players from Italy to the United States through college scholarships and showcases, support the Italian National Teams as American partners and promote heritage and pride for Italian Americans in baseball from high school to the Major League levels.

2022 IABF Tommy Lasorda Award

Mike Piazza & Team Italy

  • Baseball Hall of Famer
  • Manager of Team Italy
  • Piazza and Team Italy were recognized in advance of the 2023 World Baseball Classic
Mike Piazza

2022 IABF Achievement Award

Mike Pagliarulo

  • Pagiliarulo spent 11 years in the big leagues between the Yankees, Padres, Twins, Orioles, and Rangers and one season playing in Japan
  • Drafted by the Yankees in the sixth round out of the University of Miami
  • Won World Series with the Twins in 1991 as the team’s starting third baseman
  • Pags later worked as a hitting coach for the Miami Marlin
  • Currently serving as a special assistant to the GM of the Washington Nationals.
Mike Pagliarulo

2022 IABF Executive of the Year Award

Jim Small

  • Senior Vice President of International at Major League Baseball
  • Deep Italian roots whose family changed their last name from Piccolo at Ellis Island
  • Responsible for growing MLB’s brand and development globally, planning MLB’s international play schedule, and generating new opportunities to grow the sport’s popularity internationally
  • Oversees the World Baseball Classic
Jim Small

2022 IABF Media Award

Michael Kay

  • Kay is best known as the play-by-play broadcaster of the Yankees and host of CenterStage on the YES Network
  • Host of The Michael Kay Show on ESPN Radio.
  • New York native
  • Italian on his mother’s side
Michael Kay

2022 IABF Future Star Award

Vito Friscia

  • Member of Team Italy
  • Triple A prospect of Philadelphia Phillies
  • Product of Hofstra University
  • Played in 2021 European Championship where he hit three home runs in matches against Austria (grand slam), Croatia and Israel
Vito Friscia

2022 IABF Ambassador Award

Marco Landi

  • Head of communications and marketing at FIBS
  • Friend and key partner between FIBS and IABF
  • Inaugural recipient of this honor
Marco Landi

IABF Launch & Fundraiser

Mike Piazza and other Italian-American baseball players partake
in the IABF Launch to raise money for the Italian Baseball Federation