Mar 2021

IABF Appoints Chris R. Vaccaro to Advisory Board

The Italian American Baseball Foundation (IABF) has appointed Chris R. Vaccaro as a member of its advisory board. 

Vaccaro, a journalist, author and professor from Long Island, with deep passion for Italian American culture, will help the IABF on a number of opportunities and functions related to communications, growth and fundraising.

He joins an advisory board that includes J.P. Ricciardi, Special Advisor to the President of Baseball Operations of the San Francisco Giants, Jon Morrosi of MLB Network, Frank Menechino, the hitting coach of the Chicago White Sox, Anthony Iapoce, the hitting coach of the Chicago Cubs, and Sal Agostonelli, the International Scouting Director for the Philadelphia Phillies, among others.

“I have had the pleasure of knowing Chris for several years and worked with him on occasion at Topps,” said Joe Quagliano, President and Founder of the IABF. “His resume is extremely impressive as is his dedication to his Italian heritage. We are very excited to have Chris join the IABF family and look forward to working with him on many levels”.

An Emmy Award and Murrow Award winner, Vaccaro is the Vice President of Digital News at Altice USA, one of the largest telecommunication companies in America. He is also the Director of Graduate Journalism at Hofstra University where he has taught for 11 years, specializing in sports and entertainment journalism, digital media and product development. 

“Besides my family, career and community, my Italian American heritage defines me,” said Vaccaro, who has traced his family lineage to Palermo and Giuliana, Sicily and Turin in northern Italy. “To combine my deep appreciation and interest in Italian American culture with my love of baseball is very special. I believe in the game, honoring the past and inspiring the future. We must bridge the gap between Italy and America, for generations past and present, with passion, education and communication. The work we do today will help generate the next group of proud and talented Italian American players, coaches and fans.”

His connection to Italian American culture is present every day on social media as he advocates for our heritage. He is a committee member of the National Italian American Sports Hall of Fame, and a member of the National Italian American Foundation and Order Sons of Italy in America.

He has served as Editor-in-Chief of The Topps Company, and was an editor at the New York Daily News and Aol. His work has also appeared in Rolling Stone, ESPN, Sports Illustrated, The Athletic and more, and he is also the author of six books. At Topps he oversaw the digital division, business development, licensing, operations and editorial and worked closely with Major League Baseball, Major League Baseball Advanced Media, the Major League Baseball Players Association and the Major League Baseball Alumni Association. He also worked with hundreds of current and former players on projects.

Vaccaro working with past IABF honoree Mike Piazza

On the nonprofit front, he also has extensive experience; on a local level as the Executive Director of the Suffolk County Sports Hall of Fame on Long Island, as the Northeast Coordinator of the Society of Professional Journalists, and as past president of the Press Club of Long Island, where he is also a board member.

Vaccaro studied journalism at Hofstra, attended Stony Brook University for his master’s in public policy and has studied leadership in executive education programs at Harvard’s Kennedy School, NYU’s Stern School of Business, Columbia University’s Business School and MIT’s Sloan School of Management. 

About IABF

Started in 2016 with our inaugural dinner honoring Hall of Famer Mike Piazza, the Italian American Baseball Foundation (IABF) is a registered 501c3 charity that is committed to the future of baseball & softball for Italian & Italian – American youths on the high school, college and professional levels. While we move forward, we remember those who paved the way and brought us recognition and respect. Names like Dimaggio, Berra, Rizzuto, Righetti, and Franco still resonate today among the young students of the game. The IABF is adamant about adding new names to the list of Italian American Baseball greats! 

Our focus on developing young talent both in the US and Italy is top priority. Each year we sponsor several showcases and clinics that are conducted by former MLB players and top college coaches. We invite professional scouts and college recruiters to attend and evaluate the talent. We are working closely with several colleges and are deeply committed to helping those who qualify academically achieve a college education through baseball & Softball.

The IABF provides citizenship documentation assistance for Americans to play on the Italian Olympic and WBC Baseball teams. The IABF donates equipment to individuals, teams, and leagues that qualify. Helping families by giving their children the opportunity to have the proper equipment is as important to us as if it was our own children.

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