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Fortitudo Baseball

A short team history

        The Società Ginnastica FORTITUDO activated a Baseball Department in 1953, thanks to member Orfeo Spada who would be Team President until 1956. The first official season, though, is the next one, which resulted in a third-place finish in the third-division championship (Serie C).

        In 1957, the new President Aldo Furlanetto, who'll keep the post until 1962, and Franco Ludovisi as the Manager earned the promotion to the second division (Serie B).

        In 1963 the Club merges with ACLI Labor Bologna of the first division (Serie A) and a new era starts for FORTITUDO Baseball. Under Manager Jimmy Strong and President Pietro Leoni the team becomes a consistent and solid presence in Italian baseball. The first Championship comes in 1969, along with the first sponsor AMARO MONTENEGRO.

        From 1972 to 1982 the new President Lamberto Lenzi witnesses an impressive sequence of triumphs, labelled as the “MONTENEGRO Dynasty”: National Championship in 1972, European Championship in 1973, Italian Cup in 1973 and National Championship in 1974.

        In 1977 Enzo Montanelli, C.E.O. of BIEMME GIOCATTOLI,takes control of the club as President and sponsor, and in 1978 the fourth National Title is won under Manager Alfredo Meli.

        Some great players got old and retired in the early 80's, forcing the Club to face a rebuilding process. But with help from prestigious partners as DEL MONTE and NORDMENDE (sponsors), along with a serious approach to the youth development department, the team reaches new heights soon: under the new sponsor BE.CA. CARNI, the new Presidents Emanuele Zambonelli first and then Alfredo Pacini, the National Championship is won again in 1984 , followed by the second European Championship in 1985, both under Manager Vic Luciani and with Alfredo Meli as General Manager. Meli is the first and only case in Italian baseball to become National Champion as a player (1969), Manager (1978) and General Manager (1984). He's a real great baseball man, played for years with the National Team and lately conceived and established a baseball championship for blind people, the only such discipline played in Europe.

        In 1986-87 BIEMME GIOCATTOLI is the sponsor again, and the new Manager is Alberto “Toro” Rinaldi, literally a legend in Italian baseball, being the first Italian born to ever play in the U.S.A. (Cincinnati Reds farm system).

        1988 and 89 are solid campaigns under sponsor CAFFE’ MESETA, both unfortunately finished in the semi-finals.

        The 90's are years of deep rebuilding, when the Club, under President Enzo Montanelli, becomes the focal point of a local "baseball system" with the intent of coordinate all the youth activities at work in town. The first team has two years without playoffs, 1990 POLIEDIL and 1991 FONTE GAUDIANELLO, but the "farm system", under former pioneer pitcher Umberto Calzolari, another legendary character, starts winning regularly in several youth championships.

        In 1992 the team, now EUROBUILDING, has a new manager: Dimes Gamberini. A great season and a Championship Final lost on the last pitch.

        In 1993/94, playoffs again, but lost in the semi-finals.

        1995 is the first year of the current sponsor, ITALERI MODELLISMO IN SCALA, but in 1996 the team faces its first demotion to the second division. But the management doesn't give up: President Gianni Guizzardi, Vicepresident Luciano Folletti and General Manager Marco Macchiavelli set up a serious program; in 1997,under new Manager Volfango Valbonesi and coaches Marco Avallone e Jim Rooney, the team triumphs in the A2 Series with a respectable record of 40 wins and just two losses, regaining rights to the first division and, equally important, winning the Italian Cup against Italian Champions Nettuno in the semi-finals and European Champions Parma in the Final.

        1998,in Serie A again, ITALERI FORTITUDO plays an average season.

        1999 is an important turning point. The Club has a new President, Stefano Michelini, a lifetime supporter of the team and a true lover of the Old Game. Gianni Guizzardi, to whom FORTITUDO will always be thankful, stays aboard as Honorary President. The team overachieves all year, missing the playoffs by two games.

        In 1998, FORTITUDO hosts five games of the 33th IBA World Championship, getting rave reviews for its hospitality and for the ballpark. The year after, the town of Bologna is awarded with the organization of the 26th European Championship for National Teams. The success of the event finds its climax in the Final (July 31st), where Italy and Netherlands face each other in front of a sold-out attendance of 5.000, with a lot of "oranjies" among them.

        The 2000 season has ITALERI as the main sponsor for the sixth straight year; the Club marks the season from the beginning signing an important friendship agreement, the first of its kind in Italy, with the SEATTLE  MARINERS.

        The new Manager is Mauro Mazzotti, who won the Italian Championship last year with Rimini, signed for three years.

        We go for the playoffs!

Club Staff

 HONORARY PRESIDENT:  Gianni Guizzardi
 PRESIDENT:  Stefano Michelini
 VICEPRESIDENT:   Luciano Folletti
 VICEPRESIDENT:   Alfredo Pacini
 GENERAL MANAGER:  Marco Macchiavelli
 SPOKESMAN:   Davide Bacci
 EQUIPMENT MANAGER:  Agostino Giuliani
 OTHER MEMBER:  Maurizio Toppini
 OTHER MEMBER:  Umberto Tarozzi

 SECRETARY:  Renzo Moretti, Arrigo Calzolari
 TRAVEL MANAGER: Roberto Parmigiani
 TEAM SCORER: Renzo Moretti
 WEB SITE:  Roberto Caramelli

The Media

Newspapers covering Fortitudo games: “IL RESTO DEL CARLINO” , “STADIO-CORRIERE DELLO SPORT” , “LA GAZZETTA DELLO SPORT” plus other minor local papers.
On TV, RAI2, RAI3 and RAISAT broadcast baseball games weekly (about five games per season for each team).
Local TV RETE 8 broadcasts a baseball program weekly with live coverage.

Since 1983, every FORTITUDO game is broadcast LIVE on the air.  For this season, the service will be provided by CIAO RADIO (90.1-91.2 FM).

The Trophies

"SCUDETTO" is the Italian Championship
"COPPA CAMPIONI" is the European Team Championship
"COPPA ITALIA" is the Italian Federation Cup

President: Pietro Leoni
Manager: Monetti
Coaches: Blanda, Calzolari
Players: Baldi, Blanda, Calzolari, Campagna, Ghedini, Lercker, Malaguti S., Malaguti L., Meli, Morelli, Rinaldi, Sarti, Saunders.

President: Lamberto Lenzi
Manager: Jimmy Strong
Coach: Rocky Shone
Players: Alvisi, Baldi, Barbato, Fascherari, Gamberini, Ghedini, Lercker, Luciani, Malaguti S., Meli, Morelli, Naldi, Paganelli, Rinaldi, Shone, Vasquez.

President: Lamberto Lenzi
Manager: Shone
Caoch: Barbato
Players: Argentieri, Baldi, Bastia, Dentice, Gamberini, Ghedini, Luciani, Malaguti S., Meli, Morelli, Naldi, Paglioli, Rinaldi, Saletti, Shone, Vasquez.

President: Lamberto Lenzi
Manager: Shone
Coach: Barbato
Players: Albertazzi, Argentieri, Baldi, Calzolari, Conti, Corradini, Ghelfi, Lercker, Luciani, Malaguti S., Meli, Morelli, Paglioli, Rinaldi, Shone, Vasquez.

President: Enzo Montanelli
Manager: Alfredo Meli
Coaches: Stefano Malaguti, Hiro Tsugawa.
Players: Argentieri, Avallone, Black, Conti, Corradini, Di Marco, Giorgi, Landucci, Landuzzi, Lercker, Luciani, Malaguti S., Matteucci, Mondalto, Rinaldi, Ventura.

President: Emanuele Zambonelli
Manager: Vic Luciani
Coaches: Jim Black, Riccardo Corradini, Alberto Rinaldi
Players: Barbieri, Bianchi, Brusa, Denman, Franceschini, Giorgi, Landuzzi, Matteucci, Messori, Mirabelli, Poma, Radaelli, Rovezzi, Skorochocky, Todd, Ventura, Zoli.

President: Alfredo Pacini
Manager: Vic Luciani
Coaches: Black, Rinaldi
Players: Bianchi, Brusa, De Marco, Franceschini, Gasperini, Giorgi, Landuzzi, Matteucci, Messori, Parmeggiani, Radaelli, Rebecchi, Talarico, Viesti, Zoli, Zunino.

President: Gianni Guizzardi
Manager: Volfango Valbonesi
Coaches: Jim Rooney, Marco Avallone
Players: Bissa, Castro, Collina, Conversi, Corradini, Dallospedale, De Marco, Desii, Fava, Frignani D., Frignani F., Landuzzi A., Landuzzi S., Maccaferri, Pani, Piretti, Radaelli, Roccabianca, Stefanelli.