Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Terrence McClain to play in Italy in 2011

The sound of "Detenuto Musica" (Convict Music) just might be resonating throughout a ballpark in Northern Italy this summer, as former Seal Terrence McClain has been signed to play for an Italian professional baseball team. T-Mac will be playing for the Godo-Verona ("North East") Knights in the Italian Baseball League (IBL). Their season is set to kickoff in April. For the Victoria Seals in 2010, McClain posted a .330 average with 14 homers and 63 RBI in 339 at-bats. For this blogger at least, T-Mac was one of the most enjoyable Seals to watch at Royal Athletic Park last season.

While some might snicker at the thought of Italian professional baseball, the league should not be discounted. There are a number of big name American players who have been lured to the league, including former Toronto Blue Jay Josh Phelps. If you are looking for a primer on Italian professional baseball, I highly recommend the book Baseballissimo by ace musician and writer Dave Bidini. Although Bidino followed a Serie B team, the Nettuno Peones, the book gives the reader a great insight into the passion that a significant number of Italians have for baseball.

We wish T-Mac all the best in Italy. Based on Bidini's writing and my own trip to Italy a few years ago, he's in for an experience that he will remember for the rest of his life.
The logo that will adorn T-Mac's 2011 uniform
Editor's note: In the last month, this blog has been read by Italians more times than from any country in the world other than Canada or the United States. We'd like to think that the Italian T-Mac fan club got its start right here...