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Italian American Football PlayersMembers PostsSports

Vince Lombardi

Vince Lombardi, by Matt Gill Vince Lombardi was born on June 11, 1913 in Brooklyn, New York. While watching Super Bowl 55 on February 7, 2021, I began a look back at the Super Bowl, I quickly discovered the names of 200 Italians, and Americans of Italian descent, who all had a big impact on American Football. Yes, there were a few Italians from Italy who played American football. In fact, there is even an Italian Football League the IF that started in 2008.      Our own Italian American football… Continue Reading…

Italian American Baseball PlayersSports

Dom DiMaggio

Dominic Paul DiMaggio was born on February 12, 1917 born to Sicilian immigrants, Guiseppe and Rosalie DiMaggio. The couple had traveled to America in 1898, leaving behind the community of Isola delle Femmine off the coast of Sicily and the waters where the DiMaggios had been fishermen for generations. Dom was nicknamed “The Little Professor”,  and was an American Major League Baseball center fielder. He played his entire 11-year baseball career for the Boston Red Sox (1940–1953). DiMaggio was the youngest of three brothers who each became major league center fielders, the others… Continue Reading…

Italian American Baseball PlayersSports

Vince DiMaggio

Vincent Paul DiMaggio was born September 6, 1912, in Martinez, California, to Sicilian immigrants Guiseppe and Rosalie DiMaggio. The couple had traveled to America in 1898, leaving behind the community of Isola delle Femmine off the coast of Sicily and the waters where the DiMaggios had been fishermen for generations. Vince was the oldest brother of Joe and Dom DiMaggio. Vince DiMaggio was the first DiMaggio brother to play Major League Baseball. He was a center fielder. During a 10-year baseball career, Vince played for the Boston Bees (1937–1938), Cincinnati… Continue Reading…

Italian American Baseball PlayersSports

Michael Piazza

Sports, in particular, New York Sports teams were the binding factor of the 4 Generations of Ricciardelli. from my Grandfather Leo, my dad Anthony myself and  my Daughter Alayna. Then you can add in the Uconn Woman’s Basketball program. Since its spring and Baseball season just underway I’ll focus on Baseball Players of Italian American Heritage that made a difference to me and my family. I’d Like to focus on the National league teams, which of course would be the New York Giant’s the Brooklyn Dodgers and the New York… Continue Reading…

Italian American Baseball PlayersSports

Phil Rizzuto

Phil Rizzuto was born on September 25, 1917 in Brooklyn, New York City, New York. He was the son of a streetcar motorman and his wife, both of whom were originally from Calabria, Italy. Phil Rizzuto was such an integral part of the New York Yankees success in the 1940s and 1950s. – In that time the team won nine American League pennants and seven World Series titles. Phil Rizzuto played 13 seasons with the club. He was such a good player – that fellow Hall of Famer Ted Williams… Continue Reading…

Sports

Ben Abruzzo

Ben Abruzzo was the first great Ballooning Sportsman ever. Ben Abruzzo was born June 9, 1930 in Rockford, Illinois. He gained fame as the first man to pilot a balloon across the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans. In 1978, Ben Abruzzo crossed the Atlantic Ocean. He accomplished this with partners Maxie Anderson and Larry Newman. They were able to set a duration record of 137 hours, five minutes and 30 seconds. The name of the balloon was Double Eagle II. This was also the first time anyone was able to cross… Continue Reading…

Italian American BoxersSports

Rocky Marciano

Marciano was born as Rocco Francis Marchegianon on September 1, 1923, in Brockton, Massachusetts, to Italian immigrants Pierino Marchegiano and Pasqualina Picciuto. Marciano and his three sisters and two brothers lived across the street from the James Edgar Playground, where Marciano spent countless hours playing baseball. At a young age, he worked out on homemade weights and did chin-ups until he “was totally fatigued. Professional Career Marciano began fighting as a professional boxer on July 12, 1948, winning a fight against Harry Bilizarian. He then went on to win his… Continue Reading…

SportsWoman's Sports

Mary Lou Retton (Rotundia)

Mary Lou Rottundia was born January 24, 1968 in Fairmont, West Virginia, of Italian heritage. Known as Mary Lou Retton. Mary Lou was the youngest of 5 children. Her father, Ronnie, operated a transportation equipment business. At the age of 8 years old Mary Lou Retton became fascinated with gymnastics watching Nadia Comaneci in the 1976 Olympics. When Mary Lou was 14 Nadina’s coach noticed her and offered to coach Mary Lou. She left school and moved to Houston to begin training for the next Olympics.   At 1984 Summer… Continue Reading…

Italian American Basketball PlayersPublic FigureSports

Gino Auriemma

Luigi “Geno” Auriemma (born March 23, 1954) is an Italian-born American. Auriemma emigrated with his family from Montella in Southern Italy to Norristown, Pennsylvania when he was seven years old, and he spent the rest of his childhood there. He did not speak English when his family emigrated and he was tutored in 2nd grade at St. Francis of Assisi by a classmate named John. He is a college basketball coach and the head coach of the University of Connecticut Huskies women’s basketball team. He has led UConn to eleven… Continue Reading…

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