WBSC President | Baseball Chairman
Born May 30, 1949 in Pisa, ITA
A world sports administrator, holding various high-ranking positions, most notably as president of the World Baseball Softball Confederation. He is married to Giovanna, and the couple have a son who graduated in law.
Riccardo Fraccari was elected first-ever president of the World Baseball Softball Confederation – the world governing body for baseball and softball — in 2014. He led WBSC’s successful bid for baseball and softball’s inclusion at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020, fulfilling one of the major components in his election manifesto. He has served in 7 Olympic Games as a baseball official.
In 2015 under Fraccari, the WBSC launched a new top-tier Baseball World Cup property PREMIER12®, which generated $131 million in brand exposure, No. 1 TV ratings in the host countries (Japan and Taiwan) and broke social media records for an international baseball tournament.
Fraccari led WBSC negotiations for a multi-year, multi-million-dollar agreement with USA’s Major League Baseball (MLB) for the ongoing operation and sanctioning of the World Baseball Classic and the inclusion of a qualification system that incorporates 12 additional National Teams, extending the WBC platform to 28 of WBSC’s Member Federations.
Fraccari was elected president of the International Baseball Federation (IBAF) in 2009. As IBAF President, Fraccari immediately set out to hold merger discussions with the International Softball Federation (ISF) and oversaw negotiations to consolidate international baseball and softball to establish the WBSC in December 2012.
He also focused IBAF’s efforts on strengthening collaborations with the preeminent professional baseball leagues of the world, introducing new legislation before the 2011 IBAF Congress to add a new membership category for these prestigious entities to fall under the umbrella of the IBAF.
To further protect IBAF’s intellectual property rights, Fraccari called on the IBAF to pass stronger regulations to ensure international club competitions are not marketed as National Team events.
The IBAF, under Fraccari, established a Baseball World Cup for the Under-12 youth category in 2011, and the large success of the inaugural championship has quickly raised its profile within the IBAF tournament structure and has reinforced a commitment to youth and baseball’s short- and long-term international expansion.
Under Fraccari, WBSC established the first-ever “Europe” branded baseball team to compete in officially recognised international competitions, which set a historical precedent.
Fraccari also dedicates his time to serve on or chair other executive boards in world sport, including such roles as Secretary General of the Association of IOC Recognised International Sport Federations (ARISF) and International Relations for the Italian National Olympic Committee. In April 2015 in Sochi, Russia, Fraccari was elected to the Global Association of International Sports Federations (GAISF) Council. He is also an advisory board member of the global sports think tank, Doha GOALS.
Fraccari began his career in sports leadership with the Italian Baseball Softball Federation in 1985 and served as the national federation’s president from 2001-2016.
Fraccari was previously Professor of Organic Chemistry, Technical Industrial Institute.
In 2013, when we decided to merge the Baseball and Softball worlds into one unique organization – the World Baseball Softball Confederation – a New Era for our sports was born, and I want to thank all of you, not only for having received your approval and your support, but especially for sharing a common vision and recognizing a need for change.
Certainly with the recent changes to the Olympic program and especially IOC Agenda 2020, there is a need for restructuring and also a need to locate alternative revenue sources in order to ensure the development of our sports. We find the international game of baseball and softball at a crossroads, now unite under unique objectives and development hopes and plans. We need to reunite our community to work as a team and strengthen our relationship with the professional bodies. Greater participation of professional organizations and their players could have a major impact play in our community and would significantly improve the current state of international baseball and softball.
We need to redefine and maximize the value of our tournaments; we must continue to develop baseball and softball, both male and female, especially in countries where we are less present; we must strengthen and develop all our disciplines that are involving more and more athletes daily; we must restructure the entire organization of our institution to be more efficient and attentive to the problems and needs of our members; we must demonstrate that baseball and softball are truly a global sport that involves millions of male and female athletes, coaches, fans, families and youth worldwide. It is a sport present on all continents, capable of attracting the attention of newspapers, television and sponsors because of its universality and because it is widespread. It is a sport that shall always embrace and develop in harmony with the Olympic values, and we will all be fully active toward the permanence of our sport onto the Olympic programme. We are also aware that the choices and decisions that the new Executive Board and I make together will have far reaching effects on the shape and visibility of the organization.
However, this predicament highlights the need for us to work together with all those involved.
Challenges are ahead of us, but I am confident that with support from all of you and my new team, we can overcome this outstanding moment. Together we can flourish WBSC and establish a new baseball and softball society where each of you plays an integral role. Once again, I thank all of you who supported WBSC and me. It is my hope that your involvement and support will remain steadfast. I encourage all of you to voice your opinions as to our future. The thoughts, comments and suggestions of the international baseball and softball community are always welcomed and encouraged.