Alida Campioni, the girl who looks up to Yadier Molina, helped Italy win U-12 Baseball European Championship

Alida Campioni, the girl who looks up to Yadier Molina, helped Italy win U-12 Baseball European Championship
25/08/2021
As a nine-year-old, she wrote to Santa Claus that her main wish was catcher's gear. She became her club's captain and made the Italian National Baseball Team 18-player roster.

Italy won their fourth consecutive U-12 European Baseball Championship on 14 August in Mortsel, Belgium.

Italy's 18-player national team, which is a collection of the best young baseball players in the country, featured one girl. Alida Campioni, born in 2009, appeared in four games, two at catcher and two in left field. She went 2-for-6 for a .333 batting average.

The current process in Italy allow girls to play together with boys until the age of 15. After that age, most of the girls transfer over to softball.

What will happen to Campioni in the future is hard to say. Her father Celestino told the online version of the daily La Repubblica that his daughter had picked baseball over any other sport at the age of six.

"She was very talented in swimming," commented Mr Campioni, "one of the best in our region. She never had a doubt; she loves baseball too much. She also doesn't care about being the only girl on the team."

The coach and her teammates also don't see it as a problem. Alida was named her club's team captain.

"It was the players' decision," commented coach Alessandro Lanni. "They like the way she interacts with everyone on the team, even the less gifted."

According to Lanni, Alida has top baseball tools: "She has power, great hand-eye coordination and is very coachable."

Alida loves to catch. As a nine-year-old, she wrote to Santa Claus that her main wish was catcher's gear, just like what Yadier Molina of the St. Louis Cardinals wore every day in Major League Baseball (MLB).

"We share her passion," said Mr Celestino on a final note. "We stay awake at night to watch MLB games together."

Cover photo by LG/FIBS