Mauro Mazzotti has been a manager in Italian baseball since 1987 since the age of 28 and is the only manager to win championships with three different clubs in the Italian Baseball League. Most recently he won three straight titles in 2011, 2012, and 2013 as the general manager of T&A San Marino, a huge accomplishment in a league where the championship usually changes hands every year.
Known for recruiting baseball’s secret weapons the Caribbean and Latin America, this accomplished scout for the Baltimore Orioles sheds a lot of light on the importing of foreign players to the Italian Baseball League. He elaborates on where he finds his players, how many Americans are imported to the IBL, what their backgrounds are, how much they are paid, and his thought process behind importing. I don’t let him off the hook easy as I poke and pry to extract as much information as possible on import regulations, visa issues, etc.
Mazzotti has also been the manager of the Spanish National Team for the past 6 years until he decided to part ways after the 2014 season. During this tenure the Spanish National Team set new records including an upset over Israel in 2012 to advance to the World Baseball Classic in 2013. He also led Spain to back-to-back bronze medals at the European Championships in 2012 and 2014.
I take this opportunity to utilize his vast experience European baseball to get his take on other European baseball markets. He shares how the game has grown from the 80’s when the EU championship was just a series between Italy and Holland. Today there are some countries that he names who can give the big two a run for their money. He also gets more specific by naming some amateur clubs that operate at a level similar to professional clubs.
Mazzotti also shares his opinion on which country is the next big baseball market that will run with Italy and Holland in the future.
This interview with a friendly, down-to-earth Italian born manager is a must listen for baseball players and fans around the globe.