Lefty-pitching specialist Tommy Layne will always be remembered as a hero when he played for Team Italy the 2017 World Baseball Classic (WBC). After pitching a scoreless eighth inning against Mexico,Tommy Layne kept Team Italy in the game as the Azzurri scored five runs in the top of the ninth to win the contest 10-9 on March 9, 2017. He later kept...

Nick Cafardo worked in a profession peppered with competitive souls, jealousy, and millionaire athletes accustomed to being praised unconditionally. One of the best baseball writers of his generation, Nick managed to cover the sport without generating any hard feelings. Everybody liked Nick. The man had no enemies. For a baseball writer in 2019, th...

High school graduation is a big deal for the vast majority of people, but it wasn’t for Rockford’s Jean Cione. “She skipped it,” Cione’s sister, Linda Gillespie, said of the East High School graduation ceremony in 1946. “She took her finals, and then she left to play ball. It was spring training.” Cione was one of the very youngest of the pioneers...

With the departure of outfielders Andrew McCutchen, Hunter Pence, Gregor Blanco, and Gorkys Hernandez, the San Francisco Giants need the speedy John Andreoli now more than ever. Team Italy's John AndreoliClaimed off waivers from the Texas Rangers on February 1, 2019, the 28-year-old non-roster spring training invitee joins a group of outfielders wi...

Team Italy catcher and designated hitter Drew Butera recently signed a minor league contract with the Philadelphia Phillies with an invitation to Spring Training Camp in Clearwater, Florida beginning February 12, 2019. The 35-year-old MLB veteran with nine years of experience in the Big Leagues will be competing for an opening day roster spot again...

On February 7, 1949, "Joltin Joe" DiMaggio became the first player in the history of the American League to crack six figures when he inked a one year deal with the New York Yankees that would pay him $100,000. The first player to sign for six figures was Hank Greenberg in '47, when he inked a deal with the Pirates that paid him $100,000. The year...

Play ball! Where have you gone, Joe DiMaggio? He’s safe, but he’s not where you think. The $150,000 statue of baseball legend Joe DiMaggio, which was abruptly removed from a plaza across the street from the closed National Italian American Sports Hall of Fame — leading to an uproar from some Little Italy residents — is now being housed in Elk Grove...

For more than 20 years, a statue of Joe DiMaggio has called Little Italy home since Piazza DiMaggio was dedicated to the New York baseball player in 1998. The legendary Yankees ballplayer even attended the ceremony when the plaza was dedicated to him. But late last week, the statue in the plaza at 1004 S. Bishop St. was abruptly removed and is now...

Wayne Randazzo, the former Chicago area sportscaster who's been hosting pregame and postgame shows for the New York Mets since 2015, has been promoted to a full-time play-by-play role on WCBS, the team's new radio flagship. He'll continue to host Mets postgame coverage as well. A graduate of St. Charles East High School and North Central College, R...

MLB All-Star and World Series Champion Player & Manager. In 10 seasons as the Yankees’ manager, Joe Girardi guided New York to six Postseason appearances and a World Series Championship in 2009. Girardi managed the Florida Marlins in 2006, winning the NL Manager of the Year Award in his managerial debut. Born in Peoria, Illinois, Chicagoland native...