“Yankees”. When Trieste was the home of baseball

03.06.2023 – 07.01 – Trieste has always been home to countless sports, with particular attention paid to the so-called ‘minor’ disciplines that have always had an audience of ardent fanatics in the Julian capital, and which are still evident today from the multitude of sports clubs and associations. In this context, however, it remains largely unknown Trieste’s contribution to baseballwhich can be placed in a period of time that, like the 1950s, is chronologically limited, but fertile in victories and sporting “glories”.
When European journalists and correspondents visited Japan in 1964, on the occasion of the “historic” Olympics in Tokyo, they were surprised how the Japanese, along with traditional disciplines, became such staunch supporters of American sports. golf in particular; Although the lack of space in Japanese cities makes them laughably unsuitable for the Land of the Rising Sun; And of course baseball, which is still one of the most played sports today.
American sports were able to spread as a result of Japan’s military defeat and subsequent cultural colonization. Although it should be noted that the rapprochement between the United States and Japan already existed in the nineteenth century, with the first cultural exchanges. The American presence, particularly the military, is evident through its patriotic sports. Just like other countries that use other cultures, such as coffee, food, cars, high technology, and so on. It is therefore not surprising that Trieste, which was a free territory at the time and under the administration of the Allied administration, experienced a period of exceptional luxury in baseball precisely in the fifties of the last century, and then disappeared just as quickly in the sixties. It was the American presence that favored the spread of baseball. Once the American “terrain” was removed, the new Italian Trieste let the “foreign” sports discipline wither.

The Trieste baseball squads, with the support and (sometimes) presence of regularly registered American players, were formed atIndustrial area: In fact, they were all children of young workers and/or belonged to large industrial conglomerates undergoing reconstruction.
There was a special sports facility,Yankee Stadium“, inside”Zawil Country ClubTrieste teams bore names Major League Baseball American (eg Giants, Red Sox, Indians, etc) with only some local names variable (eg Inter-Zaule, Valmaura, Aquilinia etc). the Yankee Stadium It was also usable in American football. The first team to play in the Italian Championship was in 1950 AD Roico Trieste BCWhich, however, did not reach the final round. Matches later moved to Soldier field from Opicina. Even the Italian baseball players who trained here in 1952; In fact, Italy’s first European match was scheduled for August 31, against then-unbeaten Spain.

Soldier’s Field in Opicina in 1952

The 1953 pamphlet describes very well the cooperation with US forces:
Trieste had the honor of welcoming the players, thanks to the passion and generosity of the American military command, who wanted to host the players, making available to them two honorary technicians: Sam Corallo and Alberto Vada. Their playing maneuvers, guided and corrected by coaches.
When deemed appropriate, the individual preparation gave way to the collective and a practice match against a team commenced giants. Baseball was discovered by the Trieste audience on that occasion; A few thousand spectators came to Opicina by all means, to watch, applaud and be amazed … “

What was the climax Trieste Baseball? Perhaps the greatest achievement has occurred When the “Yankees Trieste” won the 1952 Division II baseball national championship and qualified for the Serie A championship the following year. High hopes were placed on this team which displayed all-American ingenuity and dynamism, thanks to the help of the home military. He did not win the Italian league championship, however He finished third in ’53 and fourth in ’54. Overall a good result. However, it is surprising how, with the passage of Trieste to Italy and the layoffs, the team disappeared from Italian baseball’s radar, with giants s In ’55 and a few more. However, for experts and sports journalists of the period, Trieste, “the home of baseball”, a breeding ground for future champions, seemed an immutable fact.

The Yankees Trieste baseball group was formed in February 1952; The Serie B debut was a triumph, as a winning streak was interrupted by only one defeat in Turin. The white uniform had the inscription “The Strongest Team in the United States representing the ‘Non-Overloading Baseball Team’ in the Country”, i.e. the Yankees. The 1953 brochure mentioned above provides some additional information; Thanks to the “special service” and the presence of Mackenzie’s “first club” on its land.
He was the team manager Humberto Magris And the coach Alberto Fada, defined as the “Italian baseball fox”. It seems that the great success of the team was mainly the responsibility of Vada. In 1953 the following players were numbered: Attilio Malmosi (first base), Paolo Secchi (fuller), Bruno Dudic (right fielder), Giordano Turina (fuller), Stelio Bazzara (fuller), Livio Mesic (pitcher), Rafael del Zio (catcher, team captain), Luciano Scholes (outfield – third base), Bruno Canziani (third base – first base), Lester H. Gunnelly (Enfield), Romano Toros (pitcher), Donald McKenzie (Inter base), Mario DelOrfano (second base) and Adriano Trabuco (third base).
The team also received, under the banner of sports fraternity, greetings from two exceptional cyclists: Kobe and Bartelli.

Left to right: Gunley, McKenzie, Dudic B. , Vada, Scholes, Kanziani, Moretto, Dudic S, Magris, Chervattin. Bowed: Del Zio, Santalesa, Merlo, Turina.

sources: Our home folks, Yankees Trieste. An informational/advertising brochure from 1953 is in Coach Ferruccio Getty’s diary. I sincerely thank the Getty family for allowing use of the booklet.


Queenie Bell

"Introvert. Avid gamer. Wannabe beer advocate. Subtly charming zombie junkie. Social media trailblazer. Web scholar."

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button