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Oh! This Liddi kid is pisan!

I'm a proud Irish Catholic American. I have always enjoyed having a name that makes me sound as if I just rolled off the boat from dear, ol' County Sligo back in Ireland. In grade school, my name served me well as I was a class clown and my principle's name was Sister Helen Donovan…she'd be screaming at me one minute and then go easy on me with the punishments because her family was from Galway. The Irish stick together.

It's great to see Major Leaguers being so proud of where they come from. Watching the World Baseball Classic you really get a sense of how our national pastime has grown throughout the world. Players from all over the league take time out from wearing their club's jersey to sport the colors of the country they are native to…or in some cases have family ties to (A-Rod to the Dominican Republic team).

Some of Major League Baseball's biggest stars hail from Japan, Puerto Rico, Australia, Canada and throughout the Central and South America, but are there any Italians at the big league level? Si, il suo nome e' Alex Liddi.

The Mariners rookie third baseman on Tuesday became the first Italian born Major Leaguer since Romo Bertia in 1962 and is the first graduate of the Major League Baseball European Academy to play in the Bigs.

Liddi played in his native city of San Remo until he was signed by the M's. While with AAA Tacoma, Liddi hit .259 with 30 home runs and 104 RBIs. Pretty damn "Bene" right?…(Dr. Evil voice) "I don't speak Italian."

I wish Liddi the best. I think the more diverse the game gets the better. I'm hoping that this will finally open the door for the powerhouse that will be the Irish World Baseball Classic Team. We have excelled at being on green fields and hitting things or people with wooden sticks for centuries. Hopefully Alex's story will inspire a new, young crop of players from all over the globe to chase down their dreams of being Major League Baseball players.

I'm a proud Irish Catholic American. I have always enjoyed having a name that makes me sound as if I just rolled off the boat from dear, ol' County Sligo back in Ireland. In grade school, my name served me well as I was a class clown and my principle's name was Sister Helen Donovan…she'd be screaming at me one minute and then go easy on me with the punishments because her family was from Galway. The Irish stick together.

It's great to see Major Leaguers being so proud of where they come from. Watching the World Baseball Classic you really get a sense of how our national pastime has grown throughout the world. Players from all over the league take time out from wearing their club's jersey to sport the colors of the country they are native to…or in some cases have family ties to (A-Rod to the Dominican Republic team).

Some of Major League Baseball's biggest stars hail from Japan, Puerto Rico, Australia, Canada and throughout the Central and South America, but are there any Italians at the big league level? Si, il suo nome e' Alex Liddi.

The Mariners rookie third baseman on Tuesday became the first Italian born Major Leaguer since Romo Bertia in 1962 and is the first graduate of the Major League Baseball European Academy to play in the Bigs.

Liddi played in his native city of San Remo until he was signed by the M's. While with AAA Tacoma, Liddi hit .259 with 30 home runs and 104 RBIs. Pretty damn "Bene" right?…(Dr. Evil voice) "I don't speak Italian."

I wish Liddi the best. I think the more diverse the game gets the better. I'm hoping that this will finally open the door for the powerhouse that will be the Irish World Baseball Classic Team. We have excelled at being on green fields and hitting things or people with wooden sticks for centuries. Hopefully Alex's story will inspire a new, young crop of players from all over the globe to chase down their dreams of being Major League Baseball players.