The Italian Serie A1 will have several new teams in the upcoming season. Next to Hotsand Macerata Angels, Grizzlies Torino 1948 and Nettuno Baseball City 2, which has played in the IBL before, Collecchio Baseball Club will return in Italy’s highest baseball league.
Collecchio Baseball Club is relatively young as it was founded in 1973. The club played in the Serie A1 on two separate occasions in the 1990s before. The baseball club from the Parma suburb made it to the promotion series of the Serie A2 last season. In a best-of-five, Collecchio took game one vs Hotsand Mercata Angels 7-6 but in the next three games, the team couldn’t stay at the right side of the score (6-7, 2-6 and 5-8).
So missing direct promotion to Italy’s baseball Walhalla, the club applied for a spot in the Serie A1 which was sustained mid-December 2019.
In the past ten seasons, Collecchio spent most of the time in the Serie B (now called Serie A2). In 2009, the club finished in ninth place but from there it slowly crawled up. The vision of the club was to create a team with many homegrown talents completed with some experienced veterans. That philosophy appeared to work as they resided in second or first place of the Serie B. But every time, the club did not manage to make it through the playoffs.
According to the Facebook page of the club, the intention is not to aim for the top four spots of the Serie A1 but to gain experience and to mature. The club also wants to attract more and more fans.
If the core of the team can stay the same and big clubs like Fortitudo Bologna and A.S.D. San Marino will keep their hands off the talented players, perhaps something beautiful may come out of this. Perhaps the tiny club from the town with just 15,000 inhabitants, just like the fairy tale of Hans Christan Andersen, may turn from an ugly duckling into a beautiful swan in three or four years. Perhaps the comparison with a duckling isn’t that bad at all as the logo of the softball branch of the club shows Tweety hatching from a baseball-shaped egg.
Collecchio will have the hardest possible start as it will face Fortitudo Bologna in the first round of the 2020 season. In the second round, it will face San Marino and in the third round, neighbor Parmaclima Parma will be the opponent.
Don’t we all tend to root for the underdog? Wouldn’t it be nice if the Bianco, Blue e Grigio (White, Blue, and Gray) can stay in the Serie A1?