Backstory: Baseball, of course, has seen many Italian-Americans grace the national pastime – Joe DiMaggio, Yogi Berra, Ron Santo, and Rocky Colavito come readily to mind, for example. Liddi, however, not only was born and raised in Italy, he is the first graduate of the Major League Baseball International European Academy to make it to the majors.
Although Liddi didn’t actually finish this season in the big leagues, while he was up with the Seattle Mariners earlier in the year, he used his powerful 6 ft. 4 in., 230-lb. frame to jack a grand slam in a 5-3 win over Texas. Only one other Italian-born player ever hit a grand slam, and that was in 1958 by Reno Bertoia, who grew up in Canada and played in the majors from 1953 to 1962.