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North End Wins First International Little League Game Against Verona, Italy [Photos]

The international appeal of Little League Baseball brought together the North End Athletic Association and a team from Verona, Italy in a first of its kind youth baseball game on Thursday night. It was a close, but high scoring, game with a final score of 13 – 12, as the North End Athletic Association came from behind with two runs in the 6th inning to take the win in the friendly competition. Organizers are already talking about a rematch in September!

In addition to the well-attended little league game, the North End hosts gave the Italian team a tour of the neighborhood, including all the important sites like Mike’s Pastry! The Italians were quite surprised (and proud) to see the Americans’ interest in Italian soccer (football) on Hanover Street during Euro 2012 as the Italian national team won over Germany that afternoon. Pizza after the game was enjoyed at the Nazzaro Center, courtesy of Benevento’s.

In his own blog post, Coach Paulo Castagnini describes the Italian-American’s efforts to communicate:

Many of them speak Italian though somewhat “broken,” but very understandable. One of them speaks well, but it makes me smile because he says pointing to the tables: “Here we guaglioni u” with a light Southern accent. I asked where one of them came from. I was born in Vercelli …… Vercelli, you ask? Vercelli, Piedmont! Yes, I know where is Vercelli, but we do not say “u guaglioni” in Vercelli! He tells me that at age nine with his family came to Boston and all the other Italian guys came from the south and of course a boy of nine / ten years immediately adapts.

The photos below show the team line-ups, opening ceremonies and some action shots from the game. The Verona team is part of Baseball On The Road, an Italian program that arranges international trips.

North End Athletic Association (blue) and the Verona, Italy team (white)


Verona Italy Little League Team


NEAA Team Lineup


Paulo Castagnini, Coach from Verona, Italy


NEAA President, Campochiaro, Throws the First Pitch


John Romano, NEAA Sports Coordinator


Playing the American and Italian National Anthems


Friendly competition with gift exchange


Shaking Hands, Verona and NEAA


International Gift Exchange










Photos by Matt Conti. Download high resolution versions of these photographs for free and order prints/products here: