Massimo Ciaramella

From BR Bullpen

Massimo Ciaramella

  • Bats Right, Throws Right
  • Height 6' 0", Weight 165 lb.

Olympics-Reference page

Biographical Information[edit]

Infielder Massimo Ciaramella played 16 seasons in Serie A1 and appeared in the Olympics.

Ciaramella debuted in 1986 for his hometown Nettuno team, going 0 for 1 at age 15. In 1987, he was 13 for 48 with 9 walks for Nettuno. He fielded .881 as the backup to Claudio Cecconi at the hot corner. The next year, he hit .227/.397/.295 with 22 walks and 22 runs in 29 games for Nettuno. He alternated at SS and 3B with Ruggero Bagialemani (Cecconi moved to 2B). In the finals, he was 0 for 5 as Nettuno lost to Rimini. He batted only .225/.284/.313 in 1989 and fielded .816 at third base. In '90, he posted a .293/.386/.382 line but fell to 0 for 6 with a walk and a run in the finals (which Nettuno won). He backed up Bagialemani at short and Cecconi at third.

In 1991, the 20-year-old hit .250/.336/.352 while fielding .902 at third base, replacing Cecconi as the starter. He debuted with the Italian national team that year. In the 1991 Intercontinental Cup, he hit .238/.429/.429 as Italy's main third baseman. His six runs tied Bagialemani and Marco Ubani for the team lead, but he made four errors in six games. In the 1991 European Championship, he was 2 for 8 with a walk, backing up Cecconi at 3B for the Gold Medal winners.

Ciaramella hit .257/.341/.358 in 1992, backing up Bagialemani at SS and splitting third base with Cecconi. Despite not having a set position for his team, the 21-year-old made the Italian squad for the 1992 Olympics. In Barcelona, he only played two games as Bagialemani's backup at shortstop. He went 1 for 2 with a walk and had two error-free chances. He played only as a late-game substitute in blowout losses to powers Cuba and Japan. He singled off Rolando Arrojo. Facing Tomohito Ito, he was 0 for 1 with a walk. Italy's youngest player in Barcelona, he was one of three Massimos on the team, joining Massimo Fochi and Massimo Melassi.

In '93, he hit .304/.381/.420 for Nettuno, fielding .904 as their starting shortstop (Bagialemani moved to 2B and 3B). In the finals, he went 7 for 18 with two doubles as his club won it all. In the 1993 Intercontinental Cup, he struggled as Italy's starting shortstop, going 1 for 18 with 3 walks and 4 runs; he fielded .931. In the 1993 European Championship, he was 4 for 17 with a double and four walks for the Silver Medalists, with four errors in six games at short as Italy fell to the Dutch national team. His .846 fielding at short was the second-lowest in the tourney; only Frank van Droogenbroeck was worse among the qualifiers.

Ciaramella had his best season in 1994, hitting .354/.392/.531 with 33 runs in 38 games and 11 steals in 11 tries. He struggled defensively, though, fielding only .850 at third base, with Bagialemani moving back to shortstop. He was third on the club in slugging behind former major leaguer Steve Carter and longtime Italian star Guglielmo Trinci. In the finals, he was 4 for 8 with a double but Nettuno fell to Parma. In the 1994 Baseball World Cup, he was 1 for 4 with 2 errors in 7 chances at third base, backing up Bagialemani; Andrea Evangelisti was now the Azzurri shortstop.

In '95, Massimo fell to .286/.353/.448 with 33 runs and 31 RBI in 41 games, fielding .906 at third base. He was 1 for 12 with two walks and two errors in the finals as Nettuno again lost to Parma. He was 1 for 4 with a walk and an error in the 1995 European Championship, backing up Bagialemani at 3B for the Silver Medal winners. In the 1995 Intercontinental Cup, his final appearance for the national team, he was 1 for 9 with an error while splitting the shortstop job with Evangelisti.

By 1996, still only 25 years old, Ciaramella was a backup for Nettuno. He hit .233/.297/.422 with 26 RBI in 23 games, backing up Bagialemani and former major leaguer George Canale at third base. Nettuno won the title but Massimo did not play in the finals. The next year, he moved to first base (where he would spend the remainder of his career). He hit .329/.388/.502 with 50 runs, 53 RBI, 8 home runs and 13 doubles in 50 games in a rebound season, while fielding .991 at his new spot. While he had a fine season, it was no match for Nettuno's offensive leaders - Roberto De Franceschi, Todd Trafton and Alberto D'Auria. In the finals, he was 1 for 2 as Nettuno fell to Parma for the third time in four years. Former AAA player Trafton was given his starting role at 1B while Igor Schiavetti took Trafton's spot at third base for the finals.

Ciaramella batted .307/.391/.475 with 43 RBI in 47 games in 1998 while fielding .992. He was 2 for 12 in the finals and Nettuno won their 4th title during his career. In '99, the veteran slumped to .237/.313/.333. He was 4 for 17 with a double and 3 walks in the finals as Nettuno lost to Rimini. During the 2000 campaign, he hit .292/.371/.382 while fielding .980 at 1B. He was 3 for 14 in the finals, which Rimini again won. He ended his career in 2001 with a .256/.326/.311 season, fielding .993 in the first. He was an unimpressive 3 for 17 with a double and two walks in the finals but Nettuno won the championship, sending out Ciaramella on a high note.

Overall, Ciaramella put up a .282/.357/.402 batting line in 642 career games, with 442 runs, 391 RBI and 257 walks. He fielded .861 at third base, .887 at short and .988 at first base.