Ruggero Bagialemani

From BR Bullpen

Ruggero Bagialemani interview.jpg

Ruggero Bagialemani

  • Bats Right, Throws Right
  • Height 5' 10", Weight 176 lb.

Olympics-Reference page

Biographical Information[edit]

Ruggero Bagialemani was a longtime star in Italian baseball and ranks second all-time in hits through 2009. Bagialemani was a three-time Olympian and played in over 20 major international tournaments.

There is uncertainty over Bagialemani's actual date of birth: it is 2/2/62 according to sports-reference; according to the Italian Baseball and Softball Federation, 2/21/63 and according to over a dozen IBAF reports and the Italian Wikipedia, 2/2/63. Bagialemani debuted in 1978 with Nettuno, for whom he would play 23 seasons. He hit .310/.396/.333 in 18 games; the 15-year-old kid was obviously ready. In 1979, Ruggero batted .306/.344/.376. In 1980, he hit .331/.366/.441 and scored 28 runs in 34 games. During '80, the Nettuno infielder batted .331/.366/.441. In 1981, Bagialemani hit .358/.402/.568. He followed with a .372/.432/.619 batting line in 1982 with 27 runs in 28 contests; he was still only 19 years old. That year, he made his debut with the Italian national team in the 1982 Amateur World Series.

Ruggero batted .347/.395/.523 for Nettuno in 1983 with 16 doubles in 42 games. In '84, he hit .263/.308/.387 in an off-year. He played for Italy in the 1984 Olympics and 1984 Amateur World Series; in the latter event, he was 2 for 14 with a walk as a backup at second base and DH.

Bagialemani's 1985 batting line was .355/.417/.573 with 11 home runs, 52 runs and 55 RBI in 64 games. He helped Italy win a Silver Medal at the 1985 European Championship, hitting .500/.548/.714 with 8 runs in 8 games as their starting third baseman (he also saw action at 2B). He tied Claudio Corradi for the team's best average. In 1986, he hit .325/.395/.482 for Nettuno with 43 runs in 47 contests. After being primarily a third baseman for almost a decade, he made the odd mid-career move to shortstop, a position he would hold down through 1997. He played for Italy in the 1986 Amateur World Series.

The Rome native produced at a .384/.452/.630 rate in the 1987 regular season with 15 doubles and 39 RBI in 35 games. He was with Italy for the 1987 Intercontinental Cup and 1987 European Championship (a Silver Medal effort). In '88, the 25-year-old hit .351/.438/.751 with 36 runs and 33 RBI in 38 games. He hit .233/.343/.233 in the 1988 Baseball World Cup drove in 7 runs, tying for second on Italy, two behind Giuseppe Carelli. He alternated between third base and shortstop in the World Cup.

The young veteran batted .388/.462/.592 for Nettuno in 1989, with 17 doubles and 35 runs in 36 games. He played in the 1989 Intercontinental Cup. He helped Italy win the 1989 European Championship, batting .281/.410/.469 with 7 walks and 10 runs in 9 games, fielding .974 at short. He tied for second on the team in runs (one behind Paolo Catanzani) and tied for second in walks (two behind Roberto Bianchi). In 1990, Ruggero hit .358/.425/.583 with 59 runs, 13 doubles, 7 triples, 9 home runs, 69 RBI and 14 steals (in 16 tries) in 57 games. That year, Nettuno ended a 16-year run without a pennant, their longest ever (through 2009).

In the 1990 Baseball World Cup, Bagialemani hit .242/.316/.424 with 9 runs in 8 games and fielded .979 as Italy's starting shortstop. He led the team in runs scored. In 1991, he hit .326/.428/.378 with 32 RBI in 34 games. He batted .359/.405/.513 in the 1991 Intercontinental Cup with 8 RBI, leading Italy in RBI.

Bagialemani hit .324/.383/.500 in 1992 with 32 runs in 34 games. In the 1992 Olympics, the 29-year-old hit .391/.481/.435 and led Italy in average and runs (6). Highlights included a 4-for-5 game against the Dominican Republic and a 1-for-2 contest against Gold Medal-winning Cuba. He fielded .960 at shortstop.

In '93, Ruggero hit .289/.342/.385 in an off-season but Nettuno won the title. He was starting for Italy when they won Silver at the 1993 European Championship, hitting .300/.317/.325 while fielding .895 at the hot corner. His 12 hits tied Johnny Balentina, Rudi Brouwers, David Meurant and Jurjan Koenen for 7th in the event. In the 1993 Intercontinental Cup, he hit .333/.353/.500 and his 8 RBI were second on Italy, behind Marco Ubani. He fielded only .889 at third base, though.

After a game in 2012

Bagialemani's batting line in 1994 read .353/.388/.455 and he drove home 46 runs in 43 games. In the 1994 Baseball World Cup, Ruggero batted .370/.393/.407 and made no errors at third base or shortstop. He drove in nine to tie for the team lead. In the 1995 campaign, he hit .363/.470/.464 with 46 RBI in 47 contests. He was 2 for 13 with a walk and a double for Italy in the 1995 Intercontinental Cup as their starting third baseman. Bagialemi batted .382/.417/.471 with 9 runs and 8 RBI in 9 games in the 1995 European Championship as Italy won Silver. He was 3 for 13 in the final round against the Dutch national team.

Ruggero batted .369/.418/.514 in 1996. Nettuno took home the pennant that year. He hit 19 doubles and drove home 48 in 50 games. In the 1996 Olympics, he hit .188/.278/.250 as Italy's starting third sacker, his third and last Olympics. He hit .333/.420/.450 for Nettuno during the 1997 campaign. He had 10 RBI in 6 games in the final, but Nettuno fell to Parma.

In the 1997 Intercontinental Cup, Bagialemani was 3 for 18 as Italy's starting third baseman but drew five walks. He hit .412 and slugged .471 in the 1997 European Championship as Italy won Gold for the only time in his international career. He drove home eight to tie Jeffrey Cranston, Adonis Kemp and a Belgian player for 8th in the tourney.

Bagialemani batted .316/.404/.368 in the 1998 campaign. In the finals, he drove in 10 runs in five games as Nettuno won its fourth pennant during his career. In the 1998 Baseball World Cup, his final appearance on the world stage (and 16 years after his international debut), the 35-year-old hit .206/.289/.235. He had 11 strikeouts in 34 AB and fielded .920 at third.

In 1999, Ruggero hit .204/.313/.306 in 28 games. He did not play in 2000 or 2001, then was 0 for 1 in 2002 to wrap up his career.

Overall, Bagialemani hit .339/.400/.491 in Italy with 765 runs and 863 RBI in 3,949 AB and 1,003 games.

Through 2009, Bagialemani was 10th all-time in Italy in games played, second in hits (behind Olympic teammate Roberto De Franceschi) and 4th in RBI.

As of 2009, Ruggero was the all-time leader in games played (195) with the Italian national team, 45 more than runner-up Bianchi.

After his playing career ended, Ruggero coached for Nettuno. He also managed them for a period, before stepping down in 2008. In 2010, he became Grosseto's manager, but turned down an option for 2011 to return to the head job with Nettuno. He led Nettuno to the 2011 Italian Series, where they took a surprise 3 game to 2 lead over T&A San Marino; unfortunately, Bagialemani was suspended for the last two games due to a confrontation with an umpire and two players were suspended (Carlos Richetti for the same confrontation and Olmo Rosario for a positive steroid test). Nettuno lost the last two games.

He later coached for the German national team in the 2016 European Championship and 2018 Haarlem Baseball Week.

Primary Sources[edit]