Baseball has always held a special place in my heart for a few reasons. First of all, I was born in Yonkers, New York which also means that I was born a Yankee fan. Whether I liked it or not, it's the law. But, as any Yankee fan will tell you, we have no problem being true to the pinstripes. Secondly, my dad loved baseball, especially our beloved Yankees, so the sound of a ballgame in the background of a summer day or night is part of my fabric.

And then there's Brian Sweeney. He's my BFF's baby brother and I've known him since before he was born. Brian was a Major League Pitcher and is now a Pitching Coach for the Philadelphia Phillies rookie league Lakewood Blueclaws in New Jersey. You can click below to read more about Brian from another article that I wrote about him.

In 2013, he was chosen as one of the pitchers of Team Italia in the World Baseball Classic and this weekend he's back as the same team's pitching coach for WBC 2017.

I know what you're thinking. How does someone with a name like Brian Edward Sweeney get to play for Team Italia?

There are several ways a player must prove their heritage in order to become considered for this distinction. With documentation of his Italian roots on his mother's side of the family he was able to secure a spot on the team.

Last night, Brian Sweeney helped lead Team Italia to victory when, down by 4, they rallied in the bottom of the 9th inning to beat Mexico.

Today they play against Venezuela. May the luck of the Irish be on you, Brian. I BELIEVE! Forza Italia!

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