ALEX MAESTRI WINS INAUGURAL FAN CHOISE AWARD
Italian pitcher earns over 1100 votes
Maestri emerged victorious in Facebook fan voting.
SYDNEY, 7 February – Alessandro “Alex” Maestri of the Brisbane Bandits has won the inaugural ABL Fan Choice Award presented by Fielders Choice. The Italian right-hander was an ideal candidate for the honour, as he took to social media in the form of his personal blog to rally support. A favourite among Italian and Australian fans alike, Maestri earned over 1100 votes.
This was an outstanding season for the former Chicago Cubs prospect, who served as the workhorse and ace of the Bandit pitching staff. He finished third in the ABL in innings pitched (63.2) and tied for third in strikeouts (53). He also led the Bandits with four wins and had an excellent ERA (3.25) and WHIP (1.16). In Round Eight of the regular season, he earned the Pitcher of the Week award after tossing a complete game two-hitter to defeat the Cavalry. When Maestri signed with the Cubs in 2006, he became the first Italian-born pitcher ever signed by a Major League Baseball team.
He represented his country in both the 2006 and 2009 World Baseball Classics, allowing one earned run in 4.2 combined innings. In addition to generating a flurry of activity on the ABL Facebook page, Maestri’s quest for the award was the subject for a number of articles written all the way back in his native Italy. He used his blog to spread the word about his campaign and about the league, in general, proving to be an excellent ambassador for Australian baseball. The gracious pitcher has also left a video thanking all the fans who voted for him, which can be viewed by clicking the link above. In the ABL, Maestri truly is “il favorito.”