Sewickley baseball coach, on-air personality honored by hall of fame nod
When one thing ends, another begins.
That's the way Claudio Reilsono, 49, of Sewickley said he always has felt about his work in the baseball world and how he felt again after recently finding out he had not been accepted into the Italian Baseball Hall of Fame in Rome, Italy.
Since he was nominated for the honor last year, the Carnegie Mellon University baseball coach and professional baseball scout has moved on to other activities, such as co-producing a jazz-sports show with Marty Ashby, executive director of MCG Jazz, at Manchester Craftsmen's Guild in Pittsburgh's Chateau neighborhood; working with a Pittsburgh group on a possible new national sports television show; starting a sports celebrity placement company with HRS Management LTD in Squirrel Hill; and doing endorsments for the “Come Ready Bar” nutrition energy bar for Come Ready or Never Start, a sports apparel company in Ross Township.
CRONS founder and President Pat Cavanaugh said Reilsono epitomizes the “come-ready” mentality.
“Claudio has overcome challenge after challenge throughout his athletic and personal life,” he said.
Ashby said he wanted Reilsono to help with the jazz/baseball events, one held in 2011 and another to be held next year, because he likes his style of coaching. The events combine a jazz concert and an autograph and photo session with baseball figures.
He said Reilsono has a “meet a player where they are” approach and a “not one-fits-all mentality,” that he appreciated when Reilsono trained his son.
A recipient of the Willie Stargell Lifetime Achievement Award, Reilsono makes appearances on sports shows; teaches baseball clinics and camps all over the country; is a professional hitting coach; and is co-owner of MMA promotion company and owner of Reilsono Landscaping.
Although he still works occassionally for Paramount Scouting Bureau, he has returned to work with James Gamble, owner of Global Scouting Bureau in Cecil, Washington County.
Since his scouting career began in 2001, he has signed 62 players to professional contracts all over the world.
Reilsono has coached baseball for Quaker Valley — where he played baseball — and Quigley high school teams, Penn State Beaver, Community College of Beaver County and Duquesne University.
Reilsono was not chosen for the hall of fame after being nominated by members of an Italian baseball team for which he served as a translator at an international game in Freeport last year, because a new rule requires hall of famers to have at least five years of playing or coaching in the professional Italian Baseball League.
“But, I am just thrilled and flattered they even considered me,” said Reilsono, who is a member of the board of directors for the Pittsburgh chapter of the Italian Sports Hall of Fame.
If he had been chosen, he would have been able to travel at no cost to Italy for the ceremony and been able to see family, with whom he hasn't visited in 33 years.
“So, I'm disappointed about that, but I don't let these things validate my career,” he said.
“Now, I'm moving forward.”
Joanne Barron is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-324-1406 or firstname.lastname@example.org.