Any athlete will tell you that it’s an honour to play in front of your hometown fans.
That honour hits a whole new level when you play for the hometown team and your boss happens to be your father.
Fort McMurray’s Josh Iannetti finds himself in that enviable position. Not only does he get home-cooked meals all summer as he plays for the Western Major Baseball League’s Giants, but his dad is the owner, Dutche Iannetti.
The 5-foot-9, 170 pound catcher has been a staple on the Giants’ roster through thick and thin, including coming back home following the destructive wildfires of 2015. He’s one of five Albertans on the team this year, playing in 16 games behind the plate after spending the spring with the Thompson Rivers University Wolfpack of the Canadian College Baseball Conference.
READ MORE: The Battery
As his team got ready for a four-game set with the Medicine Hat Mavericks, Iannetti had a few moments to let us get to know him in our latest edition of “1 Thru 9.”
1. What is your walk-up/warm-up tune?
“Raised By A Good Time” by Steven Lee Olson.
2. What is the best pre-game meal?
Any kind of sandwich and some fruit.
3. Your family sends you a care package. What’s in it?
Pasta, parmesan cheese and some sauce.
4. What is your favourite stadium to watch or play baseball in?
My favourite place to play is our own stadium, Shell Place. It has a great atmosphere and it’s a beautiful park.
— Robert Murray (@NovaCanuck) June 28, 2016
5. Who has had the biggest influence on you as a baseball player and why?
My dad, 1000%! He’s the man that makes this all happen up here in Fort McMurray and I couldn’t be more fortunate to play for a team when my dad can be at every game.
I'm still heartbroken, but excited for my new opportunity!
— Bradley Karp (@BradleyKarp) July 3, 2018
6. Who was the best teammate you’ve ever had and why?
The best teammate I’ve ever had would have to be Nic Cardinal. He’s always a guy to pick you back up when you’re down and he’s just always being a great team guy.
READ MORE: The Cardinal Rules
7. What is the best thing about playing baseball in the WMBL?
The best thing about playing the WMBL is just the all-around experience that comes with it. We play 48 games in about 60 days, so it’s constant travel and games almost every day. Getting to be around a great group of guys that I consider my friends for a summer also makes for an awesome time.
SUNDAY AM READ: "Tyler has been working like crazy & he’s been getting noticed." Some kind words from Josh Iannetti to Tyler Hodder as the @FMMGIANTS products start the season with @GoTRUWolfPack. We profile the #ymm battery in #FridayFutures. #baseball https://t.co/xR4zq59Qjh
— ABDugoutStories (@ABDugoutStories) March 25, 2018
8. What is your favourite baseball memory?
It would have to be getting a base hit in my first at-bat after the wildfire with about 6,000 people in the City of Edmonton watching and chanting my name.
9. What is the best piece of baseball advice you’ve ever received?
Frank Ingram was throwing me batting practice one day and I was struggling with the inside pitch and kept getting frustrated with it. Frank eventually said to me “it’s an inside pitch, all you have to do is turn on it.” I was upset at the time and said “that’s what I’m f&%$in’ trying to do, Frank!” He stopped practice and looked at me in the cage and said “people who try, sit on the bench. It’s the people that get things done and do things. They are the people who will make an impact on the field.” I’ll remember that for a long time and I truly believe in it.