Hall of Famer Mike Piazza agrees to manage Italian baseball team

Hall of Fame catcher Mike Piazza has agreed to manage the Italian national baseball team, he announced in a tweet Wednesday.

Piazza said he will manage the team for the 2020 European Baseball Championship and the 2021 World Baseball Classic.

This will be 51-year-old Piazza's first managerial experience since the 12-time All-Star retired in 2008 after a 16-year major league career.

Piazza, who was born in Norristown, Pennsylvania, is of Italian ancestry. He was Italy's hitting coach at the 2009 and 2013 WBC tournaments.

He was the majority owner of AC Reggiana, a third-tier Italian soccer team, from 2016 until it ceased operations after the 2017-18 season.

Italy finished as the runner-up at the European Baseball Championship this year. It has never made it past the second round in four WBC appearances.

Piazza was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2016. With a career batting average of .308, he hit better than .300 in nine straight seasons and finished with 427 home runs, including a record 396 when he was in the game behind the plate.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.