A baseball player played professional baseball in Italy for the Nettuno Indians. A native of Penn Hill, PA, Tony Lonero found baseball success early on as the youngest player to have ever played legion ball for Penn Hills at the age of fifteen. He received high school co-player of the year honors and was twice named all conference before setting additional records in junior college and at perennial college baseball powerhouse Louisiana State which he received a full scholarship. In addition to playing in the pros, Tony rounded out his baseball career by landing a starting spot for Italy’s National Team in the World Games and also in the 1984 Olympics. Even with such a star-studded baseball career, Tony insists that none those accomplishments compare to the victory that he achieved in 2001. “My biggest victory to date came after finding out that I had Multiple Sclerosis in 2001. I was able to finish an 80-mile bicycle race a year after discovering that I had this disease. It took me 18 hours to finish this race, and when I arrived at the finish line, there was no longer anybody there. Even with that, I did not despair. I knew that I had found a way to battle Multiple Sclerosis.” – Tony Lonero
1959. Born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
1977 Awarded a baseball scholarship to Chipola Junior College in Marianna , Florida
1979 Attended Lousianna State University on a baseball Scholarship
1982. Moves to Italy to play with Nettuno Baseball. Thanks to his Italian origins he
becomes part of the National team. His curriculum includes: 72 games, a World Cup, an
Olympics (Los Angeles 1984), a European win and two championships won with Nettuno
as a coach.
August 2001. Discovers he has multiple sclerosis.
From 2002 he has been participating in long distance bicycle races, up to 600 km nonstop.
After having completed the 200, 300, 400 and 600 km brevets he qualifies for three
Paris-Brest Paris races, which he completes in 2003, 2007 and 2011.2015 becoming the first italian rider to do so in the history.
In 2009 he founded the Ride To Finish cycling team.
1,200 km long, 90 hour maximum time limit, the Paris-Brest-Paris is an amateur bicycle
race on streets that takes place in France every four years. The last edition took place in
2011 with the participation of 5,200 cyclists from four continents. In order to participate you
have to have completed, during a year, four brevets of 200, 300, 400 and 600 kms.
LIVING – RIDING TO FINISH MULITPLE SCLEROSIS
Cycling has become a part of my life not out of choice but of necessity.
After completing my first bike ride with ms in 2002 I had something inside of me that made me want to do more, to prove to myself that I can live with ms. Learning that I can only ride a bike I began to ride in 2003 and haven’t stopped, these are some of my official non stop rides.
2003- 200km urbino italy, 300km and 600km Torino Italy, 400km Assisi
2003 * – Paris Brest Paris 1250km
2003** Was awarded a Congressional Record from the house of representatives and at the request of Donald M. Payne a member of Congress was awarded also the flag from the White House, that was flown over the capital on April 9,2003.
2004 – 200km nettuno, Italy, 300km Nettuno , Italy, 500km Milano
2005 – 200km, 300km nettuno Italy, 500km Milano
2005 * london edinburgh london 1400km this ride I stopped half way because I got cold and I didn’t know at the time that my ms kicks in when I am exposed to cold for a prolonged period of time.
2006 – 200km nettuno, 300km nettuno, 200km Corchiano
2006*- Sicilia no stop 1000km
2007- 200km,300km,400km Nettuno, 600km Assisi, 400km Siena, 200km Corchianno
2007*- Paris – Brest-Paris 1250km (my second)
2008- 200km Nettuno, 200km Corchiano, 300km Nettuno, 600km Roma-siena-roma
2008*- 1001miglia Italia 1650km or 1000 miles non stop here in Italy- The hardest and longest in Europe.
2009- 200km nettuno,300km nettuno,200km rimini,400km nettuno,200km corchiano
2009***london edinburgh london 1400km – After stopping in 2005 I returned with vengance. I had
a monster to confront up on the border between Scottland and England. I finished the ride without any problems in 98 hours and finishing in 80th place out of 600 riders. This wasn’t important but what was is I confronted my disease in the same extreem conditions I did 4 years early but this time I won. During the ride on my bike I had taped on my handle bars the iv needle and bottle from my last treatment for my ms to remind me how lucky I am to be out there.
2009– Awared from the Paris Brest Paris Rider of the year
2009– Awarded from Italian cycling Federation an Award for completing the Paris-Brest-Paris 1250km the 1000 mile ride here in Italy and the london edinburgh london 1400km in 3 years.
2010- 200km nettuno,400km nettuno
2010*- Organized 600km non stop ride , starting in the Sicily-Rome American Cemetery and Memorial , duringthe Memorial Day weekend. In nettuno where I live there are 7000 americans buried from the landings in Sicily and Anzio in the cemetery. This ride will be a part of the Memorial Day Weekend every year now. The riders leave the cemetery and ride to the other side of Italy and back. Before leaving the riders must leave an american and italian flag on the one of the 480 unknown crosses.
2010*Sicilia no stop 1000km
2011**- A movie company here in Italy Movie Project has produced a film documentary about my life called “Ride to Finish”. This will be coming out in the theaters in 2011 here in Italy.
2011 Completed the Paris Brest Paris for the 3rd time taking 23 hours of my total time in 2007. In 2012
67hours and 30 minutes.
2012 Inducted in the Pennsylvania Hall of Fame
2012 Presented the Documentary Ride to Finish in Penn Hills
2012 Mayor of Penn Hills Anthony Deluca declared October 12,2012 Tony Lonero Day
2013 Inducted in the Italian American Hall of Fame
2014 qualified for 2015 Paris Brest Paris
2015 Finished my fourth Paris Brest Paris
**Kathie Shaffer Flight 93 Oral History and Documentation Project Assistant Flight 93 National Memorial requested a copy of the movie Ride to Finish to be put in the memorial.
Proudest Day of my life is when I married my wife Mimma here in Nettuno, Italy.
2016 – Founded the Non-Mollare Scholarship Fund with Paul Dougherty a high school classmate. Each year at our school Penn Hills High school we award two scholarships to the the students who best represent the spririt of Non Mollare or Never Give UP.
2017 – Ride to Remember the unknown – Sicily rome american cemetery Rode from Sicily to the non stop to raise money to place christmas wreaths on the 480 uknown crosses in the cemetery.
2018 – Qualified to pre-register for my 5th Paris brest Paris 1250km.
2019 – Completed the 200,300,400, 600km rides to register for the paris brest paris 2019
https://youtu.be/WHBX5d3Rydw Arriving from sicily to the american cemtery.