On St. Patrick’s Day, Monday, March 17, the Irish American Baseball Hall of Fame (IAB HOF) announced the names of the nominees on the 2014 induction ballot. They include:
Current and Former Players
· Derek Jeter: Captain of the New York Yankees,13x All-Star, five-time World Series champion and a central figure in the Bombers’ success during the past two decades. Leads the Yankees’ in all-time hits (3,316), games played (2,602), stolen bases (348), and at bats (10,614). Has won five Gold Gloves, five Silver Slugger Awards, two Hank Aaron Awards, and a Roberto Clemente Award.
· David Cone: During his 17-year baseball career, Cone won the 1994 AL Cy Young Award, was a 5x All-Star and 5x World Series champion (1992 Toronto Blue Jays and 1996, ‘98, ‘99 and ‘00 New York Yankees). Pitched the 16th perfect game in baseball history on July 18, 1999.
· Mike Sweeney: Longtime slugger, 5× All-Star, and captain of the KC Royals, who is involved with numerous charities in the Kansas City area.
· Kevin Millar: A leader among “The Idiots” on the 2004 Red Sox who helped end Boston’s 86-year World Series drought.
Hall of Famers and Legends
· Roger Bresnahan: “The Duke of Tralee” who pioneered the use of shin guards and batting helmets
· “Big Ed” Delahanty: One of the great early power hitters of the game, his lifetime .346 average ranks fifth all-time
· Tom Gorman: An umpire in five World Series (1956, ‘58, ‘63, ‘68 and ’74), he was in left field for Don Larsen’s perfect game and called balls and strikes when Bob Gibson struck out a Series-record 17 Detroit Tigers. He is the father of current MLB umpire Brian Gorman.
· Joe McCarthy: Yankees all-time leader in managerial wins (1,460), won seven World Series titles between 1931-46.
· Jack McKeon: Two-time NL Manager of Year whose 2003 Florida Marlins won the World Series
· Bill Shea: The driving force in bringing National League baseball back to New York
· Bill Murray: Oscar-nominated actor and owner of minor league teams.
· Hal McCoy: Cincinnati Reds beat writer
· Ed Coleman: New York Mets broadcaster
This year, The Irish American Baseball Hall of Fame introduces a new award: The Pete Caldera-Duke Castiglione “I Didn’t Know He Was Irish” Award, which will be presented to an honoree whose Irish roots are not well known.
“We all recognize Garvey, O’Malley and O’Neill as Irish surnames, but there are plenty of folks with maternal Irish roots or ancestors whose last names changed through marriage or other reasons. For this reason, we have created this new award to honor people whose heritage might not be obvious but who are proud of their Irish heritage,” said Shaun Clancy, owner of Foley’s, which features one of the country’s most extensive public displays of baseball memorabilia outside of Cooperstown.
Results of the voting will be announced in April. The induction ceremonies will take place this summer at Foley’s NY Pub & Restaurant (18 W. 33rd St.), which houses the Irish American Baseball Hall of Fame. Voters include past inductees into the IAB HOF and a panel of baseball historians.
With the blessing of the Baseball Hall of Fame, Foley’s, a popular destination among baseball players, executives, umpires and fans, created the Irish American Baseball Hall of Fame to recognize players, managers, executives, journalists, and entertainers of Irish descent. Inductees are chosen based on a combination of factors, including impact on the game, popularity on and off the field, contributions to society, connections to the Irish community, and, of course, ancestry.
The game of baseball has welcomed immigrants from its earliest days, when an estimated 30 percent of players claimed Irish heritage. Many of the game’s biggest stars at the turn of the 20th century were Irish immigrants or their descendants, including Michael “King” Kelly, Roger Connor (the home run king before Babe Ruth), Eddie Collins, Big Ed Walsh and managers Connie Mack and John McGraw. Today, major league teams regularly sign players born in Latin America, Japan, Canada, and elsewhere.
Shaun Clancy, an amateur baseball historian, created the Hall after learning about the rich heritage of Irish Americans in the sport dating from its infancy – a legacy overshadowed in recent years by other ethnicities. He decided to celebrate his roots and those who helped make the game great by creating a shrine to Irish Americans in baseball in 2008.
“Starting Nine” and Subsequent Inductees
The “Starting Nine” inductees in 2008 were: the late Mets and Phillies reliever Tug McGraw, Yankee announcer John Flaherty, sportswriter Jeff Horrigan, NY Mets groundskeeper Pete Flynn, retired sluggers Mark McGwire and Sean “The Mayor” Casey, Kevin Costner, star of Field of Dreams and Bull Durham, legendary owner-manager Connie Mack, and longtime official scorer and sports columnist Red Foley.
2009 inductees: Walter O’Malley, longtime Brooklyn and LA Dodgers owner (Executive category); sluggers Steve Garvey and Paul O’Neill (Players category), Jim Joyce (Umpire); veteran sportscaster Vin Scully, and Ed Lucas, a blind reporter who has covered the Yankees and Mets for four decades.
2010 inductees: Tim McCarver, veteran TV analyst and former player; Bob Murphy, longtime Mets announcer (Media category); Michael “King” Kelly, the game’s first superstar (Hall of Famers and Legends category); Yankees GM Brian Cashman (Executives category); Bill James, famed statistician and an advisor for the Boston Red Sox (Executives category).
2011 inductees: Nolan Ryan, baseball’s all-time strikeout king, Big Ed Walsh, baseball’s all-time ERA leader, legendary New York Giants manager John McGraw, New York Yankees trainers Gene Monahan and Steve Donohue, “Baseball’s Balladeer” Terry Cashman, and Chuck Lennon, former player, coach and lifetime fan of Notre Dame Fighting Irish baseball.
2012 inductees: Jimmy Breslin, author of Can’t Anybody Here Play This Game?; Tom Kelly, two-time World Series champion manager with the Minnesota Twins; Gene Michael, former player, scout and GM responsible for building the modern Yankee dynasty; “Walpole Joe” Morgan, popular former player, scout and manager of Boston Red Sox; Jeff Nelson, longtime reliever, four-time World Series champion with the Yankees; “Wee Willie” Keeler, Dead Ball era legend; and Mike Roarke, credited with teaching the split-fingered fastball to Hall of Famer Bruce Sutter and a supporter in the development of baseball in Ireland.
2013 inductees: Popular former Mets Rusty Staub and Joe McEwing; longtime owner of the LA Dodgers Peter O’Malley; Hall of Fame baseball writer Bill Madden of the New York Daily News; and award-winning columnist for the Boston Globe Dan Shaughnessy.
Foley’s NY Pub & Restaurant (18 W. 33rd St.) is home of the Irish American Baseball Hall of Fame. A popular destination among baseball players, executives, umpires, media, and fans, Foley’s is located across from the Empire State Building. The “Irish Bar with a Baseball Attitude” features walls adorned with 3,000 autographed balls, bobbleheads, game-worn jerseys, stadium seats and other artifacts that make it the premier baseball bar in New York and one of the best sports bars in America. For more information, call (212) 290-0080 or visit www.foleysny.com or www.facebook.com/FoleysNYPub.