NY Sports Day

McCarthy, O’Connell, Connor, Bresnahan Among Irish HOF Nominees

Several with New York ties are among the nominees as the Irish American Baseball Hall of Fame (IABHOF) has announced the potential honorees whose names will be on the 2018 induction ballot. The candidates include players, managers, broadcasters, and baseball executives. Voting will be conducted by previous inductees and a panel of baseball historians.

Roger Connor and Roger Bresnahan, turn-of-the-20th-Century players who played significant portions of their career with the New York Giants; Tom McCarthy, who served as Mets play-by-play announcer before joining the Phillies in the same role; Jack O’Connell, the former Bergen Record and New York Daily News writer and current BBWAA secretary-treasurer; Charles Stoneham “Chub” Feeney, longtime Giants executive and N.L. president; and Katie Feeney, longtime MLB executive, all have N.Y. connections.

Once the votes are tallied, the induction ceremony will be held during the baseball season at Foley’s NY Pub & Restaurant (18 W. 33rd St.), home of the IABHOF.

The 2018 Irish American Baseball Hall of Fame ballot candidates are:

Former Players

  • Adam Dunn: During a 14-year career, Dunn hit 462 home runs, 270 of them with Cincinnati, where he is fourth on the club’s all-time list Johnny Bench, Tony Perez and Frank Robinson. Dunn will be inducted in the Reds Hall of Fame this year.
  • Eric Byrnes: Former member of the Oakland A’s and Arizona Diamondbacks, as well as MLB Network contributor.

Media

  • Tom McCarthy: Play-by-play announcer for the Philadelphia Phillies’ broadcasts.
  • Mike Shannon and John Rooney: St. Louis Cardinals radio announcers
  • Jack O’Connell: BBWAA’s secretary-treasurer who makes “The Call” when a new inductee into the National Baseball Hall of Fame is selected.

Legends/Hall of Famers

  • Roger Connor: Baseball’s all-time home run leader before Babe Ruth
  • James Pud” Galvin: Deadball Era pitcher who was baseball’s 300-game winner; ranks 5th in all-time wins
  • Roger Bresnahan (“The Duke of Tralee”): A great early catcher, he popularized the use of protective equipment in baseball by introducing shin guards, and developed the first batting helmet.

Executives

  • Charles Stoneham “Chub” Feeney: Served as a front office executive for the Giants and President of the National League in more than 40 years in baseball.
  • Katie Feeney: A beloved figure who was born into the game, she worked on scheduling, organized news conferences at big events and handled an assortment of logistics for Major League Baseball.
  • Tom Whaley: Executive Vice-President of the St. Paul Saints, one of Minor League Baseball’s most innovative teams.

“This year’s ballot includes members of one of baseball’s great families, a play-by-play team that has worked together for decades and one of the most feared sluggers of the early 2000s,” said Shaun Clancy, owner of Foley’s Pub, which features one of the country’s most extensive public displays of baseball memorabilia.

Results of the voting will be announced during the regular season. The induction ceremonies will take place this summer at Foley’s NY Pub & Restaurant (18 W. 33rd St.), home of the Irish American Baseball Hall of Fame. Voters include past inductees into the IABHOF and a distinguished panel of baseball historians.

The Irish American Baseball Hall of Fame will also present its annual Pete Caldera-Duke Castiglione “I Didn’t Know He Was Irish” Award, which goes to an honoree whose Irish roots are not widely known.

With the blessing of the National 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 during the sport’s 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.


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