The Irish American Baseball Hall of Fame (IABHOF) today announced the names of the honorees who will be inducted into the hall on Tuesday, August 7, at noon at Foley’s NY Pub & Restaurant (18 W. 33rd St.), home of the IABHOF.
The Irish American Baseball Hall of Fame’s 2018 honorees are:
- 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 behind Johnny Bench, Tony Perez and Frank Robinson. Dunn was selected for the Reds Hall of Fame in Cincinnati this year.
- Eric Byrnes: A former player for the Oakland A’s and Arizona Diamondbacks, Byrnes was a hustling outfielder considered one of the top fielders of his era. Today he is an MLB Network personality.
- Charles Stoneham “Chub” Feeney: A relative of New York Giants owner Horace Stoneham, Feeney served as a front office executive for the Giants and later as President of the National League in his more than 40 years in baseball.
- Katy 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.
- Jack O’Connell: BBWAA’s secretary-treasurer who makes “The Call” when a new inductee into the National Baseball Hall of Fame is selected.
- Tom Whaley: Executive Vice-President of the St. Paul Saints, one of Minor League Baseball’s most innovative teams.
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. This year’s recipient will be veteran MLB umpire Dan Iassogna.
“This year’s class includes members of one of baseball’s great families, a feared slugger, one of the best fielding outfielders of the early 2000s, a veteran sportswriter, and the owner of one of the best known Minor League teams,” said Shaun Clancy, owner of Foley’s Pub, which features one of the country’s most extensive public displays of baseball memorabilia.
Voting was conducted among past inductees and a distinguished panel of baseball historians. The plaques are created by Ashburns Engravers, which has served several presidents and is also the maker of the Key to New York City.
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 history. 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; sluggers Steve Garvey and Paul O’Neill, Jim Joyce; veteran sportscaster Vin Scully, andEd Lucas, a blind reporter who has covered New York baseball for four decades.
2010 inductees: Tim McCarver, veteran TV analyst and former player; Bob Murphy, longtime Mets announcer; Michael “King” Kelly, the game’s first superstar; Yankees GM Brian Cashman; Bill James, famed statistician and an advisor for the Boston Red Sox.
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, 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.
2014 inductees: veteran pitcher David Cone, longtime umpire Tom Gorman, Bill Shea, the driving force in bringing National League baseball back to New York in 1962, veteran baseball photographer Dave Schofield, and Hal McCoy, a longtime beat writer for the Cincinnati Reds.
2015 inductees: Mike Sweeney, five-time All-Star and former captain of the KC Royals; Dave O’Brien ESPN sportscaster and Red Sox radio announcer; Jack McKeon, a two-time NL Manager of Year whose 2003 Marlins won the World Series; Shannon Forde, a longtime member of New York Mets p.r. staff; and minor league baseball team owner Bill Murray.
2016 inductees: Kevin Millar, a member of 2004 Red Sox who helped end Boston’s 86-year World Series title drought; Andy Leonard, recognized as the first native of Ireland (Co. Cavan) to play in the Major Leagues; Dave Wills, play-by-play announcer for the Tampa Bay Rays; Guy Gallagher, visitors’ clubhouse manager for the Tampa Bay Rays and chief communications officer for MLB Clubhouse Managers Association; and Ed Coleman, long-time WFAN correspondent for the New York Mets.
2017 inductees: Al Leiter longtime MLB pitcher, three-time World Series champion and Emmy Award-winning baseball analyst; Pat Hughes: play-by-play voice of the Chicago Cubs who called their historic World Series victory in 2016; Casey Stengel, “Baseball’s Greatest Character”; The O’Neill Brothers, four siblings from Connemara, Ireland, who played in the Major Leagues; John Mooney, co-founder and curator of Irish American Baseball Hall of Fame.
2018 inductees: Adam Dunn, who hit 462 home runs, 270 of them with Cincinnati; Eric Byrnes: a hustling player considered among the top fielding outfielders of his era and currently an MLB Network personality; Charles Stoneham “Chub” Feeney, longtime front office executive for the Giants who later served as President of the National League; Katy Feeney: a pioneering female executive in baseball; Jack O’Connell: BBWAA’s secretary-treasurer who makes “The Call” to each a new inductee into the National Baseball Hall of Fame; Tom Whaley: co-owner of the St. Paul Saints, one of Minor League Baseball’s most innovative teams.