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Lefty O’Doul to be Honored at Oracle Park on May 10

Bay Area baseball legend Lefty O’Doul will be inducted into the Irish American Baseball Hall of Fame on May 10. The ceremony will take place at Oracle Park, as part of the San Francisco Giants Irish Heritage Night celebration.

Irish American Baseball Hall of Fame Will Induct San Francisco Baseball Legend

San Francisco, CA (May 3, 2024) Bay Area baseball legend Lefty O’Doul will be posthumously inducted into the Irish American Baseball Hall of Fame on May 10. The ceremony will take place at Oracle Park, as part of the San Francisco Giants’ Irish Heritage Night celebration.

“The Giants are proud to honor and celebrate the diversity of cultures in our community on Irish Heritage Night,” said Rachel Heit, Chief Marketing Officer of the San Francisco Giants. “We look forward to honoring the legacy of one of baseball’s and San Francisco’s most well-known Irishman, Lefty O’Doul.”

O’Doul was a World Series Champion and All-Star who achieved local, national, and international success as a player and manager. Despite his Irish-sounding last name,  O’Doul’s Irish roots are actually traced back to his maternal grandmother, Catherine Fitzgerald, who hailed from County Limerick, Ireland.

“Lefty O’Doul was an incredible ambassador for the game of baseball and he was very proud of his Irish roots,” said Irish American Baseball Hall of Fame founder Shaun Clancy. “And being one of the top hitters of his era certainly makes him worthy of this honor.”

Francis Joseph O’Doul was born in San Francisco, in 1897. He grew up in the Bayview neighborhood, which was then known as Butchertown. He made his major league debut as a pitcher for the Yankees in 1919. By 1923, a sore left arm had ended O’Doul’s pitching career.

O’Doul returned to the Pacific Coast League, where he was converted into a power-hitting outfielder. By 1928, he was back in the major leagues with the New York Giants. The next chapter of his major league career would prove to be more successful for O’Doul, as he won two National League batting titles, including a league-leading .398 batting average in 1929. O’Doul retired with a lifetime .349 batting average.

Following his retirement, O’Doul returned to the Pacific Coast League, where he became the PCL’s most successful manager. For the next 23 seasons, he managed the San Francisco Seals, San Diego Padres , Oakland Oaks, Hollywood Stars, Vancouver Mounties, Salt Lake City Bees, and the Seattle Rainiers, compiling a record of 2,094-1,970, earning a spot in the Pacific Coast League Hall of Fame.

O’Doul was renowned for his efforts to develop professional baseball in Japan. He often traveled to Japan to teach the game to young players and he brought players to the U.S. to develop their skills. In 1949, he led the San Francisco Seals on a Japanese goodwill tour. General Douglas MacArthur called the tour, “the greatest piece of diplomacy, ever.” O’Doul was inducted into the Japanese Baseball Hall of Fame in 2002.

O’Doul’s induction into the Irish American Baseball Hall of Fame will be received by his cousin, Tom O’Doul of Rohnert Park, CA.

“Lefty would be honored and proud of this award and recognition,” said Tom O’Doul. “He did a lot for his love of the game and he always tried to help others, especially young players.”

O’Doul will be the first of five honorees to be inducted into the Irish American Baseball Hall of Fame this year. The other inductees are former Pirates manager Danny Murtaugh, media personalities Jack Curry and Brian Kenny, and Hall of Famer Wade Boggs. Details of future inductions will be announced later this year. The inductees were nominated and elected by members of the Irish American Baseball Society.

About the Irish American Baseball Society

The Irish American Baseball Society celebrates the Irish impact on the game of baseball and supports the development of youth baseball programs in Ireland and America. Membership is open to anyone with an interest in baseball and Ireland, regardless of their ancestral heritage. For more information, visit IrishBaseball.org.

The Irish American Baseball Hall of Fame was started in 2008 by Shaun Clancy. The “Irish Hall” was located inside Clancy’s iconic New York City restaurant, Foley’s NY, until 2020. It was relaunched in 2022, as part of the Irish American Baseball Society. Clancy remains the key force behind the Hall, serving as President Emeritus.

The Irish American Baseball Society is a non-profit subsidiary of Emerald Diamond International. Federal Tax ID: 20-4623222. For more information, visit EmeraldDiamond.org.

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