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The History of Irish Baseball

Explore Baseball's Irish Roots

Our Irish Ancestry Database contains records of over 300 players, coaches, executives, and media personalities, from yesterday and today. All ancestry records are organized by province and county. Use the menu below to explore baseball’s roots in Ireland!

The Irish Impact on Baseball in America

Irish immigrants and Irish Americans have shaped the game of baseball from its earliest days. Indeed, America’s pasttime has intersected with Ireland and the Irish diaspora, over and over again.

Many early baseball pioneers and Hall of Famers had parents or grandparents immigrated from Ireland, including Hugh Duffy, Tim Keefe, Wee Willie Keeler, John McGraw, and Connie Mack.

More recently, many players and coaches with Irish ancestry have made a significant impact on the game. Our researchers have worked to discover baseball’s Irish roots, including:

Irish Baseball “Firsts”

Irish players and managers have been the first to accomplish many great feats in baseball, including:

  • The first run scored and RBI in major league history (Tim McGinley and Jack Manning, respectively, 1876)
  • The first perfect game in the history of professional baseball (Pud Galvin, 1876)
  • The first cycle in major league history (Curry Foley, May 25, 1882)
  • Baseball’s first 300-game winner (Pud Galvin, 1888)
  • The first no-hitter in American League history (Pete Dowling, 1901)
  • The first Red Sox manager to win consecutive World Series titles (Bill Carrigan, 1915-1916)

Records Held By Irish Players

Irish players currently hold the following single-season and career records:

  • The highest single-season batting average (Hugh Duffy batted .440 in 1894)
  • Lowest lifetime ERA (Ed Walsh, 1.79)
  • Longest National League hitting streak (tied) (Willie Keeler, 44 games)
  • Runs Batted In (RBI) per game (Sam Thompson, .926)

Irish Managers and Coaches

Irish managers have also left an indelible mark on the game. Among the accomplishments of Irish managers: