Irish Baseball History

Our Irish Baseball History Studies Project explores and celebrates the intersection of baseball history with the Irish diaspora. We also research the long, often overlooked, history of baseball in Ireland, dating back to 1874.

The History of Baseball in Ireland

Baseball has been played in Ireland for over a century. The first known game took place in 1874 between the Philadelphia Athletics and the Boston Red Stockings. Throughout it’s history in Ireland, baseball has enjoyed popularity because of its connection to America and its similarities to the Irish sports of hurling and rounders.

A Timeline of Baseball in Ireland


The Irish Impact on Baseball in America

Irish immigrants and Irish Americans have had a significant impact on the history of baseball in America. Irish players, coaches, managers, owners, executives, sportswriters, broadcasters, and fans have shaped the game from its earliest days. We celebrate the contributions of these individuals through the Irish American Baseball Hall of Fame.

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: