Seven Irish American baseball legends were inaugurated into the Irish American Baseball Hall of Fame on Saturday.
According to MLB.com, Jeff Nelson of the New York Yankees joined "Tom Kelly, the two-time World Series champion manager in Minnesota; Gene Michael, the former scout for the Yankees; "Walpole Joe" Morgan, a former manager of the Red Sox; the late "Wee Willie" Keeler, who at 5-foot-4 and 140 pounds was one of the smallest players in history; Jimmy Breslin, who authored "Can't Anybody Here Play This Game?" about the 1962 Mets; and Mike Roarke, who was instrumental to the development of baseball in Ireland.”
Prior Hall of Famers included Nolan Ryan (2011), Bill James and Tim McCarver ('10), Vin Scully ('09), and Mark McGwire and Paul O'Neill ('08).
The Hall of Fame is located at Foley’s Tavern in New York City.
Shaun Clancy, owner of Foley's and president of the Irish-American Baseball Hall of Fame, said this year’s class is very special.
"This year's class is kind of special," Clancy tolf MLB.com. "It honors a lot of different facets of the game. We have 'Wee Willie' Keeler, two managers, our first scout, a former player and Jimmy Breslin. It's a nice class. We try to balance it as best we can, and I think we did a good job."
Nelson was delighted to accept in New York, where he played.
"The city is great. It's the best sports town in all of sports," Nelson said. "And to be able to play here and have success, and to come into Foley's and get inducted into the Irish-American Hall of Fame is great."
"It's an honor," Nelson said. "Just to be on the wall with some of the baseball greats, whether it's a writer, or a former manager or players. It's still an honor and a great thing."
Clancy said the event was going from strength to strength
"It's very special. When we first started, I never expected it to be like this," said Clancy. "I never expected us to have players, who I followed, who would be so anxious to be a part of this. It's always cool to have Tim McCarver show up. It's nice when you can do something which honors my two big loves -- my Irish heritage and my love of baseball."
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