Leading off the list of players with Irish roots is Yankees great Derek Jeter, whose great-great-great-grandparents, John Connors and Ann Maloney hailed from counties Cork and Clare.
Not to be outdone, the Red Sox are also represented. Boston Hall of Fame third baseman Wade Boggs, who also played for the Yankees, can claim Irish ancestry through his great-great-great-great-great-grandfather Peter Donnelly, who was born in Dublin in 1720.
The research is part of the organization’s Irish Baseball History Studies project. The project works to uncover details about the impact of Irish immigrants and Irish Americans on the game of baseball in America. Research is also focused on the little-known history of baseball in Ireland, which dates back to at least 1874.
Mets All-Star pitcher Jacob DeGrom is also on the list. DeGrom’s great-great-great-grandparents, William and Chaney Lonergan, were born in Co. Laois before coming to America, where they settled in South Carolina.
Hall of Fame hurler Nolan Ryan’s great-great-great-great-great-grandparents were from Tipperary and came to America in the 1700s.
“I think most fans assumed Nolan Ryan was Irish because of his name, but the origins and extent of his Irish ancestry weren’t previously known,” explained researcher Tim Carr, a retired auto executive from Birmingham, Michigan. “And, of course, the Irish connections of greats like Wade Boggs and Derek Jeter will come as a surprise to many baseball fans.”
The list also includes sportswriter Tom Verducci, whose great grandfather Edward Corrigan was from Co. Longford, and Brian Kenny of the MLB Network, whose father, Charles, was born in Co. Roscommon.
“This research adds a new layer to the deep connections between Ireland and the game of baseball,” explained Irish American Baseball Society founder John Fitzgerald. “Baseball history is intertwined with the Irish diaspora, so I’m excited to see what our researchers will discover next!”
The Irish American Baseball Society is a U.S.-based non-profit organization. The organization celebrates the impact of Irish immigrants and Irish Americans on the game of baseball and supports the development of youth baseball programs in Ireland and America. For more information, visit IrishBaseball.org. On Twitter, visit @IABSociety; Facebook, @IrishAmericanBaseballSociety, and Instagram, @IABSociety.
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