A campaign to bring Major League Baseball to Ireland has been launched by two Irish American baseball organizations.
The Irish American Baseball Society and The Irish Baseball Hall of Fame have formally asked Major League Baseball to consider bringing an MLB series to Dublin and have requested supporters to sign a petition in support.
On June 29-30, the Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees will play “The London Series” capping the first ever MLB games played in Europe but the groups believe a baseball game in Ireland would generate tremendous interest among baseball fans.
With 33 million Americans claiming Irish heritage and 51 per cent of Americans being baseball fans, “it is easy to envision a scenario where millions of baseball fans would want to see Major League Baseball played in Ireland,” they claim.
Historical connections between Ireland and Major League Baseball
Hundreds of professional Irish American baseball players have played the game over the past 150 years.
Many have earned spots in the Hall of Fame as there have been as 44 Irish-born MLB players.
Last year, Belfast-born P.J. Conlan made his debut for the New York Mets making him the first Irish-born MLB player since World War II.
To mark the occasion he wore an Irish tricolor stitched into his glove.
Baseball itself is derived from the ancient bat and ball game of rounders, which has been played in England and Ireland for centuries.
Rounders has been one of the official Gaelic Athletic Association’s (GAA) sports since the original GAA Charter was drafted in 1884.
Several unsuccessful attempts were made to introduce baseball to Ireland throughout the late 19th and early 20th centuries and while baseball was slowly spreading throughout Europe with American troops Ireland was not affected by the game’s growing popularity in places like England, Italy, Germany, and the Netherlands.
To sign the petition visit the Irish American Baseball Society's website
Would like to see a Major League Baseball game played in Ireland? Do you think there’s an appetite for it and would it be successful? Let us know in the comments below.