As the calendar approaches St. Patrick’s Day, the Irish American Baseball Hall of Fame (IABHOF) today announced the ten potential honorees whose names will be on the 2016 induction ballot. They include current and former players, managers, broadcasters, and baseball executives, while voting will be conducted by IABHOF inductees and a panel of baseball historians.
The winners will be announced on March 31st, and the induction ceremony will be held during the baseball season at Foley’s NY Pub & Restaurant (18 W. 33rd St.), home of the IABHOF. The 2016 Irish American Baseball Hall of Fame ballot candidates are:
Current and Former Players
·Kevin Millar: Member of 2004 Red Sox who helped end Boston’s 86-year World Series title drought
·Daniel Murphy: Former Met whose post-season heroics in 2015 helped propel New York to its first trip to the World Series since 2000.
·Eric Byrnes: Former member of the Oakland A’s and Arizona Diamondbacks, as well as MLB Network contributor.
·Tom McCarthy: Play-by-play announcer for the Philadelphia Phillies’ broadcasts.
·Ed Coleman: Longtime WFAN correspondent for the New York Mets.
·Dave Wills: Play-by-play announcer for the Tampa Bay Rays.
Legends/Hall of Famers
·Andy Leonard: Recognized as the first native of Ireland (Co. Cavan) to play in the Major Leagues.
·Joe McDonald: Longtime executive with the New York Mets.
·Guy Gallagher: Visitors clubhouse manager for the Tampa Bay Rays and chief communications officer for MLB Clubhouse Managers Association.
·Nicole McFadyen: Baltimore Orioles head groundskeeper, the second woman to ever hold such position in MLB.
“This year’s ballot includes two post-season legends (Millar and Murphy), three broadcasters who are still at the top of their game, and only the second woman to be a head groundskeeper in the Major Leagues,” said Shaun Clancy, owner of Foley’s Pub, which features one of the country’s most extensive public displays of baseball memorabilia.
Results of the voting will be announced in April. The induction ceremonies will take place this summer at Foley’s NY Pub & Restaurant (18 W. 33rd St.), home of the Irish American Baseball Hall of Fame. Voters include past inductees into the IABHOF and a distinguished panel of baseball historians.
The Irish American Baseball Hall of Fame will also present its third annual Pete Caldera-Duke Castiglione “I Didn’t Know He Was Irish” Award, which goes to an honoree whose Irish roots are not widely known.
With the blessing of the National Baseball Hall of Fame, Foley’s, a popular destination among baseball players, executives, umpires and fans, created the Irish American Baseball Hall of Fame to recognize players, managers, executives, journalists, and entertainers of Irish descent. Inductees are chosen based on a combination of factors, including impact on the game, popularity on and off the field, contributions to society, connections to the Irish community, and, of course, ancestry.
The game of baseball has welcomed immigrants from its earliest days, when an estimated 30 percent of players claimed Irish heritage. Many of the game’s biggest stars at the turn of the 20th century were Irish immigrants or their descendants, including Michael “King” Kelly, Roger Connor (the home run king before Babe Ruth), Eddie Collins, Big Ed Walsh and managers Connie Mack and John McGraw. Today, major league teams regularly sign players born in Latin America, Japan, Canada, and elsewhere.
Shaun Clancy, an amateur baseball historian, created the Hall after learning about the rich heritage of Irish Americans during the sport’s infancy – a legacy overshadowed in recent years by other ethnicities. He decided to celebrate his roots and those who helped make the game great by creating a shrine to Irish Americans in baseball in 2008.