Ireland-born baseballers: A St. Paddy's Day tribute
Let us mark the solemn occasion of St. Patrick's Day with a walking tour of baseball players and managers who were born on the Emerald Isle.
St. Patrick's Day, known in proper circles as the Feast of Saint Patrick, isn't until Sunday. But on Saturday all across this noble land, 20-somethings will mark the occasion by going to parades, urinating on civil servants and vomiting into the storm drains of our finest cities.
So let us mark the solemn occasion of St. Patrick's Day with a walking tour of baseball players and managers who were born on the Emerald Isle.
In order to do this, let us turn to Baseball-Reference.com, the source of most that is right-wise about this world of ours. Thanks to their birthplace search function, it's easy to come up with a working list of all players and managers who were calved in fairest Ireland.
Come with me, won't you?
Most recent Ireland-born major leaguer: Joe Cleary, who pitched in a single game for the 1945 Washington Senators.
Most recent Ireland-born position player: Paddy O'Connor -- objectively determined to be the most Irish name in the history of history -- who last appeared in the show for the 1918 Yankees (he went 1-for-3!).
Most recent Ireland-born manager: Patsy Donovan, who skippered the 1911 Red Sox. The 1911 season so happened to be the Sox's final campaign in the Huntington Avenue Baseball Grounds. Fenway Park would open in time for the 1912 season.
Most career home runs by an Ireland-born player: 25, by Jack Doyle.
Did Jack Doyle have an awesome nickname?: Yes: "Dirty Jack." He was so baptized because the rules of play to Dirty Jack were but a polite suggestion and not a rigorous framework. And, of course, he later became an umpire.
Most wins by an Ireland-born pitcher: 284, by Tony Mullane.
Did Tony Mullane have two awesome nicknames?: Yes: "The Count of Macaroni" and "Apollo of the Box." Mullane was one of the first "switch-pitchers," as an early injury to his right arm forced him to learn to throw from the portside. Once his right arm healed, he would occasionally work from both sides in the same game. Because he knew a thing or two about a thing or two, Tony Mullane had several wives and later became a Chicago cop.
Most wins by an Ireland-born manager: 684, by the aforementioned Patsy Donovan. Of course, Donovan's lasting bestowal to baseball history is that he knew a guy who knew a guy at a Baltimore orphange where a kid named Babe Ruth played a little ball. In 1914, Donovan's networking prowess brought Ruth to the majors.
Number of players or managers born in Limerick, Ireland: One, Andy Cusick, who last toiled for the Philadelphia Quakers in 1887.
Which Ireland-born player or manager not yet mentioned has the best name?: After measured consideration, I have declared a four-way tie among Jocko Fields, Con Lucid, Cyclone Ryan and Sleeper Sullivan. Hail-fellows-well-met, all.
Which player's name suggests he should've been born in Ireland even though he wasn't?: As with most questions related to the human condition, the answer remains "Boileryard Clarke."
Which player not born in Ireland in the second half of the 19th century had a death most befitting a player born in Ireland in the second half of the 19th century?: Ed Delahanty. In 1903, he got schnockered on a train and threatened his fellow passengers with a razor, which he quite possibly kept in his sock at all times. He was kicked off said train and then drunkenly wandered into Niagara Falls, perhaps with the intention of starting a fight with Niagara Falls. This particular flavor of demise is not now known as but should be known as "The Gentleman's Extinction."
Was Troy O'Leary born in Ireland?: No, it turns out.
Apropos of this topic, is there a particular Baseball-Reference search result that strikes you as disappointing?: Yes, this one:
Happy Feast of St. Patrick Day, baseball enthusiasts. You, too, Delahanty.
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