Mahony: Irish nationalist links to the rise of baseball in America

From Patrick Mahony at the Irish Times on July 5, 2019:

One of sport’s most renowned rivalries was on display for the first time on this side of the Atlantic last weekend, as the Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees met in London Stadium. Although the meeting of the two clubs marked the first regular season Major League Baseball (MLB) games on European soil, the sport has a strong history in Europe.

Connections between Ireland and baseball are strong, as is evidenced by the presence of an “Irish-American Baseball Hall of Fame” in New York City, and the success of the Irish Baseball and Softball Federation (IBSF) since its founding in 1989.

As baseball began to emerge as America’s “national pastime”, it gained a strong following particularly among Irish nationalists. This is perhaps not surprising, as the rise of the sport coincided with the mass exodus of Irish emigrants to America during the Famine years of 1845-52.

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Originally published: July 5, 2019. Last Updated: July 5, 2019.