Here’s to the Irish, especially the baseball players, on St. Patrick’s Day

Happy St. Patrick’s day, everyone! I was pleased to find that there is an Irish-American Baseball Hall of Fame, thanks to a Google search and the Eddie Kranepool Society Mets blog. The 2011 inductions are on today at Foley’s Pub in New York City.

The Irish and baseball have been joined like a firm grip on a pint of Guinness since the game got started on America’s eastern seaboard in the 19th century.

I’m of Irish descent myself and proud of it.  I grew up in Cleveland Heights, Ohio,  a suburb populated mainly by Catholics (Irish, Italian and Slavic) and Jews.  The typical lineup for the teams I played on looked something like this:

Day, SS

Steinberg, LF

DiGiacamo, 1B

Kowalski, RF

Kennedy, CF

Rabinowitz, C

Jedinek, 3B

Merriman, 2B

Vincenzo, P

Most of those names are made up – I’m going to have to probe the memory banks to recall some of the real lineups – but the tone is right.

With its ethnic and racial diversity, modern baseball is more than ever a game for everyone. May the sun be always on its face.

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