The great New York pub Foley's ("The Bar That Banned 'Danny Boy'") announced yesterday the latest nominees for the Irish American Baseball Hall of Fame. The Hall was created two years ago to honor those Irish and of Irish descent who have made contributions to the great American game.
And with St. Patrick's Day being tomorrow, what better time of the year to make the announcement. This year's nominees are:
Baseball Hall of Famers Big Ed Walsh and Mike "King" Kelly; "Mighty Casey," the legend of the Mudville Nine by Ernest Thayer; former Atlanta Braves great Dale Murphy; former utilityman Joe McEwing (who played for many teams including the Mets); Hall of Fame manager John McGraw and two-time World Series champion manager Tom Kelly; former Mets broadcasters Tim McCarver and Bob Murphy; baseball executives Brian Cashman and Bill James; and from the entertainment world, singer John Fogerty ("Centerfield"); actors Bill Murray, Rosie O'Donnell and John Cusack.
The winners this year will be announced in April, and their will be a ceremony for the inductees in August. Foley's created the Irish American Baseball Hall of Fame with the blessing of the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York.
It's first class was in 2008, and was called "The Staring Nine." They included: former players Tug McGraw, John Flaherty, Mark McGwire and Sean Casey; legendary owner and manager Connie Mack; sportswriters Jeff Horrigan and Red Foley (remember "Ask Red?"); Mets groundskeeper Pete Flynn; and actor Kevin Costner.
Last year's inductees were: Walter O'Malley (my father won't be happy to hear that); former players Steve Garvey and Paul O'Neill; umpire Jim Joyce; legendary sportscaster Vin Scully and reporter Ed Lucas.
For more information on the Irish Baseball Hall of Fame, or about Foley's Pub, check out www.foleysny.com.
BTW, Foley's will always have a special place in my heart. Last year my friend Chris and I went to Tina Cervasio's sports auction at the bar. She's a sweetheart and does a great job with it every year. Who did we see at the auction? None other than CHB himself, Dan Shaughnessy. Chris and I consider it a badge of honor that we both gave him the cold shoulder when we had the opportunity to meet him. So there, CHB.