Players of Irish Ancestry Sought for Irish National Baseball Team
NEW YORK, NY – March 7, 2016 – The Baseball United Foundation is seeking Irish-American baseball players who qualify for Irish citizenship. Eligible players will be evaluated for spots on the Irish National Baseball Team, as Ireland continues its push to qualify for the World Baseball Classic.
To be eligible, a player must have one parent or grandparent who was born in Ireland.
“We know there are hundreds of talented Irish-American baseball players in the pros, college, and in high school,” explained Baseball United Foundation Executive Director John Fitzgerald.“We are trying to find eligible players who currently play in junior high school, high school, college, and professional baseball,” said Fitzgerald. “This will be a long-term and ongoing recruiting effort to find players who could help Ireland in the next five to ten years.”
Baseball has been played in Ireland since the 1990s. In 1996, Ireland made its first foray into international competition at the European Championships in Hull, England. This summer, Ireland will compete in the European C-Pool Championships in Slovenia. Ireland must advance through the C-Pool and B-Pool to be considered for the World Baseball Classic. The process could take several years or more.
The Baseball United Foundation will evaluate all eligible players and share the information with baseball officials in Ireland. All roster decisions are made by the Irish National Baseball Team coaching staff and Baseball Ireland.
“The Irish National Baseball Team prides itself on having a majority of players who are born and live in Ireland, but they have always kept an open mind about welcoming Irish-American players onto the team,” explained Aidan Curtin of The Baseball United Foundation. “A player must be eligible for Irish citizenship but he must also be a team player who is proud of his Irish heritage and aware of the hard work and sacrifice of the players who have come before him. In past years, Irish-American players have been recruited from Baltimore, Boston, New York, Chicago, Cleveland.”
Any player who is eligible — or thinks they may be eligible — should contact The Baseball United Foundation at BaseballUnitedFoundation.org or Facebook.com/BaseballUnited or email BaseballUnitedFoundation@gmail.com.
If you’d like to support The Baseball United Foundation’s efforts to support baseball programs in Ireland, you can make an online donation at SupportIrishBaseball.org.
ABOUT THE BASEBALL UNITED FOUNDATION
The Baseball United Foundation was founded in 2006 to assist amateur baseball programs through fundraising, instruction, and equipment donation programs. For more information, visit www.BaseballUnitedFoundation.org or contact Executive Director John Fitzgerald at 914-468-3108.