Mike Sweeney, Dave O'Brien, Jack McKeon, Shannon Forde and Bill Murray to Be Inducted into The Irish American Baseball Hall of Fame

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Ceremony Honoring Inductees Will Take Place on Tuesday, May 26, 2015

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Mike Sweeney was by far the top vote-getter in the player category. Not only was he an All-Star player, he also is very involved in charitable work in his community.

The Irish American Baseball Hall of Fame (IAB HOF) today announced the names of its 2015 inductees:

  • Mike Sweeney (Former Player): Five-time All-Star and former captain of the KC Royals
  • Dave O'Brien (Broadcaster): ESPN sportscaster, radio announcer for the Boston Red Sox
  • Jack McKeon (Manager): Two-time NL Manager of Year whose 2003 Marlins won the World Series
  • Shannon Forde (Executive): Longtime member of New York Mets p.r. staff
  • Bill Murray (Executive): Comedic actor and SNL alumnus, owner of minor league teams

“Mike Sweeney was by far the top vote-getter in the player category. Not only was he an All-Star player, he also is very involved in charitable work in his community,” said Shaun Clancy, president of the Irish American Baseball Hall of Fame. "Jack McKeon, who guided the surprising Florida Marlins to a World Series victory in 2003 will be the inductee among managers. In the media category, Dave O'Brien, who calls national games for ESPN on television and also works in the radio booth for the Boston Red Sox, got the nod."

"Shannon Forde, a key member of the Mets' p.r. personnel, is a beloved figure among writers and broadcasters," Clancy added. "Bill Murray is best known for his work as an actor, but his passion for baseball and love of his Irish heritage put him into the Hall."

The induction ceremonies will take place this summer at Foley’s NY Pub & Restaurant (18 W. 33rd St.), which houses the Irish American Baseball Hall of Fame. Voters include past inductees and a distinguished panel of baseball historians.

Additionally, Kansas City Royals bench coach Don Wakamatsu, the son of an Irish American and Japanese American parents, will receive the second annual Pete Caldera-Duke Castiglione “I Didn’t Know He Was Irish” Award. The honor goes annually to an individual in baseball whose Irish roots are not widely known.

With the blessing of the National Baseball Hall of Fame, Foley’s, a popular destination among baseball players, executives, umpires and fans, created the Irish American Baseball Hall of Fame to recognize players, managers, executives, journalists, and entertainers of Irish descent. Inductees are chosen based on a combination of factors, including impact on the game, popularity on and off the field, contributions to society, connections to the Irish community, and, of course, ancestry.

The game of baseball welcomed immigrants from its earliest days, when an estimated 30% of players claimed Irish heritage. Many of the game’s biggest stars at the turn of the 20th century were Irish immigrants or their descendants, including Michael “King” Kelly, Roger Connor (the home run king before Babe Ruth), Eddie Collins, Big Ed Walsh and managers Connie Mack and John McGraw. Today, major league teams regularly sign players born in Latin America, Japan, Canada, and elsewhere.

Shaun Clancy, an amateur baseball historian, created the Hall after learning about the rich heritage of Irish Americans during the sport's infancy. He decided to celebrate his roots and those who helped make the game great by creating a shrine to Irish Americans in baseball in 2008.

Complete List of Irish American Baseball Hall of Fame Inductees

The “Starting Nine” inductees in 2008 were: the late Mets and Phillies reliever Tug McGraw, Yankee announcer John Flaherty, sportswriter Jeff Horrigan, NY Mets groundskeeper Pete Flynn, retired sluggers Mark McGwire and Sean “The Mayor” Casey, Kevin Costner, star of Field of Dreams and Bull Durham, legendary owner-manager Connie Mack, and longtime official scorer and sports columnist Red Foley.

2009 inductees: Walter O’Malley, Dodgers owner; sluggers Steve Garvey and Paul O’Neill, Jim Joyce, veteran sportscaster Vin Scully, and Ed Lucas, a blind reporter who has covered New York baseball for four decades.

2010 inductees: Tim McCarver, veteran TV analyst and former player, Bob Murphy, longtime Mets announcer, Michael “King” Kelly, baseball's first superstar, Yankees GM Brian Cashman, Bill James, famed statistician.

2011 inductees: Nolan Ryan, baseball’s all-time strikeout king, Big Ed Walsh, baseball’s all-time ERA leader, legendary manager John McGraw, Yankees trainers Gene Monahan and Steve Donohue, "Baseball's Balladeer” Terry Cashman, and Chuck Lennon, a former baseball player, coach and lifetime supporter of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish.

2012 inductees: Jimmy Breslin, author of Can't Anybody Here Play This Game?, Tom Kelly, two-time World Series-winning manager with the Twins, Gene Michael, former player, scout and GM for the Yankees, "Walpole Joe" Morgan, former player, scout and manager of the Red Sox, Jeff Nelson, four-time World Series champion with the Yankees, "Wee Willie" Keeler, Dead Ball era legend, and Mike Roarke, credited with teaching the split-fingered fastball to Hall of Famer Bruce Sutter.

2013 inductees: Popular former Mets Rusty Staub and Joe McEwing, longtime owner of the LA Dodgers Peter O’Malley, Hall of Fame baseball writer Bill Madden of the New York Daily News, and award-winning columnist for the Boston Globe Dan Shaughnessy.

2014 inductees: veteran pitcher David Cone, longtime umpire Tom Gorman, Bill Shea, the driving force in bringing National League baseball back to New York in 1962, veteran baseball photographer Dave Schofield, and Hal McCoy, a longtime beat writer for the Cincinnati Reds.

2015 inductees: Mike Sweeney, five-time All-Star and former captain of the KC Royals, Dave O'Brien ESPN sportscaster and Red Sox radio announcer, Jack McKeon, a two-time NL Manager of Year whose 2003 Marlins won the World Series, Shannon Forde, a longtime member of New York Mets p.r. staff, and minor league baseball team owner Bill Murray.

Foley’s NY Pub & Restaurant (18 W. 33rd St.) is home of the Irish American Baseball Hall of Fame. A popular destination among baseball players, executives, umpires, media, and fans, Foley's is located across from the Empire State Building. The "Irish Bar with a Baseball Attitude" features walls adorned with 3,000 autographed balls, bobbleheads, game-worn jerseys, stadium seats and other artifacts that make it the premier baseball bar in New York and one of the best sports bars in America. For more information, call (212) 290-0080 or visit http://www.foleysny.com or http://www.facebook.com/FoleysNYPub.

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