Despite the best efforts of 19th century racists, the Irish took over baseball in the late 1800s and never really let it go. And because of that, appropriately enough, the Irish American Baseball Hall of Fame is a thing. And, wonderfully, it’s housed in a great Irish pub/baseball bar. Today it announced its 2012 honorees:
- Jimmy Breslin, author of one of the most famous baseball books ever written, Can’t Anybody Here Play This Game?, which chronicled the 1962 New York Mets inaugural season;
- Tom Kelly, two-time World Series champion manager with the Minnesota Twins;
- Gene Michael, scout and GM responsible for signing players including Derek Jeter and Mariano Rivera, among others;
- “Walpole Joe” Morgan, popular former player, scout and a manager of Boston Red Sox;
- Jeff Nelson, longtime reliever, four-time World Series champion with the Yankees;
- “Wee Willie” Keeler, a legend of the Dead Ball era when nearly a third of major league players were of Irish descent.
Induction ceremonies will take place a week from today at that great bar: Foley’s NY Pub & Restaurant in New York.
Tim Tebow isn’t letting go of his major league dreams just yet. The former NFL quarterback is slated to appear with the Mets during spring training this year, extending what initially looked like an ill-fated career choice for at least one more season. Per the club’s official announcement on Friday, he’ll join a group of spring training invitees that includes top-30 prospects like Peter Alonso, P.J. Conlon, Patrick Mazeika and David Thompson.
Tebow, 30, hasn’t taken to professional baseball as gracefully as expected. He batted a cumulative .226/.309/.347 with eight home runs and a .656 OPS in 486 plate appearances for Single-A Columbia and High-A St. Lucie in 2017. While that wasn’t enough to compel the Mets to give the aging outfielder a big league tryout, there’s no denying that Tebow brought substantial benefit to their minor league affiliates — in the form of increased attendance figures and ticket sales, that is.
Even after the Mets were booted from the NL East race last September, they resisted the idea of promoting Tebow for a late-season attendance boost of their own. That’s not to say they’re planning on taking the same approach in 2018; Tebow will undoubtedly get his cup of coffee in the majors at some point, but for now, a Grapefruit League tryout is likely as close as he’ll ever get to playing with the team’s big league roster on an everyday basis.