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.
The Red Sox and Mariners left nothing on the table Friday night, going head-to-head in a series opener that eventually ended 14-10 in the Sox’ favor. Led by Steven Wright and Wade LeBlanc — neither of whom made it past the fifth inning — the teams combined for 34 hits and four home runs, including two moonshots from Seattle’s Nelson Cruz and a five-run rally that gave Boston the edge in the seventh.
In the sixth inning, however, the Red Sox were still scrambling to make up a four-run deficit. Left fielder J.D. Martinez cut it in half with one swing, pouncing on an 89.5-mph fastball from Seattle right-hander Nick Vincent and posting it to dead center field for a two-run shot.
The 427-foot blast was Martinez’s 23rd of the season, tying Mike Trout for the most home runs in the league this year. While he still has a ways to go before eclipsing the career-best 45-HR mark he set in 2017, he’s off to a strong start this season: Entering Friday’s game, the 30-year-old slugger was batting .315/.386/.623 with a 1.009 OPS and AL-leading 55 RBI in 308 PA. He finished Friday’s game 4-for-5 with five RBI, just one triple shy of hitting for the cycle.
Heading into the All-Star Break, both Martinez and Trout still have some competition for the home run title. Jose Ramirez is sitting at 22 homers, while Nelson Cruz and Khris Davis are tied at 20 apiece.