person holding baseball bat

WBSC Baseball

Irish Baseball Tours of North America

From 2001 when Ireland’s National Baseball Team made its first Tour to New England, to the Buccaneers competing in the Men’s Senior Baseball League World Series, Irish Baseball teams have been making regular journeys across the Atlantic Ocean.

Confederation of European Baseball

Ireland’s first foray into the European Baseball Championships occured in 1996, and with the National Team, and Juniors have been competing on a Regular basis in Europe since. In addition Irish Baseball League Champions have represented Ireland in European Competitions.

Baseball Ireland International Tournaments

The Dublin, Ulster and Ashbourne International Baseball Tournaments have been a highlight of the Baseball Ireland Calendar since 2002.

Amateur Baseball World Series

Irish teams have been competing in the Men’s Senior Baseball League Amateur World Series in Arizona since the 2010s. Ulster Buccaneers were the first, a team gathered together from Senior players in both Ireland and Britain, they have been competing in the MSBL Amateur World Series featuring teams from all over USA and Canada.

American Baseball In Ireland

Beginning in 1874 when Major League Baseball teams toured Ireland and Britain to the games played by US Sailors, Soldiers and Airmen during World Wars I and II and the Cold War, to Baseball re-enactments there has been a long history of American and Canadian Baseball Teams visiting Ireland

Major League Baseball in Ireland

In 1874, Major League Baseball teams visited Ireland for the earliest recorded Baseball match in Ireland, and, naturally enough, given the links between the countries, Ireland, along with France and Britain got the biggest promotion of Baseball when teams toured Europe during the era leading up to the First World War.

Visiting USA and Canadian Baseball Teams

During the First World War, teams of American and Canadian soldiers and sailors, stationed in Ireland for the duration, or visiting the shores of Ireland, played Baseball matches in aid of War Charities.

Baseball in Ireland WW2

From 1942-1943 US Soldiers, Navy & Airmen stationed in Northern Ireland during World War II played in the Northern Ireland Baseball League and 8th US Air Corps Baseball Championship.

Baseball Re-enactments

In addition to the Northern Ireland Baseball League during WWII, there have been exhibition matches played by American and Canadian Soldiers and Sailors stationed in Ireland during WWI or visiting Irish shores. There has also been reenactments of famous Baseball matches, including the Amateur World Series of 1903, which was re-enacted on the 100th anniversary in Drum, Co. Roscommon, featuring relatives of players involved.

World Baseball

The Major Regions of World Baseball are North America (USA and Canada), the Caribbean (Mexico, Cuba, Venezuela, Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic) and Asia-Pacific (Japan, Korea, Chinese Taipei/Taiwan). European countries such as Italy and Netherlands have made great strides in recent decades.

North American Baseball

The North American Baseball System includes Major League Baseball, Minor League Baseball, Independent Baseball and the Men’s Amateur Baseball League (a National Tournament for the top Amateur Baseball teams in USA, which has included in its Senior League tournament MSBL the Ulster Buccaneers (also known as Ireland Buccaneers and UK & Ireland Buccaneers)

Major League Baseball

The Daddy of all Professional Sports Leagues, the National Professional Baseball Players Association (more commonly known as the National League) can trace its’ roots to the Cincinnati Red Stockings, the first openly all-Professional sports team in the world. The Cincinnati Red Stockings incuded among the “First Boys of Summer” (that first ever Professional Team) an Irishman, Andy Leonard, born in Co. Cavan, who left Ireland as a baby during the famine. In all there have been 48 Irish-born Major League Baseball Players from 1869 to the present day. The American League was formed in 1901 and since 1903 has played for the “World Series” with the National League. The two leagues merged as Major League Baseball in 2001 although kept their National League and American League names and separate identities, with the two Champions still playing for the World Series.

Minor League Baseball

Minor League Baseball has 4 Levels (AAA – “Division 2”, AA – “Division 3”, A – “Division 4” and Rookie – “Division 5”. It is akin to the English Football League (EFL Championship, EFL League One and EFL League Two) and and the National League in English Soccer, in that they are levels below Major League Baseball and the English Premier League. Minor League Baseball is where players hone their skills in the hope of reaching the Majors, recuperate after injury or finish out their careers after the Major Leagues. There have been numerous Irish-born Minor League Baseball players throughout its’ history.

Independent League Baseball

Independent League Baseball is a level below Minor League Baseball, consisting of Leagues which were set up to fill in the geographical gaps in the Minor League Baseball System, such as the Big 4 Indies: American Association (which opeartes in the Prairies and Plains), Atlantic League (Long Island and Chesapeake Bay), Frontier League (Illinois and Ohio Valley), Can-Am League (Quebec. Ottawa and New Jersey); Smaller Indies: Pacific Association (Hawai’i and Bay Area California); Pecos League (New Mexico and the Pecos Valley); North American League (Northern League: Hawai’i, Bay Area California and United League: Texas); United States Professional Baseball League (A travel league set in Upstate New York); Empire Professional Baseball League (New York City and Puerto Rico); Thoroughbred League (Kentucky). Recently the North American League dissolved with teams becoming part of the Pacific Association, while the Pecos League also took in refugees from the Minor League’s AA California League (Bakersfield Train Robbers and High Desert Yardbirds).

British Baseball

British Baseball has as a longer History than most people imagine, with a League dating back to the late 1800s. In the 1960s it was so popular there was a Professional League, with English Soccer teams like Tottenham Hotspur, Nottingham Forest and Derby County fielding teams in it. The name of Derby County’s Soccer Ground: “The Baseball Grounds” is a testament to how popular it once was. [Reference: Josh Chetwynd “Baseball in Europe”]

WBSC Baseball Americas