Baseball in Ireland
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Although the existence of baseball in Ireland is not widely known, the game has been played there since the early 1990s. What began with a few friends playing pickup games on football and rugby fields in Dublin and Greystones, soon grew into a small league.
Ireland played its first game in international competition in 1996 against the Czech Republic, losing by a score of 23-2. Since then Ireland has gone on to win a bronze in 2004 in Germany, a silver in Belgium in 2006 at the European Pool B Baseball Championships and the gold in Ireland in 2018 in the European Pool C Baseball Championships. Ireland's national team, although only ten years old, has won at least one game in every tournament it has entered including 1996, in Kingston upon Hull.
In the years since, baseball has spread throughout Ireland. The game is currently played in Ashbourne, Cavan, Shankhill, Dublin, Greystones, Belfast, Cork and Kerry. Youth baseball is also played in Portstewart and Portrush in Northern Ireland.
The Irish National Baseball Team won its first bronze medal at the 2004 European Championships in Germany. In August 2006, the Irish National Baseball Team won the silver medal at the European Championships held in Antwerp, Belgium. They also competed in the European championships held in Vienna in Austria, Stockholm, Karlovac, Abranches, Antwerp, Barcelona and Ljubljana.
In 2018, the Irish National Baseball Team won the gold medal at the European Baseball Championship tournament held at the International Baseball Centre in Ashbourne, County Meath. By winning, the team advanced to the next round of Olympic qualifying in 2019.
The Emerald Diamond, a documentary film released in 2006, chronicled the history of baseball in Ireland and the Irish National Baseball Team.
The Irish National Baseball Team
The Irish National Baseball Team has been in existence since 1996 and has taken part in several major baseball tournaments and tours.
Irish Baseball League
The Irish Baseball League was founded in 1997. Participating teams come from Dublin, Ashbourne, Belfast, Cavan and Greystones.
|Team Name||Location||Home Field||Divisions|
|Ashbourne Giants||Ashbourne, County Meath||International Baseball Centre||A, B|
|Ashbourne Stags||Ashbourne, County Meath||International Baseball Centre||B|
|Belfast Buccaneers||Belfast, Northern Ireland||Hydebank Playing Fields||B|
|Belfast Northstars||Belfast, Northern Ireland||Hydebank Playing Fields||B|
|Cavan Comets||Clones, County Monaghan||Peace Link||B|
|Dublin Spartans||Clondalkin, County Dublin||O'Malley Fields||A, B|
|Dublin City Hurricanes||Clondalkin, County Dublin||O'Malley Fields||A, B|
|Greystones Mariners||Shankill, County Dublin||Shanganagh Park||A, B|
The Irish cadet team (13–18) played in a Dutch tournament held in Alphen aan den Rijn Netherlands. In this competition they came home with a bronze medal but also much experience gained from the club BSC Alphians who won the tournament. Amsterdam Pirates got the runners-up prize.
- "Baseball a growing favorite sport in Ireland". 17 January 2014.
- McGeady, Andrew. "Take me out to the ballpark: how to follow baseball in Ireland".
- Chetwynd, Josh (16 July 2008). "Baseball in Europe: A Country by Country History". McFarland – via Google Books.
- Tuesday; July 31; Am, 2018-05:20 (2018-07-31). "Irish baseball stars now target Olympic qualification". www.irishexaminer.com. Retrieved 2018-12-30.