Irish Baseball League
|Current season, competition or edition:|
2018 Irish Baseball League season
|No. of teams||12|
|Dublin City Hurricanes|
|Most titles||Dublin Spartans (12)|
The Irish Baseball League (IBL) is the men's league in Ireland. It started play in 1997 and continues to this day. The season runs from April to September (which usually includes a mid-summer break ) and are played on the weekends.
Club sides and fields
- For a list of the teams in the A League, B League South, and B League North, see footnote.
The O'Malley Fields at Corkagh Park in Clondalkin, West Dublin are the main home of Irish Baseball and current home field for the Dublin City Hurricanes and the Dublin Spartans. The majority of league games are held at the Corkagh Park. The Greystones Mariners play at Shanganagh Park which has recently been developed into a "real" baseball field. The Ashbourne Baseball Club plays at the International Baseball Centre in Ashbourne, County Meath. The Belfast Northstars and the Ulster Buccaneers currently play at Hydebank]] Comets play out of the Peace Link in Clones, Co. Monaghan.
For the 2018 season the following teams are participating at the associated venues:
Irish league history
- Irish League Champions (1997–present)
- 2017 – Hurricanes
- 2016 – Hurricanes
- 2015 – Hurricanes
- 2014 – Mariners
- 2013 – Spartans
- 2012 – Spartans
- 2011 – Spartans
- 2010 – Spartans
- 2009 – Spartans
- 2008 – Spartans
- 2007 – Spartans
- 2006 – Spartans
- 2005 – Hurricanes
- 2004 – Spartans
- 2003 – Hurricanes
- 2002 – Spartans
- 2001 – Panthers
- 2000 – Spartans
- 1999 – Spartans
- 1998 – Panthers
- 1997 – The Dukes *
(* The Dukes are no longer in existence, they were made defunct in 1998 when the league started from scratch with an 'all-players draft' and total reformat of all teams.)
Irish League individual awards and winners
The individual Irish League awards given out annually have an Irish Flavour in an effort to pay homage to the great Irish players who played in the Major Leagues from years gone by. For example, instead of the traditional Cy Young Award being given to the League's Top Pitcher, recipients are presented with the 'Tommy Bond' Best Pitcher Award.
The 'Andy Leonard' League MVP award
Andy Leonard from County Cavan, was the only Irish-born member of the "First Boys of Summer": the 1869 Cincinnati Red Stockings, baseball's first professional team. He also helped create and sustain the original Boston Red Stockings championship dynasty from 1872 through 1876 and again in 1878, competing in six world championships. He had the joint 2nd best career average for an Irish player of .299. He was said to be the finest left fielder of his generation. He took particular delight in returning in 1874 during an exhibition tour of the Red Stockings and the runner-up Philadelphia Athletics. In his diary and press clippings of that year, Andy and his lifelong friend Harry Wright were the leading batsmen as the Yanks beat the then reigning Marybone champions in London at their own game, cricket.
Previous winners of The 'Andy Leonard' League MVP Award include:
- 2017- Roberto Hernandez (Dublin City Hurricanes)
- 2016- Jose Hernandez (Dublin City Hurricanes) and Leo Farrell (Greystone Mariners)(shared)
- 2015 -
- 2014 – Gabriel Gil (Dublin City Hurricanes)
- 2011 – Tom Kelley (Dublin City Hurricanes)
- 2010 – Jimmy Pita (Dublin Spartans)
- 2009 – Cristi Hutnav (Dublin Spartans)
- 2006 – Darran O'Connor (Dublin Spartans)
- 2005 – Steve Divito (Dublin City Hurricanes)
- 2004 – Darragh Jones (Greystones Mariners)
- 2003 – Tom Kelley (Dublin City Hurricanes)
- 2002 – Jaime Cuevas (Dublin Spartans)
- 2001 – None given
- 2000 – None given
- 1999 – Tom Kelley (Dublin City Hurricanes)
- 1998 – Ken McCarthy (Dublin Panthers) **
- 1997 – None given
(** Dublin Panthers is now a defunct franchise. Most of their players left to join either the Dublin Blacksox or retire in 2004.)
The 'Tommy Bond' Best Pitcher Award
Previous winners of The 'Tommy Bond' Best Pitcher Award include:
- 2017 - Woody Woodburne (Greystone Mariners)
- 2016 - Roberto Marquez (Dublin City Hurricanes)
- 2015 - Woody Woodburne (Greystone Mariners) and Stephen Carter (Dublin Spartans) (shared)
- 2014 – William Pena (Dublin City Hurricanes)
- 2012 – Cormac Eklof (Dublin City Hurricanes)
- 2011 – Cormac Eklof (Dublin City Hurricanes)
- 2010 – Andrei Apostei (Dublin Spartans)
- 2009 – Cormac Eklof (Dublin City Hurricanes)
- 2008 – Niall Rowen (Dublin Blacksox)
- 2007 – Andrei Apostei (Dublin Spartans)
- 2006 – Chaime Cuevas (Dublin Spartans)
- 2005 – Shawn Miskiman (Greystones Mariners)
- 2004 – Cormac Eklof (Dublin City Hurricanes)
- 2003 – Chaime Cuevas (Dublin Spartans)
- 2002 – Eoin O'Connor (Dublin Blacksox)
- 2001 – None given
- 2000 – None given
- 1999 – Greg Modaro (Dublin Panthers)
- 1998 – Noel Mitchell (Dublin Spartans)
- 1997 – None given
The 2015 season saw the Dublin City Hurricanes, aka "La Familia", complete the first end-to-end undefeated season in Irish Baseball history, capping a perfect 18-0 regular season with a two-game sweep of the Greystones Mariners in the League Final to finish with an unprecedented 20-0 record.
The Canes also won the inaugural Ulster Open Baseball Championship in June 2015, beating a combined Dublin Spartans/Greystones Mariners/Dublin Black Sox squad in the tournament Final.
The 2010 season opened with newcomers to the league "Munster Warriors" beating the Spartans twice. 1-0 and 8-5. The other game in the opening round was the 4-3 victory for the Hurricanes over the Mariners. The next round had the two heavyweights in the league against each other and it was the Spartans who were to come out top with a 6-5 victory over the Hurricanes. The other game in the 2nd round was the Mariners 3-1 victory over the Black Sox. The next round featured one of the most exciting games of the last few years. The Mariners were playing the Black Sox again in Shankhill. Having let a 4-0 lead slip in typical Mariners fashion the Greystones Mariners were 8-5 down in the bottom of the 7th inning with 2 outs. Jack Fairbairn amazingly bunts his way to first (with two outs!) which sets up one of the greatest comebacks ever recorded in the Irish League. The Mariners managed to tie the game into extra innings where the Black Sox scored another run to make the score 9-8 to the Black Sox. Cian O' Riordan stole home to tie up the game. Steven Hayes took a walk to 1st and stole 2nd. Jack Fairbairn steps up to the plate and once again bunts his way to success. An overthrow from the Black Sox catcher past 1st allowed Steven Hayes to score the winning run. A truly great game.
The Mariners were the first team to qualify for the playoffs after the Warriors gave them a double walk-over which ensured they finished in the top two.
The 2007 Irish Adult Baseball League started with the Belfast Northstars defeating the Dublin Twins 12-7 and 13-7. The Dublin Black Sox also defeated the Greystones Mariners 16-7.
The Irish Baseball League had two levels for 2007, A and B. The A level consisted of the Spartans, the Hurricanes, the Twins, the Greystones Mariners, the Blacksox and the Belfast Northstars.
The B level was for player and club development and consists of B teams from the Spartans, Hurricanes, Blacksox and Greystones Mariners.
- Mendlowitz, Andy (5 November 2016). "Ireland's Professional Amateurs: A Sports Season at Its Purest". iUniverse – via Google Books.
- McGeady, Andrew. "Take me out to the ballpark: how to follow baseball in Ireland".
- Go to the Baseball Ireland official website (retrieved 2017-03-12) and click on "Fixtures & Results" and then "League Tables".