14th July 2013 - Ireland Dominant in First Ever Peter O'Malley Tournament
|The Irish national baseball team warmed up in perfect fashion for their European 'B' Pool Championships in Vienna next week, as they went undefeated in the inaugural Peter O'Malley Invitational Tournament in Corkagh Park, Clondalkin.
Facing US Navy team the Rota Blue Devils and the back-to-back British Baseball League champion Liverpool Trojans, as well as a team of international baseball players from all around the globe, the Irish team claimed three wins from their three preliminary games to make the final against Los Barbaros - an invited team of international all-stars representing the USA, the UK, Venezuela, Japan, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Brazil, Mexico, Cuba, Canada and other nations - a game they won by a score of 13-7 to lift the Peter O'Malley Trophy.
Tournament organiser Mike Kindle was thrilled at the level of support the event received. "We had hundreds and hundreds of people come out to the ballpark over the course of the weekend to cheer Ireland on, many of whom didn't even know Ireland had a baseball team!"
"The standard of competition was very high, and it should stand to Ireland manager Sean Mitchell and his squad that they went undefeated and dominated the tournament," said Kindle, "and it's heartening that the Irish-based played such an important part in the victory."
Team Ireland's win was inspired by tournament Most Valuable Player Jimmy Pita, who plays his baseball in Dublin. Pita's performance was backed up by strong showings from his fellow domestic-based position players Tommy Hernandez, Leo Farrell and Jaime Cuevas, and by Dublin Black Sox pitcher Brendan Scott, whose complete game victory on day two was a tournament highlight. The Irish squad was boosted by American- and Canadian-based players Brendan Hourihan, Mike Ferrato, Nat Anglin and pitchers Tommy Enright and Rob McKendry.
"This was Ireland's first ever IBAF-sanctioned tournament," said Kindle, "And it sets this young team up nicely for a tough game against Russia next Monday (22nd). The Irish team are all amateurs, who play for the love of the game, but their professionalism and athleticism shone through this weekend."
Ireland will fly to Vienna on Sunday, and will play Russia, Lithuania, Slovakia, Belarus and hosts Austria over the course of five days.
Peter O'Malley Tournament Results
Rota Blue 4-5 Ireland
Liverpool Trojans 13-3 Rota Blue Devils
Los Barbaros 5-0 Liverpool Trojans
Ireland 5-4 Liverpool Trojans
Rota Blue 1-9 Los Barbaros
Ireland 5-2 Los Barbaros
Liverpool Trojans 4-7 Rota Blue Devils
Ireland 13-7 Los Barbaros
more to follow...
July 2013 - The Gathering 2013
|International Baseball in Ireland!
The first Peter O'Malley International Invitational Baseball Tournament will be played at Corkagh Park in Clondalkin, Dublin, Ireland from July 12-14. Named for O'Malley, president of the Los Angeles Dodgers from 1970-1998, the four-team tournament features the host Irish National Baseball Team, Rota Blue Devils, representing the United States Navy, British Baseball League entrant Liverpool Trojans and Los Barbaros, a team comprised of international players who have traveled from all over the world to compete in the tournament.
The tournament is Baseball Ireland's contribution to "The Gathering Ireland 2013," a year-long celebration of all things Irish - culture, tradition, sport and fun. Three games will be played on Friday, July 12, three games on Saturday, July 13, with the third-place and championship games set for Sunday, July 14.
"It is an honour and privilege to return to Ireland for this special baseball tournament and I salute the organizers for putting it together," said O'Malley. "Baseball in Ireland continues to grow and succeed with about 250 youth players around the island. The success of the Irish National team has generated interest in the game and it is gratifying that there are more fields being developed."
The international tournament is named for O'Malley, who is a friend and significant contributor to the success of baseball in Ireland, according to Mike Kindle, Chairman of Baseball Ireland.
"We are very excited to have Peter O'Malley return to the site of O'Malley and Dodger Fields, which he built in 1998," said Kindle. "We appreciate Peter's generosity and foresight in helping baseball to grow in Ireland. The fields he built for youth (O'Malley Little League) and adults (Dodger Baseball) have touched many lives in the past 15 years. Peter is in constant contact with us and is very interested in the development of baseball in Ireland and indeed, the world."
O'Malley had previously privately built fields in two countries - "Dodger Baseball Field" in Tianjin, People's Republic of China in 1986 and "Little League Friendship Field" in Managua, Nicaragua in 1992. He also privately built what was considered a leader in the field, a state-of-the-art baseball academy "Campo Las Palmas" near Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic.
O'Malley's first meeting with Baseball Ireland was in 1994, with the goal of getting more people involved with the game.
By July 4, 1998, two fields built strictly for baseball were dedicated at Corkagh Park - a regulation-sized adult field (Dodger Baseball Field) and an international standard Little League field (O'Malley Little League Field), which serve as the centerpiece of baseball in Ireland and have been used continuously for adult and youth regular season and international games.
At the time of dedication, O'Malley said, "In the past, children have been playing baseball on the corners of rugby and soccer fields in Ireland, frequently being asked to relocate during the game. Now the children and families of Dublin have their own field of dreams to enjoy the game of baseball uninterrupted."
The tournament will add an international element to Baseball Ireland's traditional midsummer classic, usually consisting of games against a single touring side, as it will see two non-Irish teams playing baseball in Dublin for the first time since 1946, when two American teams returning from service in Britain in WWII played an exhibition game in Croke Park. Kindle is hopeful the game's appeal can grow in Ireland. "Baseball is the second most widely played field sport on the planet, behind soccer, and there are approximately 120 countries that are affiliated with the International Baseball Federation and actively play internationally. We're hoping people will see it being played for the first time and get involved, or get their kids playing Little League. I mean, who doesn't like to hit something with a bat? It's the greatest feeling in the world!"
"South Dublin County is the home of Irish Baseball," said Kindle, "and thanks to South Dublin County Council, our main sponsors SoftCo and Generator Hostels and of course, Peter O'Malley, it's going to be home to a festival of sport and fun for all the family."
More info is available here: https://www.facebook.com/events/559316954098864/