Baseball Shorts: Emerald Age

In today’s episode of “Baseball Shorts,” we pay attention to the term Emerald Age. Yours truly wasn’t familiar with the term until he bumped into it on a search for the item of today’s episode.

The true baseball lover may think of the Eugene Emeralds, when hearing the term Emerald Age. The Emeralds are named after the forests surrounding Eugene in the state of Oregon.

But no, the term has nothing to do with the minor league club. The term Emerald Age refers to a period in Major League baseball when the rosters of MLB clubs were dominated by (second-generation) Irish players.

This era had a time span from the late 19th century until the early 20th century. For quite a long time, Irish immigrants were regarded second grade persons in the US but somehow many still found their way into baseball. Here is a list of Irish born MLB players. During the given time span, the Irish totaled 40% of some MLB rosters.

The name Emerald Age can be explained by the nickname for Ireland: The Emerald Isle.

The term itself isn’t that old. It was introduced by Jerold Casway, who wrote “Ed Delahanty in the Emerald Age of Baseball,” a book that was published in 2004.

Of the more than 16,000 players to appear in the major league since 1876, 38 were born in Ireland, while hundreds more have been of Irish descent. A few well known players of the modern age in baseball with Irish roots are: Mark McGwire, Nolan Ryan, Derek Jeter (yes, half Irish), and Adam Dunn.

Irish American Baseball Society

But despite the big influence of Irishmen in US baseball, the game remains relatively small in Ireland unfortunately. One US foundation, the Irish American Baseball Society is trying to help the game of baseball in Ireland but also in other countries where the game has not gained popularity yet.

Irish American Baseball Society

Baseball from a Dutch point of view since 2014

Maritime Pro Ball

Blog advocating bringing minor league ball to the Maritime Provinces!

D-Backs Europe

Een kijk op de MLB met een vleugje Arizona Diamondbacks

Milujeme Baseball

Nejlepší český web o baseballu

Dutch Baseball Hangout

Baseball from a Dutch point of view since 2014


Follow my trip in the USA during the 2016 summer!

Honkbal Op Zolder

Blog over bijzaken in Major League Baseball

The Ball Caps Blog

Baseball caps and beyond

The Negro Leagues Up Close

A blog about a century of African-American baseball history

Baseball History Daily

Heroes, Villains, Oddities and Minutia--The Forgotten History of the National Pastime

The Midwest League Traveler

Traveling & writing about the Midwest League, past & present, since 2011

Ben's Biz Blog

The Greatest Minor League Baseball Blog of All Time

B3: Big, Bald and Beautiful

Your guide to all things prospect, courtesy of Jonathan Mayo

Universo Béisbol

Hagamos del béisbol un deporte más universal.

%d bloggers like this: