Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Baseball in Dublin, Ireland: The Peter O’Malley International Invitational

Check out the above stone commemorating the opening of the O’Malley Little League and Dodger Baseball Fields in Corkagh Park, West Dublin, Ireland (pic via  It was dedicated in 1998 and is written in both English and Irish Gaelic.    

This field will play host to the first annual Peter O’Malley International Invitational this coming weekend, July 12-14.  (Check out a facebook events page here)  Four teams will participate: the 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 throughout the world to compete.
“It is an honor and privilege to return to Ireland for this special baseball tournament and I salute the organizers for putting it together,” said O’Malley, who will be throwing the ceremonial first ball. “Baseball in Ireland continues to grow and succeed with about 250 youth players across 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.” 
I have no idea what the level of play will be, but I do believe that the US Navy team will kick some butt.  USA!
(pic via the Rota Blue Devil facebook page)

The US Navy team call themselves the Rota Blue Devils.  They comprise of men stationed at Naval Station Rota, Spain.  The Blue Devils consists of active duty enlisted, officers, and dependents alike, and have been in existence since 2011.  Check out their facebook page here.  I also ran into a youtube video from AFN about the team that you can watch here.

BTW, O'Malley has privately built ballfields in several other countries.  In 1986 he built "Dodger Baseball Field" in Tianjin, China and "Dodger Little League Friendship Field" in Managua, Nicaragua in 1992.  He was also responsible for the building the Dodgers Baseball academy, "Campo Las Palmas," in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.  So, he's always had a personal desire to spread the game throughout the world.

Below is a photo from the 1998 dedication ceremony of Corkagh Park in Ireland.  U.S. Ambassador Jean Kennedy Smith threw out the first pitch. From L-R: Aldo Notari, President of International Baseball Federation; Dr. Creighton Hale, President, Little League Baseball; Ed Piszek, Little League Foundation Trustee; Ambassador Smith; Rod Dedeaux, legendary head baseball coach at USC; and Peter O’Malley.
At the time of dedication, O’Malley said, “In the past, children have been playing baseball on 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.”

Photos above courtesy of

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