Players, coaches, sponsors and general well wishers!
Since I started this blog last year I have had a few people ask how to get involved in Baseball Ireland, on various levels, so here's the lowdown.
First of all, your initial stop should be the Irish Baseball Official website. That should fill in many of your information gaps!
Playing baseball in Ireland.
First of all, if you are interested in getting involved at youth level, your contact is Mr Will Beglane, who looks after the current development of Youth Baseball in Ireland. This includes players and coaches too.
At adult level, if you want to play, umpire or coach in the Irish Adult League, a few quick pointers.
- The League is entirely volunteer and amateur, players are not paid (sadly!)
- The League caters to all levels of players
- The League runs from April to September
- There are currently teams in Belfast, Greystones, Shankill and Dublin
- You should live in or near those areas to join a current team
- Baseball Ireland can not at this time help accommodate you or get you a job or indeed a visa I am afraid. Again, the league is entirely volunteer and amateur.
With all that in mind, if you wish to play in the league mail Mike Kindle with the subject field 'Playing baseball in Ireland'. Keep an eye on the website for information regarding the league campaign and other information for example winter training sessions.
If you wish to play on the Irish National Team you should be aware of the following;
- You need a current valid Irish Passport to be considered for the Irish Team.
- The Irish Team currently has no sponsor - players are expected to fund their own trips.
- The Irish team trains in Dublin, Ireland. You would need to be there for at least a few weeks before major tournaments to be considered for the team.
Baseball is a minority sport in Ireland. For example, the National Team players had to fully fund their own trip to Belgium in '06. That is truly playing for the love of the game! In a country where GAA, Soccer and Rugby are king, to all other sports detriments, Baseball Ireland has to live on a shoe string, as Government funding is basically invisible. The GAA is given 80 million of the tax payers money towards refurbishing a stadium they could pay for themselves 20 times over with the money they make on jersey sales alone, while we get the grand sum of $0. That's €0 for those of you in Europe.
The development of baseball in Ireland is almost completely dependent on sponsorship.
For those living in the States or otherwise outside Ireland the best way to support/sponsor Baseball Ireland is through EMERALD DIAMOND USA. This is a nonprofit organization founded by filmmaker John Fitzgerald. The organization is dedicated to raising funds in America to further the development of baseball in Ireland. Baseball has been played in Ireland since the early 1990s, as seen in the documentary film "The Emerald Diamond." For more information about "The Emerald Diamond" and the history of baseball in Ireland, visit IRISHBASEBALLMOVIE.COM.
If you are a gazillionaire looking to use up some of your cash in a helpful manner, you can directly sponsor Baseball Ireland. You don't even have to be a gazillionaire, any amount would help. It should be noted that much of the money raised for Irish baseball goes directly to youth programs. Kids in Ireland are more likely to try a new sport like baseball when the high costs of buying equipment and uniforms are eliminated.
If you live in Ireland and would like to sponsor/support Baseball Ireland, be it on a personal or business level, contact Chris Foy and put 'Baseball Ireland sponsorship' in the subject field of your email.
For any further questions related to Baseball Ireland feel free to drop me a line