The Emerald Diamond
How the Irish Transformed America's Greatest Pastime
By Charley Rosen
(Harper, Hardcover, 9780062089885, 320pp.)
Publication Date: February 2012
The history of the Irish in baseball is much richer than anyone realizes. From early discrimination to later domination, from Mike Kelly, a society star in the 1880s, to the managerial fame of Connie Mack (nÉ McGillicuddy), early Irish players and managers helped shape the game of baseball in every way. From the first curveball to the first players' unions, Irishmen took America's national pastime and made it their own, turning it into the glorious game we know today, as more recent players have kept alive the Irish tradition of setting records.
A wild, fun, fact-filled celebration of the Irish in baseball, The Emerald Diamond intersperses interviews with current players with tales of such players as Dan Brouthers, who at 6'2" and well over 200 pounds, was the game's home-run king until Babe Ruth came along; and includes lively anecdotes about such colorfully nicknamed ballplayers as Tony "the Count" Mullane, Mike "King" Kelly, James "Pud" Galvin, Hugh "One-Arm" Daily, Frank "Silk" O'Loughlin, and "Iron Man" Joe McGinnity. Just a few of the great Irish athletes featured as well are Mickey Cochrane (for whom Mickey Mantle was named); Charles Comiskey; Ed Walsh, the last pitcher to win 40 games in a single season; and Ed Delahanty, whose prodigious life and mysterious death continue to be a source of intrigue. With decade-by-decade profiles of exciting Irish figures on the field and off, The Emerald Diamond also offers important discussion on cultural and political themes relevant to their times.
Charley Rosen is the coauthor with Phil Jackson of the New York Times bestseller More Than Just a Game. He is the author of Bullpen Diaries and fifteen other sports books, and has written more than a hundred articles for publications such as the New York Times Book Review, Sport, Inside Sports, M, and Men's Journal.