Mets' P.J. Conlon became the first Irish-born player to debut in 73 years, and his family was just a tad excited
We noted that P.J. Conlon would be making his debut for the Mets against the Reds on Monday night -- the first Irish-born player to reach the Majors in more than 70 years. The last was Joe Cleary from Cork in 1945. He pitched 1/3 of an inning for the Washington Senators, giving up seven earned runs and ending his incredibly brief career with a 189.00 ERA.
"I take an awful needlin' about that, that one appearance," Cleary said after his career ended.
Well, not to worry, Mr. Cleary, as it seems Conlon -- hailing from Belfast, Northern Ireland -- is here to right the ship for players from that area of the world. The lefty got his first big league hit and his family went wild:
He also recorded his first strikeout. Grandpa Conlon was very excited.
MLB.com's Anthony DiComo talked to Conlon about the support he received postgame:
"I've gotten unbelievable support, and all these people reaching out to me yesterday and today," Conlon said. "It means a lot. You could see them in the stands, waving the Irish flags. They're proud of it, and I'm proud of it."
Somewhere, Cleary's Irish eyes are smiling.