Yankees Legend Don Larsen Shows His Support For Irish Baseball!
Add another name to the growing list of fans who support Irish Baseball! The newest Irish fan is none other than Yankees legend Don Larsen!
Larsen — who threw the only perfect game in World Series history — became interested in Irish Baseball through his friendship with Tom Keefe. Keefe is the founder of the Eddie Gaedel Society — a fan club for Eddie Gaedel, the shortest player to ever appear in a Major League Baseball game.
Got all that? Good!
Now, some of you younger folks may not know much about Don Larsen. Here’s a crash course (you’re welcome):
Who Is Don Larsen? A Crash Course for the Young Folks
Don Larsen was born in Indiana and moved to California during his teenage years. He was drafted by the St. Louis Browns and later drafted by the US Army where he served two years during the Korean War. Once he got back on the baseball diamond, Larsen pitched 15 years in the major leagues, from 1953-1967.
Following the 194 season, Larsen was traded to the New York Yankees in a 17-player deal.
It was with the Yankees where Larsen achieved baseball immortality. In Game 5 of the 1956 World Series, Larsen threw the first — and only — perfect game in World Series history:
Larsen had a solid career after that, bouncing to several different teams and bouncing back and forth between starting and closing roles. He finished his career with 81 wins, 23 saves, 14 home runs and a 3.78 ERA in over 1500 innings pitched. You don’t see that very often!
Back to the Story of How Don Larsen Became an Irish Baseball Fan
Yes, right! Back to the story… So, Tom Keefe — who is also an ardent support of Irish Baseball — told Larsen all about Team Ireland and the Irish Junior National Baseball Team‘s gold medal winning performance at the 18U European Championships in Switzerland.
Larsen was hooked. And now he’s the proud owner of a Team Ireland baseball jersey and cap.
Larsen summed it up this way:
“Irish immigrants to America and their children were some of baseball’s earliest players, and I recall a number of Irish surnames on the rosters during my Major League career. I support Irish baseball and the good work of the Baseball United Foundation in helping Ireland’s Junior National Baseball Team compete internationally, as they did in Zurich this past summer. That was perfect!”
Well that sounds perfect to us, Don!