Major League Baseball sees its first Irish player in 73 years

Major League Baseball sees its first Irish player in 73 years

PJ Conlon's Major League Baseball career is off to a winning start.

The Belfast-born pitcher got a strike out in the New York Mets' 7-6 win at the Cincinnati Reds overnight.

He is the first Irishman to appear in Major League Baseball for 73 years after he filled in for Jacob deGrom who was suffering from a hyper-extended elbow.

Conlon hurt his thumb on a single off Homer Bailey which contributed to his early exit.

“I went back on the mound and I didn’t really have feeling on that thumb,” Conlon said. “I didn’t have a guide on any of my pitches.”

There was big support from his family who cheered him on from the stands.

Conlon told mlb.com: "It's just something you dream about.

"It was cool. It was just so fun. It was a heck of an experience. I've gotten unbelievable support, and all these people reaching out to me yesterday and today.

"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."

Joe Cleary was the last Irishman to play in Major League Baseball after he pitched in one innings for the Washington Senators in a game against the Boston Red Sox on August 4, 1945.

- Digital Desk and AP

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