Press Release: Ex-Big Leaguer O'Rourke Sets His Sights on a New Goal
JUNE 9, 2023
Ex-Big Leaguer Sets His Sights on a New Goal
Ryan O’Rourke is on a Mission to Help Ireland Get to the World Baseball Classic
WORCESTER, MA (June 9, 2023) – Ryan O’Rourke doesn’t dream of pitching in the major leagues anymore. These days, O’Rourke has a new goal: helping Ireland get to the next World Baseball Classic.
“Ireland has a real chance to get to the next WBC,” explained O’Rourke. “There are a lot of guys in college and pro ball who have Irish dual citizenship. We want to make this happen.”
The southpaw, who spent parts of three seasons with the Minnesota Twins and New York Mets, now works as a commercial real estate advisor in Boston. He’s also working his way back from a strained rotator cuff injury, in preparation for his next big game.
O’Rourke and his fellow Irish citizens have formed the Irish Wolfhounds Baseball Club, to show the world how much talent Ireland has. The Wolfhounds roster is composed entirely of college and pro baseball players. Each player is a dual citizen of Ireland and America.
The Wolfhounds will make their debut — an exhibition against the NYPD All-Stars — on June 17 in New York.
O’Rourke is one of several Wolfhounds players who has already played for Team Ireland in international competition.
“Back in 2019, while I was with the Mets, I got my Irish citizenship so I could pitch on Ireland’s National Baseball Team,” explains O’Rourke. “It was a fantastic experience and I hope we can take Ireland to the next level of European and international baseball.”
But O’Rourke and his teammates will have their work cut out for them. They must convince Baseball Ireland, the governing body of baseball in Ireland, to remove quotas that are preventing
many Irish dual citizens playing for Team Ireland. As a result of the quotas, Ireland has struggled
in recent international competition. In 2022, Ireland was winless in the European Qualifying Tournament, the lowest level of play in European Championship competition.
“If we can get to the World Baseball Classic, Major League Baseball would increase funding for youth baseball teams in Ireland,” explained O’Rourke. “That would be huge for Ireland and great for the game of baseball.”
About the Irish American Baseball Society
The Irish Wolfhounds Baseball Club is a project of the Irish American Baseball Society, a non-profit organization that supports youth baseball programs in Ireland and operates the Irish American Baseball Hall of Fame.
The Irish American Baseball Society celebrates the Irish impact on the game of baseball and supports the development of youth baseball programs in Ireland and America. Membership is open to anyone who loves baseball and Ireland, regardless of their ancestral heritage. For more information, visit IrishBaseball.org.
The Irish American Baseball Society is a non-profit subsidiary of Emerald Diamond International. Federal Tax ID: 20-4623222. For more information, visit EmeraldDiamond.org.