Tag: Cricket Tours of Britain and Ireland

Men playing cricket on a Sunday afternoon in the park. Phoenix Park, Dublin

1874 American Baseball Players Tour of Britain and Ireland



American Baseball legend A.G. Spalding, led a team of American Baseball players on a Tour of England and Ireland during August 1874 in an attempt to popularise Baseball in the countries. The team also gave a series of baseball exhibitions, and in the event prompted Rounders Associations in Liverpool and South Wales to modify their sports and create a hybrid Cricket-Baseball-Rounders game called ‘British Baseball’ or sometimes just simply ‘Welsh Baseball’, a sport still played in those regions.

The American team lost none of their seven matches, and defeated Ireland in their final match of the tour by 86 runs in Dublin. The principal bowlers for the Americans were H. Wright and G. Wright, and the best batsmen A.G. Spalding and A.J. Leonard. A.J (Andy) Leonard had left Cavan in Ireland as a baby during the famine and carved out a successful career in Major League Baseball, with the Most Valuable Player (MVP) award in Baseball Ireland named after him. [References: 1-3 – see end of article]

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Men playing cricket on a Sunday afternoon in the park. Phoenix Park, Dublin
Men playing cricket on a Sunday afternoon in the park. Phoenix Park, Dublin


[1] Wynne-Thomas, Peter (1989) “1874: American Baseball Players” The Complete History of Cricket Tours at Home and Abroad. p. 209. Guild Publishing, London.

[2] Baseball Ireland (2020) Award Winners [Internet] Available from: http://www.baseballireland.com/news.php?search_id=6 [Accessed 10 March 2020]

[3] Welsh Ladies Baseball Union Facebook (2017) Around the Bases : Welsh Baseball union April / May 1988 [Internet] Available from: http://www.facebook.com/21387949710/photos/pcb.10155902328909711/10155902302069711/?type=3&theater [Accessed 30 November 2017][Actual Page Reference: https://www.facebook.com/Welsh-Ladies-baseball-Union-21387949710/photos/pcb.10155902328909711/10155902303314711 [Accessed 30 November 2017][Last Accessed 15 October 2021]


Researched, compiled and written by Enda Mulcahy for the

Eirball | Irish North American and World Sports Archive

Last Updated:18 January 2024

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