American Sports

Irish-Born Player Enjoys Moment 'You Dream About' In Major League Baseball

Irish-Born Player Enjoys Moment 'You Dream About' In Major League Baseball

"They're dancing on the streets in the Falls Road in Belfast," declared the commentator towards the end of the opening inning between the New York Mets and Cincinnati Reds.

PJ Conlon was the subject of the Irish reference. Conlon - born in Belfast but raised in California - had just become the first Irish MLB player in 73 years. The 24-year-old left-handed pitcher started for the Mets on Monday.

Conlon had plenty of support at Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati.

"I've gotten unbelievable support, and all these people reaching out to me yesterday and today," Conlon is quoted as saying by MLB.com.

"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.

"It's just something you dream about. It was cool. It was just so fun. It was a heck of an experience."

It was also a proud day for his father, Patrick.

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I don't even think about it until someone brings it up and then I'm like, 'Wow, that's crazy,'. It's something special. He's going down in the record books, in the Wikipedia book, which is amazing. A little kid from Belfast done good.

Conlon did well in the opening action, retiring seven of the first eight batters he faced. What followed would prove a little tougher.

Still, Mets manager Mickey Callaway liked what he saw.

"I thought he threw the ball great. He wasn't afraid to pitch in off the plate to set up his offspeed stuff."

Away from the pitching mound, there was also a first for Conlon - his first hit in Major League Baseball.

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PJ Browne
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