Update on Notre Dame Fighting Irish in MLB, MiLB


The University of Notre Dame currently has five players in Major League Baseball: Craig Counsell (1989-92), Milwaukee Brewers; John Axford (2002-03), Milwaukee Brewers; Aaron Heilman (1998-01), Arizona Diamondbacks; Brad Lidge (1997-98), Philadelphia Phillies; and Jeff Samardzija (2004-06), Chicago Cubs. (note: years denote their time in South Bend, not service with the stated MLB teams.)

The Notre Dame Fighting Irish have another four at the AAA level: Matt Macri (2002-04), Colorado Springs Sky Sox; Jeff Manship (2005-06), Rochester Red Wings; David Phelps (2006-08), Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees; and Kyle Weiland (2006-08), Pawtucket Red Sox.

Including Manship, six former Irish players have seen action in an MLB game in 2011. The other 11 members of the BIG EAST Conference combined can only claim a total of seven such players. The most recent crop of Irish players to join the professional ranks in this month’s MLB Draft includes: Brian Dupra (2008-11, 7th round pick of Washington Nationals), Cole Johnson (2008-11, 44th round pick of Minnesota Twins) and Matt Scioscia (2008-11, 45th round pick of Los Angeles Angels).


John Axford, Milwaukee Brewers

Craig Counsell, Milwaukee Brewers

Aaron Heilman, Arizona Diamondbacks

Brad Lidge, Philadelphia Phillies

Jeff Samardzija, Chicago Cubs


Matt Macri, Colorado Springs Sky Sox

Jeff Manship, Rochester Red Wings

David Phelps, Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees

Kyle Weiland, Pawtucket Red Sox


A.J. Pollock, Mobile BayBears


Jeremy Barnes, Clearwater Threshers

Wade Korpi, Jupiter Hammerheads

Steven Mazur, Aberdeen IronBirds


Evan Danieli, Danville Braves


Additionally 18 Notre Dame baseball players have already opened their summer baseball leagues (think: leagues like the one featured in that awful Freddie Prinze Jr. Jessica Biel movie “Summer Catch”) all across the country. They are:

New England Collegiate Baseball League

Sean Fitzgerald – New Bedford Bay Sox

Charlie Markson – New Bedford Bay Sox

Frank DeSico – Holyoke Blue Sox

Trey Mancini – Holyoke Blue Sox

Eric Jagielo – North Shore Navigators (isn’t that the first web browser? Invented at the University of Illinois by Marc Andressen? Oh wait, that’s Netscape Navigator)

Dan Slania – North Shore Navigators

Joe Hudson – Mystic Schooners

Great Lakes Summer Collegiate League

Patrick Veerkamp – Grand Lake Mariners

Breck Ashdown – Lake Erie Monarchs

Ricky Palmer – Lake Erie Monarchs

Chris Reinhart – Lake Erie Monarchs

Forrest Johnson – Stark County Terriers

Futures Collegiate Baseball League

Tommy Chase – Seacoast Mavericks

Donnie Hissa – Seacoast Mavericks

The Prospect League

Bret Basilone – Butler BlueSox

Coastal Plain League

Adam Norton – Morehead City Marlins

Northwoods League

Alex Robinson – Battle Creek Bombers

New York Collegiate Baseball League

John Rodgers – Geneva Red Wings

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