Athletes with Irish connections

Yahoo Sports

St. Patrick’s Day is here and has us thinking about everything Irish. With America’s melting pot of cultures, its no surprise that Irish blood can be found in many Americans. We’ve found some of the more notable athletes who have a bit of Irish blood, a few of them may catch you off guard.

NEW YORK - DECEMBER 07: Heavyweight boxer Muhammad Ali trains for his fight against Oscar Bonavena on December 7, 1970 in New York, U.S.A. (Photo by Anwar Hussein/Getty Images)
Anwar Hussein Collection
NEW YORK - DECEMBER 07: Heavyweight boxer Muhammad Ali trains for his fight against Oscar Bonavena on December 7, 1970 in New York, U.S.A. (Photo by Anwar Hussein/Getty Images)
Danica Patrick: The NASCAR driver has said in interviews that she is half Norwegian, a quarter Irish and the last part is French-Canadian, American Indian and Italian.
Danica Patrick
Danica Patrick: The NASCAR driver has said in interviews that she is half Norwegian, a quarter Irish and the last part is French-Canadian, American Indian and Italian.
LONDON, ENGLAND - JANUARY 16: Jason Kidd, head coach of Brooklyn Nets looks on during the Eastern Conference NBA match between Brooklyn Nets and Atlanta Hawks at O2 Arena on January 16, 2014 in London, England. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)
Brooklyn Nets v Atlanta Hawks
LONDON, ENGLAND - JANUARY 16: Jason Kidd, head coach of Brooklyn Nets looks on during the Eastern Conference NBA match between Brooklyn Nets and Atlanta Hawks at O2 Arena on January 16, 2014 in London, England. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - MAY 02: NFL player Tom Brady of the New England Patriots and model Giselle Bundchen attend the "Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty" Costume Institute Gala at The Metropolitan Museum of Art on May 2, 2011 in New York City. (Photo by Stephen Lovekin/Getty Images)
"Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty" Costume Institute Gala At The Metropolitan Museum Of Art - Arrivals
NEW YORK, NY - MAY 02: NFL player Tom Brady of the New England Patriots and model Giselle Bundchen attend the "Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty" Costume Institute Gala at The Metropolitan Museum of Art on May 2, 2011 in New York City. (Photo by Stephen Lovekin/Getty Images)
Olympic gymnast McKayla Maroney arrives at The 2013 ESPY Awards at Nokia Theatre L.A. Live on July 17, 2013 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jon Kopaloff/FilmMagic)
Olympic gymnast McKayla Maroney arrives at The 2013 ESPY Awards at Nokia Theatre L.A. Live on July 17, 2013 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jon Kopaloff/FilmMagic)
Olympic gymnast McKayla Maroney arrives at The 2013 ESPY Awards at Nokia Theatre L.A. Live on July 17, 2013 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jon Kopaloff/FilmMagic)
SAN FRANCISCO, CA - NOVEMBER 02: Kelly Slater is surrounded by fans as he walks to the water for heat 6 of round three of the Rip Curl Pro Search on November 2, 2011 in San Francisco, California. Slater won his heat to win his 11th ASP Men's World Title. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
Rip Curl Search
SAN FRANCISCO, CA - NOVEMBER 02: Kelly Slater is surrounded by fans as he walks to the water for heat 6 of round three of the Rip Curl Pro Search on November 2, 2011 in San Francisco, California. Slater won his heat to win his 11th ASP Men's World Title. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
Swimmer Michael Phelps of the United States poses with his eight gold medals all won in competition during the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games on August 18, 2008 in Beijing, China. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Michael Phelps
Michael Phelps - 8 Gold Medal Portrait Session
Swimmer Michael Phelps of the United States poses with his eight gold medals all won in competition during the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games on August 18, 2008 in Beijing, China. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Michael Phelps
14. Jack Dempsey KO2 Luis Angel Firpo, Sept. 14, 1923 – The fight was a wild brawl and Dempsey had Firpo on the floor seven times in the first round. But Dempsey was down twice and once was knocked through the ropes. In the second, Dempsey blasted out Firpo, stopping him in the first minute of the round to retain the heavyweight title. (Photo credit: Getty)
14. Jack Dempsey KO2 Luis Angel Firpo, Sept. 14, 1923 – The fight was a wild brawl and Dempsey had Firpo on the floor seven times in the first round. But Dempsey was down twice and once was knocked through the ropes. In the second, Dempsey blasted out Firpo, stopping him in the first minute of the round to retain the heavyweight title. (Photo credit: Getty)
14. Jack Dempsey KO2 Luis Angel Firpo, Sept. 14, 1923 – The fight was a wild brawl and Dempsey had Firpo on the floor seven times in the first round. But Dempsey was down twice and once was knocked through the ropes. In the second, Dempsey blasted out Firpo, stopping him in the first minute of the round to retain the heavyweight title. (Photo credit: Getty)
LONDON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 08: John McEnroe looks to play a forehand during the singles final match between John McEnroe of the United States and Mats Wilander of Sweden on Day Five of the Statoil Masters Tennis at the Royal Albert Hall on December 08, 2013 in London, England. (Photo by Charlie Crowhurst/Getty Images)
Statoil Masters Tennis - Day Five
LONDON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 08: John McEnroe looks to play a forehand during the singles final match between John McEnroe of the United States and Mats Wilander of Sweden on Day Five of the Statoil Masters Tennis at the Royal Albert Hall on December 08, 2013 in London, England. (Photo by Charlie Crowhurst/Getty Images)
ST. LOUIS - UNDATED: Mark McGwire #25 of the St. Louis Cardinals watches the flight of the ball as he follows through on his swing during a game against the Colorado Rockies circa 1997-2001 at Busch Stadium in St. Louis, Missouri. (Photo by Ron Vesely/MLB Photos via Getty Images)
ST. LOUIS - UNDATED: Mark McGwire #25 of the St. Louis Cardinals watches the flight of the ball as he follows through on his swing during a game against the Colorado Rockies circa 1997-2001 at Busch Stadium in St. Louis, Missouri. (Photo by Ron Vesely/MLB Photos via Getty Images)
ST. LOUIS - UNDATED: Mark McGwire #25 of the St. Louis Cardinals watches the flight of the ball as he follows through on his swing during a game against the Colorado Rockies circa 1997-2001 at Busch Stadium in St. Louis, Missouri. (Photo by Ron Vesely/MLB Photos via Getty Images)
Pitcher Nolan Ryan #34 of the Houston Astros poses for the camera, signed with his hometown Houston Astros after being a free agent at the Astrodome on 1980 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Focus On Sport/Getty Images)
Pitcher Nolan Ryan #34 of the Houston Astros poses for the camera, signed with his hometown Houston Astros after being a free agent at the Astrodome on 1980 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Focus On Sport/Getty Images)
Pitcher Nolan Ryan #34 of the Houston Astros poses for the camera, signed with his hometown Houston Astros after being a free agent at the Astrodome on 1980 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Focus On Sport/Getty Images)
Ben Hogan: One of golf’s greatest players was of Irish descent.
Ben Hogan
Ben Hogan: One of golf’s greatest players was of Irish descent.
John L. Sullivan: The bare knuckle boxing champ of the 20's was born to Irish immigrant parents, Michael Sullivan and Catherine Kelly.
John L. Sullivan
John L. Sullivan: The bare knuckle boxing champ of the 20's was born to Irish immigrant parents, Michael Sullivan and Catherine Kelly.
James Braddock: Jimmy “the bulldog” Braddock was born to Irish immigrants.
James Braddock
James Braddock: Jimmy “the bulldog” Braddock was born to Irish immigrants.

What to Read Next