In 1837 a young Sheffield wood turner and professional cricketer, Samuel Wright, always known as Sam or Sammy, emigrated to the United States. With him went his wife Ann Tone and their infant son Harry. Ann was Irish in origin, being the niece of Theobald Wolfe Tone, leader of the United Irishmen rebellion of 1798. Sam had been appointed groundsman/coach of St George's CC in New York, a post he was to hold for 30 years. Their family was soon increased by three more boys, George, Sam junior and David. Following in their father's footsteps the boys soon became accomplished cricketers and, in their teens, discovered baseball, all three becoming professionals. By 1873, Harry and George were among the best ball players in the USA as well as remaining among the leading cricketers.

Harry, in company with AG Spalding, another well known baseballer, but also a useful batsman, decided to attempt a "World Tour" to spread the appeal of the Ball Game in England. Spalding came to England and met MCC Secretary Bob Fitzgerald, who had played three matches for Ireland in the previous decade. Harry communicated with C W Alcock, Secretary of Surrey, who would later found the FA Cup and organise the First Test Match to be payed in England. Together all four decided on a seven match cricket tour of England and Ireland, to take place the following August, each match to be followed by, or interspersed with a baseball exhibition.

A 22 man party was chosen, the players – drawn from the Boston Red Stockings and the Philadelphia

Athletics, included the three Wright brothers – Sam being included to bolster the cricket side, and two others who were also good cricketers, Andrew Jackson Leonard, who provided another Irish link having been born in Co Cavan, and Dick McBride, a renowned baseball pitcher who was also a useful bowler. There was considerable opposition to the tour but it went ahead, with the Wrights providing cricket coaching to the team on the voyage.

Starting against MCC at Lord's, and also playing at the Oval and Old Trafford, the team were unbeaten when the English leg of the tour finished. They always played 18 against 11, 12 or 13 opponents, winning three of their matches. The expected crowds did not materialise, but those who came were much impressed by the visitors' catching and throwing, but few were much taken by the baseball matches which usually followed the cricket. McBride and the Wrights made a formidable bowling attack but the batting was weak. Spalding, who was captain and manager, and Leonard both reached the 20s but little else was achieved.

The Irish team which they faced in Phoenix Park on 24 August was not a fully representative one and the match has, quite correctly, never been given official status. Nevertheless the XII that played contained seven who had, or were to, gain Irish caps. The best known were Arthur Samuels, a veteran lob bowler of great skill. Frank Kempster, who two years later scored the first century for Ireland, David Trotter, later a dealer in double hundreds, who greatly impressed W G Grace, and F A Young an all rounder of high reputation. Also in the side were all rounder Rowley Miller, hard hitting opener Davis Stokes and slow right arm roundarmer Henry Hackett, later to be a distinguished theologian..

Rain delayed the start and then the visitors batted first. They withstood the pace of roundarmer John Story, later to become an optometrist of world renown, who, playing for Dublin University XXII, had destroyed the All England XI in College Park the previous year, but collapsed against the wiles of Samuels who took 10 wickets and Young who took 7. Full bowling figures are not available for either side

Collapses were clearly the order of the day as the hosts were then routed by Harry and George Wright and Mc Bride, being dismissed for 47, with only Stokes and Miller reaching double figures, each making 12. Cricket was then halted for the day and the Boston Red Stockings took on the Philadelphian Athletics. Again spectators, few in number anyway, do not appear to have been impressed.

Conditions were still poor the following day but the visitors did rather better, making 94, Leonard, perhaps inspired by the return to his homeland reaching 26 and the No 3 bat, "Cap" Anson, who had also played the game before, top scoring with 27. The most successful bowler was Hackett who took 9 wickets. Two years before he had been awarded a bat for taking 50 in the short University season.

Needing 131, Ireland were never in the hunt. With McBride this time taking the bowling honours, they collapsed for 37, only Stokes reaching double figures.

Harry Wright did not play any serious cricket again but became a key figure in the development of baseball in the USA, Sam and George both continued to play cricket for over 30 years, George being 59 before he finally retired. In his retirement he always regretted not having made baseball a more universally popular sport, but having fathered two sons who became American doubles tennis champions, he took up golf. He laid out the first golf course in New England and became known as "The Father of American Golf." he died in 1937 aged 90 and, rarely for an American cricketer, was given an obituary in Wisden the following year.