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Major League Baseball releases its annual report counting the non-U.S. players

Apr 1, 2013, 3:00 PM EDT


Just got the press release from Major League Baseball in which it sets forth how many non-U.S.-born players are on major league rosters. The upshot:

Two-hundred forty-one players on 2013 Opening Day 25-man rosters and inactive lists were born outside the 50 United States, Major League Baseball announced today.  This year’s percentage of 28.2 marks the fourth highest of all-time. The 241 players born outside the U.S. come from the pool of 856 players (750 active 25-man roster players and 106 disabled or restricted Major League players) on March 31st rosters and represent 15 countries and territories outside the U.S.

The countries, with the number of players representing each: Dominican Republic (89); Venezuela (63); Canada (17); Cuba (15); Mexico (14); Puerto Rico (13); Japan (11); Colombia and Panama (4 each); Curaçao (3); Australia, Nicaragua and South Korea (2 each); and the Netherlands and Taiwan (1 each).

Later this month the annual report in which people make hay about how few U.S.-born blacks are in the game will come out. It will likely not make much mention of the fact that the game continues to be diverse in many other ways.

  1. dondada10 - Apr 1, 2013 at 3:06 PM

    “It will likely not make much mention of the fact that the game continues to be diverse in many other ways.”

    While that is something to champion, it still doesn’t explain or resolve the issue that there are fewer U.S. born black players.

    • blacksables - Apr 1, 2013 at 3:14 PM

      Because they make much more money playing college football and basketball than they do in the minor leagues.

    • Sorbet Te Charta Saccus - Apr 1, 2013 at 3:22 PM

      I thought this issue was resolved. In case you missed it, there are many African Americans playing Basketball and Football in the USA. Football is a far more popular sport than baseball, and basketball is about as easy a sport that can be played by anybody, anywhere, at anytime no matter whether you are rich or poor, black or white, young or old. More African American youths are migrating toward football and basketball than baseball. However, let these concussion lawsuits and other violence related nonsensical delusions about the sport continue, including our own President saying he wouldn’t let his kids play football if he had boys, and who knows…in 10+ years, maybe the % of African Americans playing baseball will rise. For now…football and basketball is where it’s at.

      • historiophiliac - Apr 1, 2013 at 3:41 PM

        The issue is: Is this a sea change, and if so, what caused it?

  2. historiophiliac - Apr 1, 2013 at 3:21 PM

    We don’t understand the lack of appeal to US-born [really?] black players. — Bud Selig, while the playoffs promo featuring Springsteen and shots of trains and nature shots loops in the background

  3. kopy - Apr 1, 2013 at 3:30 PM

    Strange that they would consider Puerto Rico as being outside the United States when it’s not, and it’s included in the MLB draft.

    • paperlions - Apr 1, 2013 at 4:22 PM

      Also strange that they would report Curacao and The Netherlands as two different places.


      • historiophiliac - Apr 1, 2013 at 4:37 PM


      • paperlions - Apr 1, 2013 at 4:39 PM

        For mysterious reasons, the Curacao entry into the WBC had a few guys from the The Netherlands on it, and they called the team “The Netherlands”, even though no one from Curacao has ever competed for The Netherlands in the Olympics or world cup before, mostly on account of their sovereignty and all.

      • historiophiliac - Apr 1, 2013 at 4:48 PM

        Thanks for the clarification.

      • cktai - Apr 2, 2013 at 5:38 AM


        Curacao players participating for the Netherlands during the 2011 World Cup Baseball:

        Jonathan Schoop
        Sharlon Schoop
        Diegomar Markwell
        J.C Subaran
        Shairon Martis
        Curt Smith
        Shaldimar Daantji
        Danny Rombley
        Vince Rooi
        Bryan Engelhardt

        Dutch Olympians in 2012 born in Curacao

        Churandy Martina
        Brian Mariano

        2012 Davis Cup participants for the Netherlands born in Curacao

        Jean-Julien Rojer

        Heck let’s go back to when it was still Netherlands Antilles in 2000:

        Sharnol Adriana
        Johnny Balentina
        Chairon Isenia
        Percy Isenia
        Reily Legito
        Hensley Meulens
        Ralph Milliard

        But don’t let facts get in the way of a good snipe paperlions. If you never open your eyes, you will never have to accept that you are wrong.

      • paperlions - Apr 2, 2013 at 7:31 AM

        None of which matters because citizens of the Netherlands Antilles also has NEVER competed for The Netherlands in international competitions, not in the Olympics, not in the world Cup….and nearly the entire starting lineup (and all the players that mattered, really) were from the island….let’s not act like they are dutch or of dutch descent, because they are not.

      • cktai - Apr 2, 2013 at 5:45 AM

        Here is another fun fact: The IOC refused to allow Curacao to participate in the Olympics on the account that it is not a sovereign state.

      • paperlions - Apr 2, 2013 at 7:34 AM

        Of course, they also did not compete for The Netherlands…and they are a self governing body….what do sovereign mean again?

      • cktai - Apr 2, 2013 at 7:41 AM

        Yes they did, I listed them just above.

        They are not fully self-governing; they are an autonomous entity within the Kingdom. Similar to say the autonomous community of the Basque Country in Spain. Just like their citizens are granted the Spanish nationality, so are the people from Curacao granted the Dutch nationality.

      • paperlions - Apr 2, 2013 at 7:47 AM

        Nearly the entire starting lineup was from Curacao.

        Canada wasn’t fully self governing until 1982 (until then British approval was required for change to their constitution), so what?

        It isn’t like Curacao wants to compete as The Netherlands, that is why they formed their own IOC committee and then, you know, chose to compete as independent athletes.

      • paperlions - Apr 2, 2013 at 8:07 AM

        Out of curiosity, is Curacao LESS sovereign now than the Netherlands Antilles was? Because the NA did not compete as part of The Netherlands.

      • cktai - Apr 2, 2013 at 8:28 AM

        The athletes were given a choice whether they wanted to participate as independents or as part of the Netherlands. two of them opted for the first choice, two of them opted for the latter choice.

        The status of Curacao and Sint Maarten is the same as the status of Aruba and formerly the Netherlands Antilles. What has changed is that the IOC no longer accepts entries from non-sovereign countries. Those that already existed such as Aruba are grandfathered in.

        The situation was always messy though. As I have mentioned before, athletes from the Netherlands Antilles, such as Hensley Meulens, used to participate under the flag of the Netherlands during the olympics on the grounds of their Dutch citizenship. Also because many of them play in the Dutch baseball league.

        As for the line-up, most of the position players (outside of LF Kalian Sams, backup C Bas Nooij, and backup SS Michael Duursma) and SP Diegomar Markwell (who plays in the Netherlands) were from the Antilles. Most of the pitching however, had their origin in the twelve provinces: SP Rob Cordemans, SP Orlando Yntema, SP Nick Stuifbergen, RP Leon Boyd, RP Mark Pawelek, RP Loek van Mil, RP David Bergman, RP Barry van Driel, and RP Kevin Heijstek.

        All the players of the Netherlands spoke Dutch, and there was it was the rule against Spanish countries to speak Dutch instead of the local language Papiamento to make sure the opponents couldn’t understand what was being said.

      • cktai - Apr 2, 2013 at 8:30 AM

        I hope that was readable. Edit function anyone?

    • cubanxsenators - Apr 1, 2013 at 6:48 PM

      “Two-hundred forty-one players on 2013 Opening Day 25-man rosters and inactive lists were born outside the 50 United States”

      Odder still the writer would go out of his/her way to make a construction that excludes the District and not realize it.

      Maybe DC will get its own WBC team next time.

      • woodenulykteneau - Apr 1, 2013 at 7:46 PM

        No different than you not realizing there are 46 states, not 50. Virginia, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, and Kentucky are commonwealths, as are the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico.

      • paperlions - Apr 1, 2013 at 8:32 PM

        Except, of course, being a commonwealth is not sufficient to be a state….each common wealth also chose to become a state as part of the union. They are not exclusive terms.

  4. cadillacjosh - Apr 1, 2013 at 3:42 PM

    MLB says The Milwaukee Brewers have the most foreign players on their MLB roster. Fun Fact.

  5. moogro - Apr 2, 2013 at 5:38 AM

    I wanted to see Cespedes play for Cuba in the WBC!

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