Tuesday, April 7, 2009

A foreign presence

From the International Baseball Federation, comes the news that baseball is indeed international. As of opening day in the Major Leagues, there are 229 players on the active rosters or disable lists of the 30 teams. That's almost 30% of players not from the United States:
Overall, 28.0 percent of the 818 players (748 active 25-man roster players and 70 disabled or restricted Major League players) on April 5th rosters were born outside the 50 United States, representing 15 countries and territories.

The all-time highs occurred in 2005, when 29.2 percent (242/829) of Opening Day players were foreign-born, and in 2007, when 246 players were born outside the U.S., totaling 29.0 percent of all players. Last season, 239 players from a pool of 855 were foreign-born, also totaling 28.0 percent.
14 countries, 15 counting the U.S., are represented on Major League rosters:
The Dominican Republic has produced the most Major Leaguers born outside the U.S. with 81. Venezuela (52) and Puerto Rico (28) have the next highest totals, followed by Mexico (14); Canada and Japan (13 each); Cuba (7); Curaçao and Panama (4 each); Australia and Korea (3 each); Colombia, Nicaragua and Taiwan (2
each); and the Netherlands (1).
The Mariners have the most, with 15. The other leaders are kind of surprising:
Among the Major League Clubs, the Seattle Mariners have the most foreign-born players with 15, comprising 53.6 percent of the 28 players on their active 25-man roster and disabled list. The Boston Red Sox, the New York Mets and the New York Yankees are next with 12 apiece. Seattle’s 15 foreign-born players hail from seven different countries and territories. The Atlanta Braves are the most geographically diverse club, representing eight different countries and territories – Australia, Cuba, Curaçao, the Dominican Republic, Japan, Mexico, Puerto Rico and Venezuela.
Who would have thought the Boston Red Sox, of all clubs, would have that many foreign players. After all, they have been branded the most racist organization in baseball. I guess perception is always what it seems to be, and Barry Bonds is an idiot. And look at the Braves trying to start their own little United Nations. Good on 'em.
It goes even farther in the minors:
In addition, 3,335 of the 6,973 Minor League players under contract – 47.8 percent – were born outside the United States, the same percentage as last season (3,356/7,021). Minor League players span 41 countries and territories, up from 36 one year ago.
Yep, baseball: the international game. Except in the Olympics.

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