Press Release Major League Baseball
27.7 Percent of Players Are Foreign-Born, Spanning 14 Countries and Territories
Two-hundred thirty-four (234) players on 2011 Opening Day rosters and disabled lists were born outside the 50 United States, it was announced today.
Overall, 27.7 percent of the 846 players (749 active 25-man roster players and 97 disabled or restricted Major League players) on March 31st rosters were born outside the 50 United States, representing 14 countries and territories. The alltime highs occurred in 2005, when 29.2 percent (242/829) of Opening Day players were foreignborn, and in 2007, when 246 players were born outside the U.S., totaling 29.0 percent of all players. Last season, 231 out of 833 players were foreign-born, also totaling 27.7 percent.
Once again, the Dominican Republic leads the Major Leagues with 86 players born outside the U.S. Venezuela ranks second with 62 players, its highest total ever on Opening Day rosters. Puerto Rico (20) has the next highest total, followed by Canada (16); Cuba (11); Japan (10); Mexico (8); Australia (5); Panama (4); Colombia (3); Curaçao (3); Taiwan (3); Nicaragua (2); and Korea (1). Since 1995, when MLB began to release annual Opening Day data, the 16 Canadian-born players rank second-highest (19 in 2007). Cuba matched its high of 11 set in 2002 and Australia matched its high of five set in 1998. In addition, Colombia, Taiwan and Nicaragua each matched their previous Opening Day bests.
The New York Yankees have the most foreign-born players with a total of 16, the first time the club has led the Majors since its 10 foreign-born players on Opening Day in 2000 shared the lead with three other clubs. Four Clubs – the Colorado Rockies, the Detroit Tigers, the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim and the Los Angeles Dodgers – feature 11 foreign-born players apiece, while the Chicago Cubs, the Cincinnati Reds, the Houston Astros, the New York Mets and the Texas Rangers each have 10. The Dodgers have players from eight different countries and territories outside the United States: Canada, Curaçao, the Dominican Republic, Japan, Nicaragua, Puerto Rico, Taiwan and Venezuela.
Please see the attached pdf-file for the complete list of foreign-born players on 2011 Opening Day rosters.
Eric Bynum is Managing Editor here at BaseballdeWorld. He spent three years as an ESL teacher in South Korea, and is now working on his master's degree in history with a focus on baseball and WWII. He has played and/or written about baseball for the past 30 years and is an avid Atlanta Braves fan.