List of Countries with their first Major League Baseball player

The globalization of baseball has been occurring since its inception. The early years saw an influx of players from western Europe. Major League Baseball eventually saw fewer European players, but more players from Latin America. Today Major League Baseball has players from five continents. The following is a list of countries and the first person born there that played Major League Baseball.

These players are not necessarily the first citizen of each respective country to play in Major League Baseball as nationality is determined under a nation's nationality law and may differ. Also, these players are classified strictly by the countries of their birth; this does not reflect the following issues:

  • Political change: A number of the countries listed here no longer exist, such as South Vietnam and West Germany (respectively absorbed into Vietnam and reunified Germany). By contrast, the convention of the Hockey Hall of Fame, which is generally followed for purposes of nationality classification in ice hockey, is to classify players by the currently existing countries in which their birthplaces are located.
  • Where players were trained in baseball:
    • Some players on this list, despite their birth location, are or were Americans or Canadians who returned to their parents' home country as children and were developed there.
    • Most of the European-born players on this list moved to North America as children. For example, the first Netherlands-born player in MLB was John Houseman, who made his debut in 1894, but it was not until 1979 that Win Remmerswaal became the first player born and raised in the European portion of the Netherlands to make his MLB debut.[1] The case with Italy is similar; the first player born and raised in the country to play in MLB was Alex Liddi in 2011—almost 80 years after the first Italian-born Major Leaguer made his debut.
Country Name Debut Year
Afghanistan Jeff Bronkey 1993[2]
Australia Joe Quinn 1884[3]
Austria Kurt Krieger 1949[4]
Bahamas Andre Rodgers 1957[5]
Belgium Brian Lesher 1996[6]
Brazil Yan Gomes 2012[7]
Canada Bill Phillips 1879[8]
China Harry Kingman 1914[9]
Colombia Luis Castro 1902[10]
Cuba Armando Marsans
Rafael Almeida
Curaçao Hensley Meulens 1989[13]
Denmark Olaf Henriksen 1911[14]
Dominican Republic Ozzie Virgil, Sr. 1956[15]
England Al Nichols 1876[16]
Finland John Michaelson 1921[17]
France Joe Woerlin 1895[18]
German Confederation George Heubel 1876[19]
Greece Al Campanis 1943[20]
Hawaii Johnnie Williams 1914[21]
Honduras Gerald Young 1987[22]
Indonesia Tom Mastny 2006[23]
Ireland Andy Leonard 1876[24]
Italy Lou Polli 1932[25]
Jamaica Chili Davis 1981[26]
Japan Masanori Murakami 1964[27]
Mexico Mel Almada 1933[28]
Netherlands John Houseman 1894[29]
Nicaragua Dennis Martínez 1976[30]
Norway John Anderson 1894[31]
Panama Humberto Robinson 1955[32]
Philippines Bobby Chouinard 1996[33]
Poland Henry Peploski 1929[34]
Russia Jake Gettman 1897[35]
Saudi Arabia Craig Stansberry 2007[36]
Scotland Jim McCormick 1878[37]
Singapore Robin Jennings 1996[38]
South Korea Chan Ho Park 1994[39]
South Vietnam Danny Graves 1996[40]
Soviet Union Victor Cole 1992[41]
Spain Bryan Oelkers 1983[42]
Sweden Charlie Hallstrom 1885[43]
Switzerland Otto Hess 1902[44]
Taiwan Chin-Feng Chen 2002[45]
United States (See footnote) 1871[46]
Venezuela Alex Carrasquel 1939[47]
Wales Peter Morris 1884[47]
West Germany Rob Belloir 1975[48]

See also


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