Major Leagues Go Global

Mets pitcher Pedro Martinez is from Manoguayabo in the Dominican Republic.
Mets pitcher Pedro Martinez is from Manoguayabo in the Dominican Republic.


The Major League Baseball season began on April 1st, with the defending champion St. Louis Cardinals losing to the New York Mets. Even though baseball calls its championship game the “World Series,” most of the teams that participate are from cities in the United States. But more and more players on American baseball teams are from other countries. Baseball has become an “international” game.

In 2006, more than 27% of the players in Major League Baseball came from outside the United States.

Many of the game’s greatest superstars — including pitcher Pedro Martinez and slugger David Ortiz — are from the Dominican Republic, the foreign country that has sent the most players to the Major Leagues.

With 15 foreign-born players, the New York Mets have the most international diversity, but not by much: the New York Yankees follow close behind, boasting players from Taiwan, Japan and Venezuela, among other countries.

Even though more and more players are from other countries, there are still no minority groups represented in Major League Baseball’s executive offices. There are only nine baseball managers and only two General Managers who are not white. Some say this is because of discrimination.

Further, many people argue that Major League baseball lures the best players from other countries with the promise of high pay, making the game less exciting in other countries. However, others are excited about the growth in numbers of players from outside the U.S., and about the increasing diversity of players who play baseball. They hope that increased diversity will help the sport grow and thrive.

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