27% of Major League Baseball players were foreign born


Baseball may be America’s hobby, but it’s also a global business. Americans take the opportunity to see the best players from around the world. A good way to look at immigration to America is to take a look at the immigration of its baseball players.

Twenty-seven percent of Major League Baseball players were foreign-born, according to a National Foundation for American Policy (NFAP) analysis of data released by Major League Baseball (MLB). “The 254 players born outside the United States. . . come from a record number of 877 players (750 active players of 25 players and 127 disabled, suspended, restricted or on paternity leave players) on the March 29 lists ”, reported MLB.

NFAP analysis revealed that Major League Baseball included 20 players – 19 from Puerto Rico and one from the US Virgin Islands – in their list of “players born outside the United States”. Porto Rico and the US Virgin Islands are US citizens. After removing those 20 players from the tally, there are 234 foreign born players, which means that 27% of the 877 people listed as players by Major League Baseball were foreign born.

The Dominican Republic has the most foreign-born Major League players with 84, followed by Venezuela with 74, Cuba with 17, Mexico with 11, Japan with 8, Canada and Korea. South with 6 each, Colombia and Curaçao with 5 each, and Australia, Brazil, Nicaragua and Panama each have 3 players. Aruba, Germany, Lithuania, the Netherlands, South Africa and Taiwan each had 1 player. Lithuania (Dovydas Neverauskas, Pittsburgh Pirates) and South Africa (Gift Ngoepe, Toronto Blue Jays) are the latest countries to have players in the major leagues.

Foreign-born professional athletes, including baseball players, typically work on a P-1 visa. The spouse of a P-1 athlete is entitled to a P-4 visa. The players’ union is required to weigh up each visa application to ensure that the athlete has a valid contract offer from a professional team. To obtain permanent residence (a green card), the sports team would normally sponsor the athlete through the rigorous EB-1 (extraordinary ability) or EB-2 (exceptional ability) processes.

“If a player retires or is injured and has to leave the sport before a green card is approved, the immigration service will often dismiss the case,” Donald L. Mooers, a lawyer specializing in the matter, told me. immigration to Silver Spring, MD with many athletic clients. in an interview. This can rob the United States of the goodwill that mentoring and training these athletes often provides young aspiring Americans when their playing days are over, Mooers said.

Every team has at least one foreign born player who is or has been important to the team’s success on the pitch. The New York Mets have Yoenis Cespedes (Cuba), Texas Rangers employ future Hall of Fame member Adrien beltre (Dominican Republic) and for years the New York Yankees have relied on Mariano Rivera (Panama) to be their closest.

Three foreign-born players stand out today for their unique contributions – Jose Altuve, Shohei Ohtani and Bartolo Colon. Immigrants can encourage their adopted country to see things in a new light and this is the case with both Jose Altuve and Shohei Ohtani.

Jose Altuve is 5 feet 6 inches tall which may overestimate his height. But in 2017, he led the Houston Astros to the first World Series championship in the club’s 55-year history. Altuve was named the American League’s Most Valuable Player. He led the major leagues with a .346 batting average and was also considered a strong defensive second baseman.

When he tried teams as a teenager in Venezuela, many scouts couldn’t see past his height. Even with the Astros, he got cut the first day he tried. “So the night Houston sent Altuve home his head hardened after banging it against so many unopened doors, he didn’t sulk and mope. ” writing Scott Miller, National Columnist for Bleacher Report. “He went back to the Astros’ tryout camp the next day, betting that maybe the scouts there wouldn’t remember or care about cutting him off the night before and praying for it. [Houston special assistant Al] Pedrique would be present on the second day.

Pedrique looked beyond Altuve’s size and recognized the talent, signing the 16-year-old with a bounty of $ 15,000. Altuve understands that his success has opened eyes in the baseball establishment. “And I know after what happened to me the scouts will think twice before telling someone, You won’t make it“Altuve said.” They’re going to think, This guy is the same height as Jose, and if Jose did, maybe one of these guys can, too.. If I open at least one door, two doors, three doors for the guys behind me, I’m going to feel like everything I’ve done, it’s because of that, and it’ll feel good.

Born in Japan, Shohei Ohtani is another game changer. (See this profile of Ohtani.) He is the only player on a Major League roster who is a regular member of a starting rotation and a designated hitter. So far in the young season, he has been successful as both a hitter and a pitcher. He is also attracting new business opportunities for his team, the Los Angeles Angels, and is already a fan favorite. Ohtani’s April 8, 2018 Angels game sold out to 44,742 fans, making it “the largest regular-season game attendance at Angel Stadium since its renovation in 1998,” according to the News from Mercure de San José.

Like immigrant Elon Musk, who determined that coming to the United States was crucial to what he wanted to accomplish, Shohei Ohtani intended to come to the United States in high school. He chose to start his professional baseball career in Japan but came to America much sooner than expected, giving up a much larger salary if he had waited two more years (due to international rules for MLB players). ).

Similar to Altuve, Ohtani is an example of a foreign born individual coming to the United States and encouraging a new way of seeing things. As he had already proven his success as a hitter and pitcher abroad and was able, as a free agent, to choose which team would host him, the teams had to give him a chance to. hit and throw. In contrast, the US-born players who are drafted have always been required to become either a hitter or a pitcher – even though they were exceptional in both high school and college. There are two high school pitchers / hitters from the recent draft (Brendan McKay with Tampa Bay and Hunter Greene with Cincinnati) that their teams are now considering allowing to be Ohtani-style players, influenced by the example of Ohtani.

Here’s a good question: What baseball fan would want to live in a world that wouldn’t allow Bartolo Colon to immigrate to the United States? Dominican-born Bartolo Colon will turn 45 in May 2018 and could be the game’s most beloved player. In April 2018, more than 20 years after his Major League debut in 1997, he made a perfect match (no knocks or steps) in the 8e round against the defending champion Houston Astros.

But it’s her round figure and contagious smile that attracts her the most to fans. As the New York Met, Colon’s at-bats, which often resulted in his helmet being turned to the side after a powerful swing, have become a TV staple. When he hit his first Major League home run, a Mets announcer called it “one of the great moments in baseball history.” He’s also had a number of field highlights, including a famous flip behind the back on a slow rolling ground ball near the first baseline. The sport is ultimately about entertaining the fans and Bartolo Colon remains entertaining for the baseball fans.

Major League players and other American athletes understand that in a competitive job market, employers will choose who they think is best for an organization. And this is particularly noteworthy for an economic reason: while in the regular economy the number of jobs is not fixed and in fact changes with consumer spending, investment and entrepreneurship, in professional baseball. , there is a fixed number of jobs (750) – 25 Major League places for each of the 30 teams.

We can admire the players of Major League Baseball never to complain about “immigrants who take their jobs”. Imagine if the people who make US immigration policy were as enlightened as the men who make a living hitting and throwing a baseball.


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