The 2017 Major League Baseball season began on April 2 with a record number of players born outside of the United States. According to data released by the league, there are 259 players on Opening Day rosters that were born outside of the country’s 50 states. That constitutes 29.8 percent of the 868 players in the league. The previous record was 29.2 percent in 2005.
Where are all these players from? Well, altogether there are 19 nations and territories represented. That’s also a record, beating the 18 represented in 1998 and 2016.
The top 5 spots for contributing countries and territories go to:
- The Dominican Republic leads with 93 players.
- Venezuela comes in second with 77 players.
- Cuba is in third place with 23 players.
- Puerto Rico takes fourth place with 16 players.
- Mexico rounds out the top five with nine players.
Let’s hear it for all the Latinos in the MLB! 🎉
2017 Opening Day rosters feature a record 259 players born outside the U.S. (29.8%), spanning a record 19 countries & territories. pic.twitter.com/DCJ7D6YDpA
— MLB Communications (@MLB_PR) April 3, 2017
If a prize was being given out to the team with the most foreign-born players, it would go to the Texas Rangers who boast 14 players from six different countries and territories outside of the U.S. on their roster.
All this data leads one to believe that although baseball is as American as apple pie, its future is international.