Some fun facts from Major League Baseball just came across the wire. There are 238 players on 2016 Opening Day 25-man rosters and inactive lists who were born outside United States. That’s 238 out of 864, or 27.5%.
The players represent 18 countries and territories outside the U.S. This ties the record from 1998, when there were also 18 countries and territories represented. The 238 foreign-born players and the percentage of 27.5 are not a record, but they are the highest in four seasons. In 2013 there were 241 players which accounted for 28.2 percent of rostered players.
The breakdown is lead, as it always is, by the Dominican Republic, which has 82 players on big league rosters. Venezuela ranks second with 63 players, and Cuba places third with 23 players. Then comes Puerto Rico (17); Mexico (12); Japan (8); South Korea (8); Canada (6); Panama (4); Colombia and Curaçao (3 each); Brazil and Taiwan (2 each); Aruba, Australia, the Netherlands, Nicaragua and the U.S. Virgin Islands (1 each).
Jabari Blash is the first player from the U.S. Virgin Islands to appear on an Opening Day roster since the Padres had Callix Crabbe in 2008. New York Yankees shortstop Didi Gregorius is the first player from the Netherlands to appear on consecutive Opening Day rosters since Florida’s Rick Vandenhurk in 2008-09.
Let’s enjoy another season of the (inter)natonal pastime.