Foreign born baseball players have had a rich history in Major League Baseball and the numbers of players on major league rosters has been rising steadily during the previous century.
Baseball Almanac is pleased to present a comprehensive chart with the first baseball player born in a country or territory other than the United States listed with details about their Major League debut.
"For starting pitchers we have two Dominicans, one Italian, one Mexican, and one Japanese. In the bullpen we have a Venezuelan, a Mexican, a guy from the United States, and a guy from St. Louis." - Manager Tommy Lasorda
In Alphabetical Order By Country and/or Territory | Birthplace Analysis
Baseball Almanac does not recognize those who played in the National Association (1871-1875) as "Major League players." Some resources/books do. If you do then the first player from Cuba was Esteban Bellan who made his debut on May 9, 1871, with the Troy Haymakers.
Did you know that during the late 1800s at least seven Canadians altered their birth certificates so they could play baseball and avoid the restrictions set forth by the 1894 Alien Exemption Act?