Asian Pacific American Heritage Month


800px-Chan_Ho_Park_Yankees

Chan Ho Park with the New York Yankees in

As we near the close of Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, I thought I’d do some quick research on the first player to make it to the Major Leagues from Asian countries (see table below). While players from some countries – like Japan and China – made it to the majors decades ago, other nations have been represented only recently.

In the 1990s, we welcomed players from South Korea (Chan Ho Park, left, was the first), Vietnam, Singapore, and the Philippines. Today, however, Asian-born players make up a small proportion of all major leaguers. Currently, MLB has only one player born in Hong Kong (Austin Brice), nine from Japan, six from South Korea, and five from Taiwan).

This is obvious a topic deserving of in-depth research, so, stay tuned!

~ baseballrebecca

Country First MLB Player Debut Year Team Years Played Notes
 China Harry Kingman 1914 New York Yankees 1914
 Indonesia Tom Mastny 2006 Cleveland Indians 2006-08 Grew up in Indiana; played for the Yokohama BayStars in 2009
 Japan Masanori Murakami 1964 San Franciscon Giants 1954-65 Also played for Nankai Hawks (1963, 1966-74); Hanshin Tigers (1975); Nippon-Ham Fighters (1976-82)
 Philippines Bobby Chouinard 1996 Oakland Athletics 1998-2001 Played high school baseball in Oregon
 Singapore Robin Jennings 1996 Chicago Cubs 1996-97, 1999, 2001
South Korea Chan Ho Park 1994 Los Angeles Dodgers 1994-2010 Also played for the Orix Bufaloes and Hanwha Eagles in the Korean Baseball League
 Taiwan Chin-Feng Chen 2002 Los Angeles Dodgers 2002-2005 Also played for the Lamigo Monkeys in the Chinese Baseball League (2006-16)
 Vietnam Danny Graves 1996 Cleveland Indians 1996-2006 His father is American and his mother Vietnamese
Kingdom of Hawaii Johnnie Williams 1914 Detroit Tigers 1914
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