In keeping with this week’s theme of baseball in Europe (or the lack thereof), just how many players have come from England, France, and Spain?
A total of 48 MLB players were born in the United Kingdom, starting with Hall of Famer Harry Wright in 1871. Twenty-two of these players played during the 18th Century, 23 during the 20th Century, and 3 in the 21st Century. These 48 players played a total of 11,903 games with a combined batting average of .252 with 457 home runs. The only All-Star among them is Bobby Thomson, who hit 264 of those 457 home runs.
Since 1875, there have been seven Major Leaguers from France: Larry Ressler (1875), Claude Gouzzie (1903), Paul Krichell (1911-12), Duke Markell (1951), Bruce Bochy (1978-87), Charlie Lea (1980-88), and Steve Jeltz (1983-90). In total, they played 1,333 games, amassed 664 hits, hit 31 homeruns, appeared in one All-Star Game, and have a cumulative batting average of .210. In addition, two of these players were pitchers (Lea and Markell) and have a combined ERA of 3.60 with a win-loss percentage of .563.
Just four players MLB players have been born in Spain. The first was Al Cabrera who played one game in 1913. Next was Bryan Oelkers who pitched in 45 games over two years (1983 and 1986). Next came Al Pardo a catcher who played in 53 games in fours years (1985-86 and 1988-89). The most recent Spanish-born Major Leaguer was Danny Rios who pitched in two games in 1997 and five games in 1998.
On April 14, 2009, then-Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley signed a bill into law declaring the second Saturday in May to be Negro League Baseball Day. So, in honor of the day, here are some stats on the Negro Leagues in Maryland:
Four Negro League teams played in Maryland: (1) Baltimore Lord Baltimores, National Colored Baseball League, 1887; (2) Baltimore Black Sox, 1922-1934 (independent league, 1916-22 and 1930-31; Eastern Colored League, 1923-28; American Negro League, 1929; East-West League, 1932; Negro National League, 1933-34); (3) Baltimore Stars (independent league, 1933); and (4) Baltimore Elite Giants (Negro National League, 1938-48; Negro American League, 1949-50). In addition, several semi-pro and sandlot teams played throughout the state, such as the Mitchellville Tigers and the Galesville Hot Sox.
At least 10 members of the Baltimore Black Sox were born in Maryland: Blainey Hall, Buddy Burbage, George Grayer, John Stanley, Malcolm Brown, Peter Johnson, Scrappy Brown, Stuart Jones, Tony Mahoney, and Wyman Smith.
The Black Sox and the Elite Giants each won two championships: 1929 and 1932 for the Black Sox and 1939 and 1949 for the Elite Giants.
Two of the most famous Negro League players in Baltimore were Satchel Paige and Leon Day. Paige, a right-handed pitcher, had an win-loss record of 100-50 in the Negro Leagues, and 28-31 in the Major Leagues. Day, also a RHP, had a 64-29 win-loss record of 64-29 in the Negro Leagues, with an ERA of 2.98.
As of May 1, who had hit the most home runs? Not Didi Gregorius, Mitch Haniger, or Mike Trout, all of whom had 10 home runs each. It was in fact Jeong Choi with 14 home runs. Jeong Choi is a third baseman with the SK Wyverns Baseball Club of the Korean League. In both 2016 and 2017, Choi lead the league in home runs, hitting 40 and 46, respectively. I can’t wait to see how many he hits this year.
Yesterday I wondered how much the weather has really impacted attendance this season. Aside from postponing games, Mother Nature may be only partly be the cause of declines in attendance, which is about 10 percent less than last year. So, what has attendance been this year? ESPN.com reports the following attendance numbers:
The Jackie Robinson Foundation “perpetuates the memory of American hero Jackie Robinson by addressing the achievement gap in higher education” and provides “college and graduate school scholarships as well as leadership development opportunities for highly motivated students of color with limited financial resources.”
What are their stats?
Founded in 1973, the Foundation is now 45 years old.
Over the years, there have been 1,500 JRF Scholars, 98% of whom have graduated from college.
The Foundation has awarded $75 million in grants.
The scholars have attend 260 different colleges and universities.
39% attend public colleges and universities, 37% attend private schools, 15% attend Ivy League Schools, and 9% attend Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs).
A few weeks ago looked at the high schools and colleges attended by professional baseball players. But what are the odds of moving from high school to college to MLB? Fortunately, the NCAA provides those stats for us. Of the approximately 490,000 high school baseball players in the United States, about 7.1% end up playing in college, 2.1% go to Division I schools.
Of the 34,544 college baseball players in 2016, 7,679 were draft eligible, 1,206 were draft picks, and 695 were drafted by MLB. Thus, 9.1% of college baseball players ultimately ended up in professional baseball.
Stated another way, the odds of a high school baseball player making it to the Major Leagues is about 764 to 1.
Yesterday, MLB Communications tweeted stats on players born outside the United States. Foreign-born players made up 29% of the players on MLB Opening Day Rosters, including one player from Lithuania, one from South Africa, and 219 from Latin America.
2018 Opening Day rosters feature 254 players born outside the U.S (29.0%), spanning an all-time high 21 countries and territories. pic.twitter.com/jmrXy7w9K8