UNDATED: Outfielder Roberto Clemente #21 of the Pittsburgh Pirates takes a breather on the field during the 1960s. (Photo by Focus on Sport/Getty Images)

If you go back to the 1950s, Major League Baseball didn’t allow Latin American players to complete. It was a political and very much so a racial-thing, but in the past decades and half a century, society has progressed. And, so has the sports community. In the years to come, these excluded players are setting to dominate the arena for a long time.

Baseball has always been portrayed as the American pastime, not just in print media but also in countless movies, shows, and whatnot. If anything the Americans took to the lands they occupied, it was baseball. But, baseball now lags behind even basketball and football, among fans. And, further so, Americans may not be able to call them their own for long. Why? Because Latin Americans are getting better and going further in that regard.

For example, the 2020 Major League Baseball matches were Los Angeles Dodgers were 13/8 favorites expecting to win the series is actually jam-packed with overseas talent. And from where do you ask? It’s from the neighbors. Actually, when the US took a baseball to areas it occupied over the years, it seems few such locations have caught up with it while the US itself is going away from the same.

In particular, the Latin American countries like Venezuela, Cuba, and Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic are dominating the team with their players far and above. They are not here just for the sake of diversity, but for sheer raw talent. And, the US itself is going towards basketball and other sports. But, where do all these MLB players come from? How are they recruited in such huge numbers?

How Many Overseas Players Get into MLB?

It might seem a bit skeptical but they are here because they are more talented. If we take the statistics from the countries for the opening day lineups this is what we see.

  • The USA stands at the first rank do not get us wrong, at 192.
  • The Dominican Republic comes 2nd with 35.
  • Venezuela with 31 is 3rd rank.
  • Puerto Rico, Cuba, and Canada have 12, 11, and 4 respectively.
  • Netherlands, Germany, Aruba, Honduras have 1 each forming the last rank.

SO, it goes without stressing further that the majority of MLB players are from the USA and form one of the four major professional sports leagues of America. And, over 300 players on the opening day of the 2020 season, 192 were from the USA. That is something to be proud of, but the numbers may be receding slowly and steadily.

Despite, 36% hail from the other parts of the world. Now that we have already witnessed the numbers above, what does it tell us? Well, it tells us the present situation and we can only understand it better when we compare it with the changes in the past half a century of Major League Baseball.

How has Major League Baseball Changed in the Past 60 Years?

It appears that the number of foreign players has significantly risen in the past 60 years. For example, in this year’s 300 tallies, roughly 110 were from overseas. That is around 30% of the composition. Consider the beginning statement that we made, before the 1950s, overseas players were not allowed to participate at all.

  • In the year 1960 of the whole pie, only 8.33% were from overseas. While going to 20 years later in 1980, it rose just by 2%, somewhere close to 10.44%.
  • Now, further 20 years into the MLB, The rise was not just another 2%, but by 15%. That is a rise of 700% more than the previous 20 years. Now, in 2000, the overseas section is 25.35% while USA players cover 74.65% of the player composition.
  • And, now, another 20 years later in 2020, this has increased slowly to 36%, a 10% rise in the numbers.

Summary

What does this tell us? First, the above figures show the number of overseas talent and not just the Latin Americans, but if you break the numbers, as we have presented above, among the rest of the world, most players are coming from Latin America. This is how the game that was once a pride and national game of the USA, is slowly changing its diversity.