The following is a list of the foreign countries in the world that have produced the most major league baseball players. I'm not including the United States on the list because the United States has easily produced the most players in MLB history.
I've listed every foreign country that produced at least 40 major league baseball players. By produced, I mean players born in each country. The list will probably surprise some people because in the early days of baseball players came from all over the world.
I like this list personally because I am a big New York Yankees fan, and many of the best players from foreign countries have played for the New York Yankees. Before you look at the list, there are 11 countries on it. How many can you name?
Foreign countries that produced the most major league baseball players
1. Dominican Republic - 598 players
To date, the Dominican Republic has produced 598 major league baseball players, the most of any foreign country by far. Great hitters from the Dominican Republic include Sammy Sosa, Manny Ramirez, Albert Pujols, Vladimir Guerrero, David Ortiz, and Robinson Cano, who was developed by the New York Yankees.
Great pitchers from the Dominican Republic include Juan Marichal and Pedro Martinez. Juan Marichal is already in the Baseball Hall of Fame, and Pedro Martinez will join him in Cooperstown as a soon as he is eligible.
2. Venezuela - 310
Venezuela has produced the second most major league baseball players by a foreign country with 310. Great hitters from Venezuela include Miguel Cabrera, Andres Galarraga, Magglio Ordonez, Bobby Abrue and Hall of Fame SS Luis Aparicio. Great pitchers include Johan Santana and Felix Hernandez.
3. Canada - 244
Coming in at number three is Canada with 244 major league baseball players. The best hitters from Canada include Larry Walker, Justin Morneau, and Joey Votto. The best pitchers from Canada include Hall of Fame member Fergie Jenkins, as well as closer Eric Gagne.
4. Puerto Rico - 238
Right behind Canada is Puerto Rico in fourth with 238 major league players. Great hitters from Puerto Rico include Hall of Famers Roberto Clemente, Orlando Cepeda, and Roberto Alomar, as well as Carlos Delgado, Carlos Beltran, Ivan Rodriguez, and two of my favorite players from the New York Yankees, Bernie Williams and Jorge Posada.
5. Cuba - 182
Cuba has produced the fifth most major league baseball players at 182. The best hitters from Cuba includes Hall of Fame player Tony Perez, as well as Tony Oliva, Rafael Palmeiro, and Jose Canseco. The best pitchers from Cuba include Luis Tiant, Mike Cuellar, and the Hernandez brothers, Livan and El Duque, who pitched great for the Yankees.
6. Mexico - 114
Mexico has produced 114 major league baseball players. The best hitter from Mexico was probably Vinny Castilla, while the best pitcher was Fernando Valenzuela.
7. Japan - 60
Japan has produced 60 major league baseball players so far. The two best hitters from Japan, Ichiro Suzuki and Hideki Matsui, both played for the New York Yankees, as does the best pitcher, Masahiro Tanaka.
8. Panama - 53
Panama has produced 53 major league players. The best hitter is Hall of Fame player Rod Carew, and the best pitcher will be in the Hall of Fame as soon as he is eligible, Mariano Rivera. Another New York Yankees great.
9. Ireland - 47
Ireland has produced 47 major league baseball players, but most of them were in the early days of major league baseball. Irish born pitchers Tony Mullane (284) and Tommy Bond (234) both won well over 200 games in the major leagues.
10. Great Britain - 46
Great Britain has produced 46 major league baseball players. The list includes Bobby Thomson, who hit "The Shot Heard 'Round the World" in 1951 for the New York Giants when he homered off Brooklyn Dodgers pitcher Ralph Branca to win the pennant for the Giants.
Pitcher Jim McCormick won 265 games in the major leagues back in the 1800s. Both Thomson and McCormick were born in Glasgow, Scotland.
11. Germany - 41
Believe it or not, but 41 major league baseball players were born in Germany. The German born players fall into one of two camps. Those who played in the early days of baseball, and those who were born in Germany at American military bases.
The great named Pretzels Getzien, who won 145 games in the major leagues, falls into the early days camp. Other players like Glenn Hubbard, Mike Blowers, and pitcher Edwin Jackson, were all born on military bases in modern times.
Former player and current Minnesota Twins manager Ron Gardenhire was also born on a military base in Germany.