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From: Jim Hickman (e-mail him)
Re: Joe Guzzardi's Column: Abolishing America's Sport (contd.): Why Not Limit Foreign Players Like The Caribbean League?
I'm an amateur baseball historian and statistician following Guzzardi's essays on foreign-born players in the Major Leagues.
Intrigued by his suggestion that putting an all-American line up on the field would not be hard, I set about analyzing various box scores to see what I could come up with.
Amazingly—and this should be of special interest to Guzzardi since he just moved to Pittsburgh—the Pirates during their recent four game series against the New York Mets, started nine all-American born players in three of the four contests.
The only exception was Pirate second-string catcher Raul Chavez who played Sunday's game. Typically on Sunday the everyday catcher takes a rest.
I'm not sure how far back in time one would have to go to find a comparable situation. But it could be as long as decades ago since such a demographic oddity occurred in baseball.
It proves Guzzardi's point however. Plenty of American players are out there. And their skills are competitive enough to merit positions on major league squads.