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Exhibition Baseball Americana

Changes in the Lineup

“Baseball is often talked about as the American game, but there is something wildly immigrant about it too,” wrote Irish American author Colum McCann. “No other game can so solidly confirm the fact that you are in the United States, yet bring you home to your original country at the same time.” In the early twentieth century, about ten to fifteen percent of big leaguers were born outside the United States, primarily in Canada and Europe. Today, a quarter of all major league players are foreign born, with the Dominican Republic and Venezuela the biggest sources of talent. “So as the Mayflower descendants and offspring of Irish immigrants fill Fenway Park to cheer on [José] Iglesias, [Koji] Uehara and [David] Ortiz,” said Jewish American author Ira Stoll, “we can look forward to a day when the children and grandchildren of Iglesias, Uehara, and Ortiz fill the same ballpark to cheer on immigrant players from some other land.”