Wednesday, May 10, 2006

plunk immigration

Today's Astros' opponents, the LA Dodgers, have a United Nations of a roster, featuring players born in 9 different countries. This is an excellent excuse to look at which players born in each country have been hit by the most pitches (that, and reader DM asked). Also, it seems worthwhile to take a look at the total plunk counts for batters born in each country or territory.

People say a lot of things about the position within the world community of the United States of America, but one thing is clear. American born Major League Baseball players have been hit by pitches 9 times more often than every other country in the world combined. There are only 7 countries (including the US) which have more total HBPs than Craig Biggio alone, and Biggio is very close to having accumulated more plunks than the top 2 players from any other country. Only the combined plunks of Cubans Minnie Minoso and Rafael Palmeiro (279) are greater than Biggio's current total (and obviously less than the total of fellow American, Hughie Jennings).

Here are the country by country HBP record holders, along with the total batters from each country, and the total plunks of all batters from each country through 2005. This list excludes countries which may have produced major leaguers in cases where none of them were ever plunked.
PlayerHBPsCountry of BirthCountry Total PlayersCountry HBPs
Hughie Jennings287USA1451377877
Minnie Minoso192Cuba1501108
Andres Galarraga178Venezuela1811190
Carlos Delgado139Puerto Rico2152060
Larry Walker138Canada205908
Jose Guillen88Dominican Republic4102427
Devon White87Jamaica3105
Patsy Donovan83Ireland40300
Andruw Jones62Curacao584
Vinny Castilla57Mexico98248
John Anderson53Norway353
Einar Diaz53Panama45451
Tom Brown46England3097
Jimmy Austin44Wales244
Joe Quinn39Australia1967
Elmer Valo38Czechoslovakia440
Bobby Thomson34Scotland859
Glenn Hubbard33W.Germany1339
Jolbert Cabrera28Colombia772
Ichiro Suzuki27Japan3280
Marvin Benard25Nicaragua833
Joe Christopher19Virgin Islands1072
Andre Rodgers18Bahamas520
Reno Bertoia16Italy617
Hee Seop Choi16South Korea1217
Fritz Buelow12Germany2862
Eddie Ainsmith12Russia521
John Houseman8Holland610
Gene Kingsale6Aruba46
Gerald Young6Honduras16
Otto Hess4Switzerland14
Tony Solaita3American Samoa13
Steve Jeltz3France87
Chito Martinez2British Honduras12
Olaf Henriksen2Denmark12
Brian Lesher1Belgium11
Moe Drabowsky1Poland41
Robin Jennings1Singapore11

(Data through 2005)

The Dodgers have had players from 17 countries, other than the United States, get hit by pitches for them in franchise history. Among active franchises, only the Baltimore Orioles have had as much variety in the country of birth of their plunked players. The Twins, Yankees and Cardinals have all had players born in 16 foreign countries get hit for them. The Astros are tied for 6th with 11 non-US countries represented among their batters who have been plunked, and the Colorado Rockies are dead last in immigrant HBP variety, with only 4 foreign lands as the place of birth among their batters who have been hit by a pitch.

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