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.
|Player||HBPs||Country of Birth||Country Total Players||Country HBPs|
|Carlos Delgado||139||Puerto Rico||215||2060|
|Jose Guillen||88||Dominican Republic||410||2427|
|Joe Christopher||19||Virgin Islands||10||72|
|Hee Seop Choi||16||South Korea||12||17|
|Tony Solaita||3||American Samoa||1||3|
|Chito Martinez||2||British Honduras||1||2|
(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.