Giants, Tigers set record for Series
The San Francisco Giants and Detroit Tigers made history Tuesday, with a record number of foreign-born players on the World Series rosters.
The Giants and Tigers each had 10 players born outside the United States on their 25-man rosters, announced before Game 1. The total of 20 is the most ever in a World Series, according to research by Major League Baseball.
All 20 were born in Latin American countries, lending international excitement to a World Series that begins in the same ballpark where the World Baseball Classic final will be held in March.
Nine players were born in the Dominican Republic and Venezuela, along with two in Puerto Rico. When including those born in the U.S. to Latino parents — such as Giants reliever Sergio Romo (Mexican) and Tigers catcher Alex Avila (Cuban) — roughly half of all players in this World Series are of Latin American descent.
"The atmosphere is going to be really unique, because we’ve got nine Dominicans and nine Venezuelans," Tigers reliever Joaquin Benoit said with a smile. "There’s going to be a lot of talking. It’s going to be fun.
"When you play the game, you have to enjoy it. The way we play the game, we really have passion. When we’re in a group — all Latinos together — you can see, you can hear, the way we play. We really bring it out. We really let it out.
"Some people don’t like the way we are, because we’re loud. Some people like quiet. But I think we’re going to enjoy this World Series, because there’s going to be a lot of noise."
Fans in two significant Latin American baseball cities figure to have divided loyalties in the World Series. Detroit third baseman Miguel Cabrera and starter Anibal Sanchez were born in Maracay, Venezuela, as was San Francisco catcher Hector Sanchez. And San Pedro de Macoris, Dominican Republic, was the birthplace of Tigers relievers Al Alburquerque and Jose Valverde, along with Giants reliever Guillermo Mota.