Since 1956, a large number of baseball players of Dominican origin have played in the Big leaguesbeing the Dominican Republic the second country in the world after the United States with more players in MLB.
It all started when on September 23, 1956, Osvaldo Virgil dressed for the New York Giants, thus becoming the first Dominican in history to play for a club. Big leagues.
Virgil only played three games that year, but thanks to his work, professional baseball in the United States set its sights on the Dominican Republic for the first time to date.
His influence was vital for another 884 Dominicans to date to fulfill the dream of playing for MLB.
After Virgil’s debut, two years passed for another Creole to debut. Felipe Alou debuted on June 8, 1958 with the San Francisco Giants.
The first Dominican pitcher to debut in the Major Leagues was Rudy Hernández, on July 3, 1960, with the Washington Senators in the American League.
Juan Marichal debuted 16 days after Hernández, on July 19, 1960, throwing a one-hit shutout.
The first 10 Dominicans to debut in the Majors were the following;
1.- Osvaldo Virgil, signed with the New York Giants in 1953 and debuted on September 23, 1956.
2.- Felipe Rojas Alou, was the first outfielder, being signed by the New York Giants in 1955 and debuted on June 8, 1958.
3.- Julián Javier, signed by the Pittsburgh Pirates in 1956, made his Major League debut on May 28, 1960.
4.- Rudy Hernández, was the first Dominican pitcher to debut in the Major Leagues. He was signed by the New York Giants and made his debut on July 3, 1960. He was born in Santiago.
5.- Juan Marichal, signed by the New York Giants in 1957, debuted on July 19, 1960. His final game was on April 16, 1975 and he is the only Dominican in the Cooperstown Hall of Fame.
6.- Diómedes Olivo (Guayubín) was signed by the 1955 Cincinnati Reds and debuted in the Major Leagues on September 5, 1960.
7.- Mateo Alou, was signed by the New York Giants in 1957 and debuted on September 26, 1960.
8.- Federico-Chichí-Olivo was signed by the Milwaukee Braves team in 1955 and debuted on June 5, 1961.
9.- Manny Mota, signed by the New York Giants in 1957 and debuted on April 16, 1962.
10. Pedro González, signed by the New York Yankees in 1958 and debuted on April 11, 1963.
List of historic major league debuts to date
- 1 Osvaldo Virgil
- 100 Hipolito Pena
- 200 Jose Parra
- 300 Charles Casimir
- 400 Juan Carlos Oviedo
- 500 Victor Mars
- 600 Jose Ramirez
- 700 Ramon Torres
- 800 Lewin Diaz
Sources: MLB, Welcome Rojas, Licey Official Site