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Robinson Chirinos signed his first professional contract with the Cubs out of his native Venezuela in 2000 and spent 10 seasons in the minors before making his MLB debut with the Rays in 2011. He has since logged time as a catcher with the Rangers, Astros, Mets, Cubs and Orioles. Chirinos slugged 52 homers in a three-year span with Texas and Houston from 2017-2019. In 2012, he started the Robinson Chirinos Foundation to support children and families in his hometown of Punto Fijo, Venezuela.

Jeurys Familia has spent the bulk of his 11-year career with the Mets, along with brief stints with the Athletics, Phillies and Red Sox. He logged 94 saves in his first two seasons as New York’s closer and made the NL All-Star team in 2016. From 2014-2021, Familia ranked fifth among MLB relievers with 482 appearances. He played basketball as a youth in the Dominican Republic and was a fan of Kobe Bryant and Allen Iverson. 

Matt Moore was selected by the Rays as an 8th round pick out of New Mexico in 2007. In 2013, he became the first AL lefty pitcher to start a season with an 8-0 record at age 23 or younger since Babe Ruth achieved the feat in 1917. Moore went on to log a 17-4 record with a 3.29 ERA and make the All-Star team. Since 2016, Moore has pitched in the big leagues for the Giants, Tigers, Phillies and Rangers (twice) and logged a one-year stint with the Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks in Japan. 


Drew Pomeranz, a Tennessee native and University of Mississippi product, signed with Cleveland as the fifth overall pick in the 2010 MLB draft. He has a 48-58 record with a 3.91 ERA over parts of 11 big league seasons with the Rockies, Athletics, Red Sox, Giants, Brewers and Padres. Pomeranz has averaged 9.3 strikeouts per nine innings in 289 career appearances as a starter and reliever. He was a 2016 All-Star and a member of Boston’s 2018 World Championship team. 

Hyun-Jin Ryu, a native of Incheon, South Korea, logged a 14-8 record with a 3.00 ERA in 30 starts with the Dodgers to finish fourth in NL Rookie of the Year balloting in 2013. In October of that year, he became the first South Korean pitcher to start an MLB postseason game. In 2019, Ryu led the NL with a 2.32 ERA, made the All-Star team and finished second to Jacob deGrom for the Cy Young Award. He has spent the past three seasons with the Blue Jays.   




Jake Diekman has logged 586 career appearances – all in relief – over 11 seasons with the Rangers, Phillies, Athletics, Royals, Diamondbacks, White Sox and Red Sox. He has averaged 11.6 strikeouts per nine innings and been stingy against both right-handed hitters (.682 career OPS) and lefties (.653). Diekman was born and raised in Nebraska and broke into pro ball as a 30th round pick with Philadelphia in 2007. 

Jose Iglesias defected from his native Cuba during an international tournament in Canada in 2008 and signed his first professional contract with the Red Sox the following year. He made his MLB debut with Boston in 2011 and has since played for the Tigers, Reds, Orioles, Angels, Red Sox (for a second time) and Rockies. Renowned for his glovework at shortstop, Iglesias batted .300 and made the AL All-Star team with Detroit in 2015. 

Joe Kelly split time between the rotation and the bullpen with the Cardinals and Red Sox before transitioning fully to a relief role with Boston in 2017. He was a postseason standout for the Red Sox in 2018, allowing just one earned run in 11 1/3 relief innings during Boston’s World Series run. Kelly’s resume also includes stops with the Dodgers and White Sox. A California native, he played college ball at Cal-Riverside. 


Aaron Loup, a Louisiana native and Tulane University product, grew up a fan of the Braves’ big three of Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine and John Smoltz. He made his big-league debut with the Blue Jays in 2012 and spent seven seasons in Toronto before stints with the Phillies, Padres, Rays, Mets and Angels. He’s been a consistent and reliable presence from the left side and held lefty hitters to a .225 batting average in his career. 

Martin Perez signed with the Rangers out of his native Venezuela in 2007 and made his major-league debut with the team in 2012. He pitched for the Twins and Red Sox before returning to the Texas organization in March. Perez has posted his best single-season number this year and made his first All-Star team at age 31. His 216 career starts are the ninth most ever by a Venezuelan pitcher. 

A.J. Pollock, a Connecticut native and Notre Dame product, was selected 17th overall by the Diamondbacks in the 2009 amateur draft. He spent his first seven seasons in Arizona before transitioning to the Dodgers and the White Sox. Pollock has a career slash line of .277/.332/.469. His best season came in 2015, when he hit 20 homers, scored 111 runs, made the NL All-Star team and won a Gold Glove in the outfield.


Justin Wilson, a California product, was a standout for Fresno State’s 2008 College World Series championship team. He was a workhorse early in his career, with consecutive 70-appearance seasons for the Pirates and Yankees in 2014-2015. Wilson has also pitched for the Mets, Reds, Cubs and Tigers, averaging 9.8 strikeouts per nine innings over 527 career relief appearances. 




Gomes was born in Brazil and moved to Miami with his family at age 12. At the University of Tennessee and Barry University, Gomes was a utility infielder before settling into his primary position at catcher in 2013. He has spent time with the Blue Jays, Indians, Nationals, Athletics and now the Cubs. He made his first All-Star team in 2018 and went on to win his first World Series ring in 2019.

Two-time Cy Young Award winner Corey Kluber pitched nine seasons in Cleveland before moving on to the Rangers, Yankees and Rays. A Stetson University product, he was drafted by the Padres in the 4th round in 2007. Kluber made three straight All-Star appearances from 2016-2018 and led the majors with a 2.25 ERA in 2017. Last season with the Yankees, he added a no-hitter to his portfolio.

Machado, the third overall pick in 2010, kicked off his illustrious career with the Orioles for seven seasons before heading to California to join the Dodgers and Padres. In 11 big league seasons, Machado has received six All-Star nods, two Gold Gloves and a Silver Slugger award. He’s racked up more than 1,500 hits in his career with 267 home runs. On the international front, he played with the Dominican Republic team in the 2017 World Baseball Classic. 


Born in the Dominican Republic, Segura signed as an international free agent with the Angels in 2007. He made his major league debut at 22 years old and has since amassed more than 1,400 hits and 200 stolen bases. Segura led the NL with 203 hits with the Diamondbacks in 2016 and made two All-Star appearances in 2013 and 2018.



As Manny Machado celebrates 10 years in the majors, he reflects on the Baltimore years, his Kobe Bryant fandom, and some early hot tub advice from Jim Thome

By Jerry Crasnick




Blackmon, aka “Chuck Nazty,’’ was a standout outfielder and pitcher at Georgia Tech and graduated from the school in 2011 with a finance degree. He signed with Colorado as a second round draft pick in 2008 and made his major-league debut with the Rockies three years later. Over parts of 12 seasons in Colorado, Blackmon has made four All-Star appearances and won two Silver Slugger Awards. In 2017, he hit .331 to win the National League batting title, and led the NL in hits, runs, triples, plate appearances and total bases. 

Cain, a Florida native, spent five seasons in Milwaukee’s minor-league system before making his big-league debut with the Brewers in 2010. After joining the Royals as part of a trade package for Zack Greinke, he was a pivotal figure on Kansas City’s 2015 World Championship club. Cain returned to Milwaukee in 2018 and made his second career All-Star team with the Brewers. His resume includes a Gold Glove, three Fielding Bible Awards and four Wilson Defensive Player of the Year Awards in the outfield.

Corbin, a basketball star as a youth in Syracuse, N.Y., began playing baseball as a junior in high school and pitched for junior colleges in New York and Florida before the Angels selected him in the second round of the 2009 draft. In 10 seasons with the Diamondbacks and Nationals, he has an 84-94 record with a 4.21 ERA and three 200-inning seasons on his resume. Corbin has made two All-Star teams and finished fifth in National League Cy Young Award balloting in 2018.


Grandal was born in Cuba and emigrated to Miami with his family at age 10. He was named ACC Player of the Year at the University of Miami and finished second to Bryce Harper for the Golden Spikes Award. He signed with the Reds as a first round pick in 2010 before being traded to San Diego the following year. He has 174 career homers and a .238/.352/.440 slash line over 11 seasons with the Padres, Dodgers, Brewers and White Sox. Grandal made his first All-Star team with Los Angeles in 2015 and his second trip to the Midsummer Classic with Milwaukee in 2019. 

Behind that lustrous beard, Charlie Blackmon has brought stability and professionalism to Colorado for 10 years
By Jerry Crasnick



Sean Doolittle grew up in New Jersey and was a standout two-way player at the University of Virginia. After breaking into pro ball as a first baseman-outfielder with the Athletics, Doolittle converted to a pitcher in 2011. Over 463 career relief appearances with the A’s, Nationals, Reds and Mariners, he has averaged 10.4 strikeouts per nine innings, recorded 112 saves and made two All-Star teams.

Eduardo Escobar signed with the White Sox out of his native Venezuela in 2006 and has amassed 141 career home runs with the Sox, Twins, Diamondbacks, Brewers and Mets. He slugged 35 home runs and drove in 118 runs with Arizona in 2019 and made his first All-Star appearance last year at age 32. Escobar has played every position, including pitcher, over 12 seasons in the majors.

Marwin Gonzalez, a Venezuela native, has been a versatile performer over 11 big-league seasons with the Astros, Twins, Red Sox and Yankees. He hit 23 homers, logged a .907 OPS and started games at five positions for Houston’s 2017 World Championship team. His ninth-inning home run off Kenley Jansen helped the Astros rally and beat the Dodgers in 11 innings in Game 2 of the World Series. 


After a stellar collegiate career at LSU, DJ LeMahieu signed with the Cubs as a second round pick in 2009. He has made three All-Star teams and captured three Gold Gloves and two Silver Slugger Awards over 12 seasons with the Cubs, Rockies and Yankees. In 2020, LeMahieu became the first player in the modern era to win a batting title in both leagues. He led the NL with a .348 average in 2016 and topped the AL at .364 four years later.

Jose Quintana was 17 years old when he signed with the Mets out of his native Colombia in 2006. He surpassed 200 innings four straight times with the White Sox from 2013-16, and made the American League All-Star team in 2016. Quintana has since pitched for the Cubs, Angels, Giants and Pirates. He ranks first in MLB history among Colombian-born pitchers in wins, strikeouts and innings pitched.

Andrelton Simmons, a Curacao native and Western Oklahoma State College product, has played in the big leagues with the Braves, Angels, Twins and Cubs. Renowned for his defensive acumen at shortstop, Simmons is a four-time Gold Glove winner and a six-time Fielding Bible Award recipient. In 2013, he won a Platinum Glove Award as the best defender in the National League. He has twice represented the Netherlands in the World Baseball Classic.  


Drew Smyly, an Arkansas native, began his pro career with Detroit as a second round pick out of the University of Arkansas in 2010. He has appeared in 226 career games as a starter and reliever with the Tigers, Rays, Rangers, Phillies, Giants, Braves and Cubs. He established career highs with 30 starts, 175 1/3 innings and 167 strikeouts for Tampa Bay in 2016.

"Ríes un poco más cuando él está"
Eduardo Escobar lleva dedicación y alegría a los equipos para los que ha jugado durante sus 10 años en las Mayores
Por Jerry Crasnick



Zack Britton broke in as a starter with the Orioles in 2011 before shifting to the closer role in 2014. His 2.01 ERA as a reliever is the lowest among all active relievers with a minimum of 100 IP. Britton recorded 120 saves from 2014-16 and made two All-Star Games in that span. He was named the Mariano Rivera AL Reliever of the Year in 2016 after converting 47-of-47 saves opportunities with Baltimore.

Josh Donaldson’s portfolio includes three All-Star appearances, two Silver Slugger Awards, MVP and Hank Aaron Awards in 2015 and a Comeback Player of the Year Award in 2019. He broke in as a catcher with Oakland and has since played primarily at third base with the Athletics, Blue Jays, Indians, Braves, Twins and Yankees. He has homered against every major-league team in his career.

Bryce Harper added to his illustrious resume in 2021 when he became the 15th player in MLB history to win multiple MVP awards before his age 29 season. He is a six-time NL All-Star and two-time winner of the Silver Slugger and Hank Aaron awards. Last year, Harper joined Babe Ruth, Stan Musial and Barry Bonds as the fourth outfielder in major-league history with at least 100 runs, 100 walks, 40 doubles and 35 home runs in a season.


Josh Harrison, a Cincinnati native and former University of Cincinnati Bearcat, joined the Cubs as a sixth round draft pick in 2008 and made two All-Star teams with the Pirates. He has since played for the Tigers, Nationals, Athletics and White Sox. Harrison is one of the most versatile players in the majors and has played every position but catcher over 12 seasons in the big leagues.

Greg Holland, now a free agent, crossed the 10-year barrier with the Rangers in April. A former 10th round pick out of Western Carolina University, he logged 93 saves and a cumulative 1.32 ERA while making back-to-back All-Star Games with Kansas City in 2013-14. After missing the entire 2016 season while recovering from Tommy John surgery, Holland returned to make the All-Star team, win NL Comeback Player of the Year and tie the Rockies’ franchise record with 41 saves in 2017.

Martin Maldonado, a Puerto Rico native, signed with the Angels as a 27th round draft pick and played parts of eight minor-league seasons before making his MLB debut with the Brewers in 2011. In 2019, he joined Sandy Alomar Jr., Jorge Posada, Roberto Perez and Javy Lopez as the fifth Puerto Rican-born catcher to homer in a World Series game. Maldonado won a Gold Glove at catcher in 2017 and was an AL Gold Glove finalist in 2021.


David Phelps, a St. Louis native and University of Notre Dame product, has logged 311 big-league appearances as a starter and reliever with the Yankees, Marlins, Blue Jays, Cubs, Mariners, Brewers and Phillies. In 2016, he posted a 2.28 ERA in 64 relief appearances with Miami and struck out 114 batters in 86 2/3 innings. Phelps has averaged 8.8 strikeouts per nine innings over his career.

Michael Pineda was 16 years old when he signed with the Mariners out of his native Dominican Republic in 2005. He debuted with Seattle in 2011 and made the All-Star team and finished fifth in AL Rookie of the Year balloting. Pineda pitched for the Yankees and Twins before joining the Tigers this season. In 2016, he led the AL with an average of 10.6 strikeouts per nine innings.

Garrett Richards, a former University of Oklahoma Sooner, broke into professional ball as a first round draft pick by the Angels in 2009. Over the 2014-15 seasons, he went 28-16 with a 3.18 ERA in 58 starts. Richards was the Angels' Opening Day starter in 2016 and again in 2018. Since 2020, he has pitched for the Padres, Red Sox and Rangers. 


Anthony Rizzo has three All-Star berths, four Gold Gloves and a Silver Slugger Award on his resume, which includes stops with the Padres, Cubs and Yankees. He has hit 20 or more homers eight times in his career. In 2017, Rizzo won the Roberto Clemente Award, given annually to the player who best represents the game of baseball through extraordinary character, community involvement, philanthropy and positive contributions on and off the field.

Bryan Shaw has been one of baseball’s true bullpen workhorses since breaking into the big leagues with Cleveland in 2013. From 2013-17, he led all major-league relievers with 378 relief appearances. Shaw is Cleveland’s career franchise leader with 468 games pitched out of the bullpen. He ranks fifth among active MLB relievers in holds.




By Jerry Crasnick

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