From Fernando Valenzuela to Alex Verdugo, Mexico has produced an illustrious array of major-league talent. Baseball first rose to prominence in the 1880s and now ranks as one of the nation’s most popular sports. Mel Amada, who suited up for the Boston Red Sox in 1933, was the country’s first major-league player. His presence laid the foundation for future Mexicans to reach the game’s highest level.
Since Amada’s debut, more than 130 players from Mexico have appeared on big-league rosters. They’ve set a standard for aspiring major leaguers in the country and will continue to be an example for the next generation.
Óliver Perez has been a monument to resilience and resourcefulness through the years. Since signing with the San Diego Padres as an amateur free agent in 1999 and breaking into the majors with the Pittsburgh Pirates in 2002, Perez has made 691 appearances as a starter and reliever. His 18-year career is the longest of any Mexican player.
A native of Culiacán in the Mexican state of Sinaloa, Perez has played for eight big-league teams and pitched for Mexico in the World Baseball Classic in 2006, 2009 and 2013. He posted a 2.00 ERA over 21 games and held left-handed hitters to a .185 batting average with the Cleveland Indians this season, while remaining a formidable presence at age 39.