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United States Virgin Islands

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[edit] Background

The United States Virgin Islands are a group of islands in the Caribbean that the United States acquired from Denmark in 1917. They are part of the Virgin Islands group, which also contains the British Virgin Islands, an overseas territory of the United Kingdom.

There have been ten major-league position players from the V.I. through 2012, plus one pitcher. The last of these men, Callix Crabbe, appeared in 2008. Six of them got over 1,000 at-bats in the majors, however -- and from 1957 through 2005, there was only one year in which a Virgin Islander did not appear in the majors. That was 1985, in between José Morales (career ended June 1984) and Jerry Browne (debut September 1986).

The list below, however, needs to be qualified. Valmy Thomas, the first V.I. major-leaguer, was born in Puerto Rico, but that was merely a technicality. His parents were both from St. Croix, and his mother went to the neighboring island to deliver Valmy simply because it had better medical facilities. She then came straight home. The inverse is true of Henry Cruz. He was born on St. Croix but moved to Puerto Rico when he was an infant.

Pitcher Julio Navarro is another special case. He moved from Vieques, Puerto Rico to St. Croix as a young boy and learned baseball there. However, he considers himself a Puerto Rican.

The earliest visible record of baseball in the Virgin Islands discovered to date comes from 1900. On August 9 that year, the U.S. cruiser Dixie stopped in St. Thomas, and sailors played on shore leave. The man generally recognized for introducing the game there -- with local players, and seeing it take firm root -- was William Lewis of St. Thomas. The event took place on April 17, 1917, and it was in the same spot in Charlotte Amalie where Lionel Roberts Stadium stands today.

[edit] Major league players who were born here

[edit] Others born here

[edit] Related Sites

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