From BR Bullpen

Flag of Germany.jpg

Germany is a country located in central Europe. From 1949 to 1990 the nation was split into the German Democratic Republic, commonly known as East Germany, and the Federal Republic of Germany, commonly known as West Germany. The country's official name is still the "Federal Republic of Germany". The country's capital is Berlin.

Major league players born in Germany were fairly common from 1871 to 1930, but after that became rare. They all came from immigrant German families, as baseball was not played in Germany at the time. After World War II, a new generation of German-born players appeared, but these were Americans who happened to be born on or near military bases used by the United States during the Cold War.

A late 19th-century photo of a German immigrant boy posing in a baseball uniform in St. Louis. The back, written in German says "Willie playing a field game" or something to that effect on it.

Germany has had a bit of a baseball resurgence in the early 21st Century, producing at least seven US minor leaguers from 2001-2008. They won Bronze at the 2010 European Championship and won a game at the 2007 Baseball World Cup, a first for their national team. Donald Lutz was the first major leaguer raised in Germany, moving there at age 1; he came to The Show in 2013. He was followed by Max Kepler, born and raised in Germany, who made his debut in 2015.

Minor leaguers raised in Germany[edit]

Further Reading[edit]

  • Frank Amoroso: German-Americans and our National Pastime, Simply Francis Publishing Company, Wrightsville Beach, NC, 2018. ISBN 978-1630620172
  • Michael Clair: "Kepler, Solbach tout baseball in Germany: Pair hopes big league dreams can flourish in home country",, November 25, 2021. [1]
  • Michael Clair: "How one man -- and a mascot named Manny -- is turning Germans into baseball fans",, January 14, 2024. [2]