Mexico is a country in North America that has been home to professional baseball since 1925, thanks to the presence of the Mexican League. Additionally, several other leagues have existed in Mexico, including the winter-season Mexican Pacific League and some low minor leagues, such as the Mexican Center League in the country proper, and others that have crossed the border with the United States such as the Arizona-Mexico League.
The first Mexican player to appear in the majors was Mel Almada, who made his major-league debut in 1933. After that a steady stream of players has come from Mexico, including MLB stars like Bobby Avila, Fernando Valenzuela, Vinny Castilla and Teddy Higuera.
Major league games have been played in the country twice, in Monterrey, Nuevo Leon, which hosted a three-game series between the San Diego Padres and New York Mets on August 16-18, 1996, and a single game between the Colorado Rockies and the Padres on April 4, 1999. Major League Baseball is scheduled to return to Mexico in 2018.
At the international level, the Mexican national team has taken part in all editions of the World Baseball Classic, as well as the Olympics, Pan-American Games, Baseball World Cup and many other international competitions, although it has rarely been among the top teams in these events.
One of the 31 states that form the country is also called México. The country's capital, called Mexico City in English, is properly only México as well in Spanish, leading to additional confusion about whether one is referring to the country, the state or the city.