In the July 22, 2007 edition of Parade magazine, an insert in our local Idaho State Journal, there was an interesting article about San Pedro in the Dominican Republic.
A surprising number of major league players hail from San Pedro. Sammy Sosa, Robinson Cano, and Alfonso Soriano. Of the active 849 players, 99 of them are from the Dominican Republic. The Alou boys, Adrian Beltre, Wilson Betemit, Melky Cabrera, Luis Castillo, Juan Encarnacion, Julio Franco, Vladimir Guerrero, Jose Guillen, Pedro Martinez, David Ortiz, Wily Mo Pena, Placido Polanco, Albert Pujols, Manny Ramirez, Jose Reyes, Willy Taveras, Miguel Tejada, sort of Alex Rodriguez, and a whole list of others.
The break down: 849 active players, 246 of them born outside the 50 United States, 208 born in Latin American or the Caribbean (Puerto Rico 28 and Venezuela 50), and 18 born in Asia.
Why Dominicans over Puerto Ricans? Or why Dominicans over Cubans? Or Dominicans over Asians? Of active players, there are 18 Asians. That's a mere five shy of the number of major leaguers out of Idaho in the entire history of Major League Baseball. Crazy, isn't it? In fact I can name four active Cuban imports (Livian Hernandez, Orlando Hernandez, Jose Contreras, Danys Baez) and only two Idahoans in the entire history of baseball (Harmon Killebrew and Larry Jackson).
After thinking about it, I realized my favorite active player, Julio Franco, is from Hator Mayor, Dominican Republic. Go figure.