By In Stuff

A Baseball Challenge!

Two, actually. This is really fun. Let’s see if you can beat me.

Small challenge: Try to beat my lineup and starting pitcher — with this caveat. Every player in the lineup and the pitcher must be active and born in a different country. So you have 10 players — 9 in the lineup (including DH) and starting pitcher.

Bonus point: Add a closer from a different country.

BIG Challenge: This one’s really a blast. Come up with a 25-man roster that beats mine where all 25 players are born in different countries. This one you don’t have to just use active players, you can go back as far back in history as you like.

Bonus point: Get a manager who is from a different country.

Hint: All territories count as separate countries … Puerto Rico, Virgin Islands, etc.

You can send your teams to me here.

Winner probably won’t get a prize, but you will get prime mention here which is better than a prize, right? I’ll be posting my teams next week in advance of the World Baseball Classic.

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74 Responses to A Baseball Challenge!

  1. Chris says:

    For this exercise, does Puerto Rico count as a country? I’m assuming not

  2. Sean says:

    So many questions!

    1) As above, is this “International Style” where PR counts as separate from the US? Are England/Wales/Scotland all separate (might matter for the 25 man roster)? Are Curacao and Aruba considered part of the Netherlands? (I think in that case, they are).

    2) For historical players, are we talking about what country their birthplace is in now? So for example, three players might be born in Germany/West Germany/Holy Roman Empire (OK, probably not) or something, but are all in modern Germany, they are all German? Or, could we list them as 3 separate entries? A player born in Konigsberg (now Gdansk) is Polish, even though ethnically German? I’m not sure if that’s even an issue, but it might be.

    3) Does the player have to have played in MLB? Is Saduharu Oh eligible? Martin Dihigo?

    Very cool idea.

    • Sean says:

      I see Joe has answered 1. (And, I’m assuming Aruba and Curacao are not the same as the Netherlands). Thanks! I also erred, in that former Danzig is now Gdansk, not Konigsberg. Aarggh!

    • Joe Posnanski says:

      1. PR and Virgin Islands are separate. Also, Curacao and Aruba are separate, as are England/Wales/Scotland. Don’t want to make this impossible.
      2. Birthplace only. And you can work out the various moving of countries — won’t impact list.
      3. Had to play in MLB. Will be judged on MLB performance only. Might do it a different way next time.

  3. dave says:

    How do we beat your team? Most WAR? A vote?

  4. Aaron says:

    How about moving players to different positions? E.g, a shortstop to third base. If not, how about if they started at third and moved to shortstop, can we choose the position?

    • Joe Posnanski says:

      Nope. Must be viable at the position you put him at, including the specific three outfield spots.

      • Tim says:

        So for active players, it’s where they’d play today? I think Aaron is thinking of a specific player who started his MLB career at 3B due to being blocked by a much less talented SS, but our man was a minor league SS and is a SS today.

        I feel like this level of coyness is totally unnecessary…

      • Patrick says:

        Wouldn’t it simply be easier to say he had to have played there? A centerfielder is obviously “viable” in left.

  5. Dan says:

    Do players in the Big Challenge need to be active?

  6. Terry says:

    Jenkins Canada SP
    Nilsson Aussie C
    Palmeiro Cuba 1B
    Carew Panama 2B
    Beltre DR 3B
    Correa PR SS
    Bonds US LF
    Andruw Jones Curacao CF
    Ichiro RF Japan

  7. Tim says:

    C Y. Molina, Puerto Rico
    1B Votto, Canada
    2B Schoop, Curacao
    3B Beltre, Domincan Republic
    SS Bogaerts, Aruba
    LF Cespedes, Cuba
    CF Trout, USA
    RF Ichiro, Japan
    DH Cabrera, Venezuela
    SP Quintana, Colombia

    Bonus: CP Osuna, Mexico

  8. Dr. Doom says:

    IF we do the 25-man roster challenge, do the relievers need to be relievers, or do we just put together 10-12 pitchers?

  9. wickethewok says:

    Does anyone have any guesses as to who will be chosen the most of the active players? I’m going to guess Votto.

  10. Mark says:

    Does the DH position have to be filled by someone who played 50% of their games as a DH this past season?

  11. GothamWiseFool says:

    For the Big Challenge, my team is as follows:
    Bert Blyleven (Netherlands)
    Fernando Valenzuela (Mexico)
    Luis Tiant (Cuba)
    Chan-Ho Park (South Korea)
    Jimmy Bond (Ireland)
    Hiroki Kuroda (Japan)
    Jim McCormick (Scotland)
    Jack Quinn (Austria-Hungary, now Slovakia)
    Moe Drabowsky (Poland)
    Ted Lewis (Wales)
    Grant Balfour (Australia)
    Ivan Rodriguez (Puerto Rico)
    Eddie Ainsmith (Russia)
    1B- Joey Votto (Canada)
    2B- Rod Carew (Panama)
    3B- Adrian Beltre (Dominican Republic)
    SS- Luis Aparicio (Venezuela)
    U- Edgar Renteria (Colombia)
    U- Mike Blowers (Germany)
    LF- Olaf Henriksen (Denmark)
    CF- Andruw Jones (Curacao)
    RF- Babe Ruth (USA)
    U- Shin-Soo Choo (South Korea)
    U- Tom Brown (England)
    Chilli Davis (Jamaica)
    Bruce Bochy (France)

    I’ve put Babe Ruth down as an outfielder; but he’s also part of the pitching rotation, which is why I have only four starters listed. When Ruth is pitching, Choo or Brown can fill in for him in the field.

    • GothamWiseFool says:

      Correction. I had two Koreans without noticing it. And I’d forgotten Dennis Martinez. Put Martinez in the starting rotation, and relegate Chan-Ho Park to the bullpen. Take out Shin-Soo Choo and Kuroda, and this solves the two-Koreans problem and makes room for Martinez and Ichiro Suzuki (starting in right field, with Ruth in left when he isn’t pitching).

  12. Joe M. says:

    My team really started coming together once I realized that Panama and the Panama Canal Zone count, inarguably, as two separate places.

  13. […] At this point, I have gone on tangent to what I initially meant to write about. In preparation for the World Baseball Classic, baseball writer Joe Posnanski (one of my favorite baseball writers) gave the following challenge to his readers: […]

  14. route66news says:

    I’ve sent this to Joe already, but here’s the team of active players:

    C — Yan Gomes (Brazil)
    1B — Miguel Cabrera (Venezuela)
    2B — Jonathan Schoop (Curacao)
    SS — Xander Bogaerts (Aruba)
    3B — Adrian Beltre (Dominican Republic)
    OF — Shin-Soo Choo (South Korea)
    OF — Yoenis Cespedes (Cuba)
    OF — Carlos Beltran (Puerto Rico)
    DH — Joey Votto (Canada)
    SP — Clayton Kershaw (USA)
    RP — Roberto Osuna (Mexico)

    Batting lineup

    1. Votto
    2. Choo
    3. Cabrera
    4. Beltre
    5. Cespedes
    6. Beltran
    7. Bogaerts
    8. Schoop
    9. Gomes

    The all-time team:

    C — Ivan Rodriguez (Puerto Rico)
    1B — Miguel Cabrera (Venezuela)
    2B — Rod Carew (Panama)
    SS — Xander Bogaerts (Aruba)
    3B — Vinny Castilla (Mexico)
    RF — Ichiro Suzuki (Japan)
    CF — Andruw Jones (Curacao)
    LF — Babe Ruth (USA)
    DH — Shin-Soo Choo (South Korea)
    SP — Pedro Martinez (Dominican Republic)
    SP — Luis Tiant (Cuba)
    SP — Ferguson Jenkins (Canada)
    SP — Bert Blyleven (Netherlands)
    SP — Dennis Martinez (Nicaragua)
    Spot starter — Charlie Lea (France)
    Spot starter — Tommy Bond (Ireland)
    RP — Craig Lefferts (Germany)
    RP — Al McBean (Virgin Islands)
    RP — Moe Drabrowsky (Poland)
    INF — Edgar Renteria (Colombia)
    INF — Andre Rodgers (Bahamas)
    OF — Chili Davis (Jamaica)
    C — Dave Nilsson (Australia)
    C — Yan Gomes (Brazil)
    1B-PH — Tony Solaita (American Somoa)
    Manager — Hugo Bezdek (Czech Republic)

    Batting order

    1. Choo
    2. Carew
    3. Cabrera
    4. Ruth
    5. Rodriguez
    6. Suzuki
    7. Bogaerts
    8. Jones
    9. Castilla

    • Darrel says:

      I went this way
      C-Russ Martin-Canada
      1B-A. Gonzalez-Mexico
      2B-J. Altuve-Venezuela
      3B-A. Beltre-Dominican Rep
      SS-X. Bogaerts-Netherlands
      RF-C. Beltran- Puerto Rico
      CF-M. Trout-USA
      LF-M. Kepler-Germany
      DH-Y. Cespedes-Cuba
      SP-M. Tanaka-Japan
      RP-S.H. Oh-South Korea

      Used WBC roster formatting for country affiliation

  15. GothamWiseFool says:

    Wait a minute. Disregard my earlier post. I had two Koreans without noticing it. And I’d forgotten about Dennis Martinez. Take out Choo, and substitute Suzuki, making room for him by removing Kuroda.
    Starting Pitchers:
    Babe Ruth (USA) – plays outfield four days out of five.
    Bert Blyleven (Netherlands)
    Fernando Valenzuela (Mexico)
    Luis Tiant (Cuba)
    Dennis Martinez (Nicaragua)
    Relief Pitchers
    Jimmy Bond (Ireland)
    Chan-Ho Park (South Korea)
    Jim McCormick (Scotland)
    Jack Quinn (Austria-Hungary, now Slovakia)
    Moe Drabowsky (Poland)
    Ted Lewis (Wales)
    Grant Balfour (Australia)
    Ivan Rodriguez (Puerto Rico)
    Eddie Ainsmith (Russia)
    1B- Joey Votto (Canada)
    2B- Rod Carew (Panama)
    3B- Adrian Beltre (Dominican Republic)
    SS- Luis Aparicio (Venezuela)
    U- Edgar Renteria (Colombia)
    U- Mike Blowers (Germany)
    LF- Babe Ruth (USA) – when he isn’t pitching
    CF- Andruw Jones (Curacao)
    RF- Ichiro Suzuki (Japan)
    U- Olaf Henriksen (Denmark) – to fill in for Ruth when he is pitching
    U- Tom Brown (England)
    Designated Hitter
    Chilli Davis (Jamaica)
    Bruce Bochy (France)

  16. Kuz says:

    International All-Time Team

    Manager Tony Perez Cuba
    Catcher Eddie Ainsmith Russian Federation
    1 B Tony Solaita American Samoa
    2 B Al Campanis Greece
    3 B Reno Bertoa Italy
    SS Didi Gregorius Netherlands
    LF Otto Hess Switzerland
    CF John Anderson Norway
    RF George Herman Ruth United States
    DH Chito Martinez Belize
    Bench Brian Lesher Belgium
    Bench Steve Jeltz France
    Bench Elmer Valo Czech Republic
    Bench Olaf Henrikson Denmark
    Bench Joe Zapustas Latvia
    Bench Robin Jennings Singapore
    Bench Paulo Orlando Brazil
    Pitcher Jack Quin Slovaki
    Pitcher John Michaelson Finland
    Pitcher Ed Porray At Sea (Atlantic Ocean)
    Pitcher Jeff Bronkey Afganistan
    Pitcher Austin Brice Hong Kong
    Pitcher Danny Grave Vietnam
    Pitcher Eric Erickson Sweden
    Pitcher Moe Drabowski Poland
    Pitcher Tom Mastny Indonesia

  17. Rob says:

    Current team:
    C- Y. MOLINA- PR
    1- J. VOTTO – CAN
    2- J. ALTUVE- VEN
    3- A. BELTRE- DR
    RF- S. S. CHOO- S. KOREA

  18. tightwad says:

    Starters listed first

    Catchers: Ivan Rodriguez (PR); Jimmy Archer (Ireland)
    1B: Albert Pujols (DR); Tony Solaita (American Samoa)
    2B: Rod Carew (Canal Zone – technically different from Panama); Glenn Hubbard (Germany)
    3B: Tony Perez (Cuba); Jimmy Austin (Wales)
    SS: Luis Aparicio (Venezuela); Xander Bogaerts (Aruba)
    OF: Ichiro (Japan); Andruw Jones (Curacao); Larry Walker (Canada); Bobby Thomson (Scotland); Pasty Donovan (Ireland); Elmer Valo (Czechoslovakia)
    DH: Chili Davis (Jamaica)
    P: Bert Blyleven (Netherlands); Chien Ming Wang (Taiwan); Jack Quinn (Austria-Hungary); Fernando Valenzuela (Mexico); Mariano Rivera (Panama); Moe Drabowsky (Poland); Danny Cox (England); Julio Teheran (Colombia)
    Mgr: Bruce Bochy (France)

  19. Joe M. says:

    May as well share my team; you’ve got to sacrifice somewhere, and I picked middle relief, middle infield, and backup catcher (albeit one who hit a servicable .273 in the playoffs)

    P – Pedro Martinez (Dominican Republic)
    P – Ferguson Jenkins (Canada)
    P – Bert Blyleven (Netherlands)
    P – Johan Santana (Venezuela)
    P – Dennis Martinez (Nicaragua)
    P – Fernando Valenzuela (Mexico)
    P – Moe Drabowsky (Poland)
    P – Chien-Ming Wang (Taiwan)
    P – Lance Painter (England)
    P – Grant Balfour (Australia)
    P – Danny Graves (South Vietnam)
    P – Mariano Rivera (Panama)

    C – Ivan Rodriguez (Puerto Rico)
    C – Elrod Hendricks (U.S. Virgin Islands)
    1B – Rafael Palmiero (Cuba)
    1B/2B – Rod Carew (Panama Canal Zone)
    2B – Glenn Hubbard (Germany)
    SS – Edgar Renteria (Colombia)
    SS – Xander Bogaerts (Aruba)
    3B – Mike Schmidt (USA)
    3B/OF – Bobby Thomson (Scotland)
    OF – Ichiro Suzuki (Japan)
    OF – Andruw Jones (Curaçao)
    OF – Shin-Soo Choo (South Korea)
    OF/DH – Chili Davis (Jamaica)

    Manager – Bruce Bochy (France)

  20. BobDD says:

    Since Territories count separately, you can use (Oklahoma Territory before statehood):
    Paul Waner, Bob Johnson, Jim Thorpe

  21. invitro says:

    Small challenge. 2016 All-Stars denoted by [AS].
    C Salvador Perez [AS], Venezuela ( 2042 AB, 16.9 WAR)
    1B Joey Votto, Canada ( 3945 AB, 47.3 WAR)
    2B Robinson Cano [AS], Dom. Rep. ( 6555 AB, 62.4 WAR)
    3B Jung Ho Kang, South Korea ( 739 AB, 6.3 WAR)
    SS Xander Bogaerts [AS], Aruba ( 1195 AB, 8.9 WAR)
    LF Yoenis Cespedes [AS], Cuba ( 2249 AB, 18.7 WAR)
    CF Mike Trout [AS], USA ( 2997 AB, 48.5 WAR)
    RF Carlos Beltran [AS], Puerto Rico ( 8749 AB, 70.4 WAR)
    DH Ichiro Suzuki, Japan ( 9362 AB, 59.9 WAR)
    SP Jose Quintana [AS], Colombia ( 743 IP, 20.5 WAR)
    RP Kenley Jansen [AS], Curacao ( 340 IP, 11.8 WAR)

    • Pat says:

      Hey invitro, did you ever disclose the nature of that alternate-HOF list you posted in comments a while back? Darned if I ever figured it out….

      • invitro says:

        I think this is when Joe was doing the different Willie Mays Hall of Fames? I did one that was based entirely on the fan Elo rater at bb-ref, maybe that’s the one. I don’t think anyone commented on it. (I think “Elo rater” is right… I think they recently removed that feature.)

  22. invitro says:

    Big challenge:
    2B Rod Carew, Panama (9315 AB, 81.1 WAR) [1967-1985]
    1B Albert Pujols, Dom. Rep. (8545 AB, 101.1 WAR) [2001-2015*]
    LF Babe Ruth, USA (8399 AB, 183.6 WAR) [1914-1935]
    3B Miguel Cabrera, Venezuela (7258 AB, 69.6 WAR) [2003-2015*]
    DH Rafael Palmeiro, Cuba (10472 AB, 71.6 WAR) [1986-2005]
    RF Ichiro Suzuki, Japan (9362 AB, 59.9 WAR) [2001-2015*]
    CF Andruw Jones, Curacao (7599 AB, 62.8 WAR) [1996-2012]
    C Ivan Rodriguez, Puerto Rico (9592 AB, 68.4 WAR) [1991-2011]
    SS Edgar Renteria, Colombia (8142 AB, 32.1 WAR) [1996-2011]

    CF Devon White, Jamaica (7344 AB, 47.0 WAR) [1985-2001]
    2B Glenn Hubbard, Germany (4441 AB, 19.1 WAR) [1978-1989]
    OF John Anderson, Norway (6438 AB, 28.8 WAR) [1894-1908]
    RF Shin-Soo Choo, South Korea (4132 AB, 29.5 WAR) [2005-2015*]
    SS Xander Bogaerts, Aruba (1195 AB, 8.9 WAR) [2013-2015*]
    C Dave Nilsson, Australia (2779 AB, 10.5 WAR) [1992-1999]

    SP Bert Blyleven, Netherlands (4970 IP, 96.5 WAR) [1970-1992]
    SP Fergie Jenkins, Canada (4500 IP, 82.8 WAR) [1965-1983]
    SP Jim McCormick, UK (4275 IP, 75.5 WAR) [1878-1887]
    SP Tony Mullane, Ireland (4531 IP, 60.2 WAR) [1881-1894]
    SP Jack Quinn, Slovakia (3920 IP, 59.0 WAR) [1909-1933]
    P Dennis Martinez, Nicaragua (3999 IP, 49.5 WAR) [1976-1998]
    P Fernando Valenzuela, Mexico (2930 IP, 37.4 WAR) [1980-1997]
    P Al McBean, US Virgin I. (1072 IP, 13.6 WAR) [1961-1970]
    P Wei-Yin Chen, Taiwan (706 IP, 9.9 WAR) [2012-2015*]
    RP Moe Drabowsky, Poland (1641 IP, 19.9 WAR) [1956-1972]

    MGR Bruce Bochy, France

    • invitro says:

      I forgot something… Ruth is my #4 starter, Quinn goes to the bullpen. Also: anyone without Ruth on their team should immediately tie for last place, as they would if this were a real baseball series. And: I’m obviously assuming there is no drug testing in the World Baseball Classic.

  23. John Leavy says:

    Owner: Bob Hope (England)

    GM: Al Campanis (Greece)

    Manager: Bruce Bochy (France)


    Bert Blyleven (Netherlands)
    Fernando Valenzuela (Mexico)
    Dennis Martinez (Nicaragua)
    Tommy Bond (Ireland)
    Jack Quinn (Slovakia)


    Craig Lefferts (Germany)
    Chan Ho Park (South Korea)
    Danny Graves (Vietnam)
    Chien-Ming Wang (Taiwan)
    Otto Hess- Switzerland


    Pudge Rodriguez (Puerto Rico)
    Yan Gomes (Brazil)
    Eddie Ainsmith (Russia)


    Albert Pujols (1b – Dominican Republic)
    Rod Carew (2b – Panama)
    Miggy Cabrera (3b – Venezuela)
    Bert Campaneris (ssh – Cuba)
    Edgar Renteria (Colombia)
    Jimmy Austin- Wales


    Andrew Jones (lf – Curacao)
    Willie Mays (cf- USA)
    Ichiro Suzuki (rf – Japan)
    Larry Walker (DH – Canada)
    Chili Davis (Jamaica)
    Bobby Thomson (Scotland)

  24. Greg says:

    I accidentally did the Big Challenge with all active players. Had to take 2 minor league players (RP and backup OF) but still not bad.

    C Yan Gomes Brazil
    1B Joey Votto Canada
    2B Robinson Cano Dominican Republic
    3B Xander Bogaerts Aruba
    SS Didi Gregorius Netherlands
    LF Yoenis Cespedes Cuba
    CF Mike Trout USA
    RF Carlos Beltran Puerto Rico
    DH Miguel Cabrera Venezuela

    SP Jose Quintana Colombia
    RP Kenley Jansen Curacao

    C Christian Bethancourt Panama
    IF Cheslor Cuthbert Nicaragua
    IF Jung-Ho Kang South Korea
    OF Max Kepler Germany
    OF Gui Yuan Xu China

    SP Wei-Yin Chen Taiwan
    SP Marco Estrada Mexico
    SP Yu Darvish Japan
    SP Jarrel Cotton Virgin Islands

    RP Alex Wilson Saudi Arabia
    RP Austin Brice Hong Kong
    RP Liam Hendriks Australia
    RP Justin Masterson Jamaica
    RP Rinku Singh India

    Manager Bruce Bochy France

  25. bartap74 says:

    My lineup:

    1. Ichiro Suzuki LF (Japan)
    2. Rod Carew 2B(Panama)
    3. Roberto Clemente RF (Puerto Rico)
    4. Miguel Cabrera 3B (Valenzuela)
    5. Johnny Bench C (USA)
    6. Tony Perez 1B (Cuba)
    7. Chili Davis DH (Jamaica)
    8. Andruw Jones CF (Curucao)
    9. Edgar Renteria SS (Columbia)

    Bench position players:

    Bobby Thompson OF (UK)
    Xander Bogaerts IF (Aruba) [could wind up starting at SS)
    Horace Clarke IF (U.S. Virgin Islands)
    Dave Nilsson C (Australia)

    My rotation:

    1. Pedro Martinez (Dominican Republic)
    2. Fergie Jenkins (Canada)
    3. Bert Blyleven (Netherlands)
    4. Fernando Valenzuela (Mexico)
    5. Dennis Martinez P (Nicaragua)

    Bullpen (including some converted starters):

    Danny Graves RP (Vietnam)
    Byung-Hyun Kim RP (South Korea) [closer]
    Al McBean (U.S. Virgin Islands)
    Moe Drabowsky P (Poland)
    Alex Wilson P (Saudi Arabia)
    Jack Quinn P (Slovakia)
    Chien-Ming Wang P (Taiwan)

    Manager: Bruce Bochy (France)

  26. Robert Rittner says:

    I sent one in on that site but realize I made two egregious mistakes and send this one now.


    Fergie Jenkins, Canada
    Bert Blyleven, Netherlands
    Fernando Valenzuela, Mexico
    Yu Darvish, Japan
    Jack Quinn, Slovakia


    Graham Lloyd, Australia
    Danny Graves, Vietnam
    Moe Drabowsky, Poland
    Alex Wilson, Saudi Arabia
    Eric Erickson, Sweden
    Mariano Rivera, Panama


    C Elrod Hendricks, U.S. Virgin Islands
    C Eddie Ainsworth, Russia

    1B Tony Perez, Cuba
    2B Roberto Alomar, Puerto Rico
    3B Bobby Thompson, Scotland
    SS Xander Bogaerts, Aruba
    1B John Anderson, Norway
    UT Andre Rodgers, Bahamas

    LF Albert Pujols, Dominican Republic
    CF Andruw Jones, Curacao
    RF Babe Ruth, U.S.A.
    OF Gerald Young, Honduras
    OF Elmer Valo, Czechoslovakia
    DH Chili Davis, Jamaica

    Bruce Bochy, France

    Al Campanis, Greece

    I think it fair to roster both Jack Quinn, who was born in the Austro-Hungarian Empire, and Elmo Valo who was born in Czechoslovakia, even though both were born in the Slovakian part of each state.

    My big mistakes were forgetting that the U.S.A could count as a country and forgetting entirely about Valenzuela.

    • Robert Rittner says:

      My lineup would be:


    • Robert Rittner says:

      It’s Graeme. I chose him over Balfour to get a lefty reliever.

      On looking again, I would probably put in Dennis Martinez from Nicaragua and since he did relieve sometimes, move Quinn to the bullpen in place of Wilson or Erickson. A lot of posters made some terrific choices, and I might tweak my team a bit by stealing from them, but overall, I am pretty satisfied I have a solid team.

  27. Cuban X Senators says:

    All Territory Team (from a territory without full citizenship/enfranchisement in their nation):
    To make it more difficult I figure there are only 25 territories for 25 roster slots. (I’m actually cheating to get to 25 by dividing Dakota Territory as it was only divided in statehood, I believe). Maybe you’ll find others.

    C – Ivan Rodriguez, Puerto Rico
    C – Truck Hannah, (North) Dakota Territory
    1b – Jack Doyle, Ireland
    2b – Rod Carew, Panama (Canal Zone)
    3b – Art Devlin, District of Columbia (Don Money could fill this role too)
    SS – Andre Rogers, Bahamas
    LF – Hank Leiber, Arizona Territory
    CF – Andruw Jones, Curacao
    RF – Paul Waner, Oklahoma/Indian Territory
    Bench/DH – Chili Davis, Colony of Jamaica
    Bench – Horace Clarke, US Virgin Islands
    Bench – Tony Solaita, American Samoa
    Bench – Chito Martinez, British Honduras
    Bench – Charlie Abbie, Nebraska Territory
    Bench – John Hattig, Guam
    P – Ferguson Jenkins, Dominion of Canada
    P – Charlie Hough, Territory of Hawaii
    P – Jim Scott, (South) Dakota Territory
    P – Vean Gregg, Washington Territory
    P – Sidney Ponson, Aruba
    P – Cowboy Jones, Colorado Territory
    P – Roy Castleton, Utah Territory
    P – Austin Bryce, British Hong Kong
    P – John Closkey, Wyoming Territory

    • Kuz says:

      Very cool…like the territory concept.

    • Rower41 says:

      I like this territory idea as well. Well done. I’d probably add Charles Albert Bender as a starting pitcher, from the Minnesota (Ojibwa) territory. I think he threw a few complete games in the World Series.

  28. rick Vanian says:

    Does the USA count as two countries?

  29. PhilG says:

    Here’s my crack at it:

    Harry Wright, England – HOF manager from the very beginnings of baseball, starting in Cincinnati in 1869

    Catcher: Johnny Bench, USA – I ended up using US as the fill-in for the other positions I couldn’t fill in as well
    First Base: Rafael Palmeiro, Cuba – Hey, a switch-hitter with over 3,000 hits and over 500 home runs can play on my team
    Second Base: Roberto Alomar, Puerto Rico – Hated to not have Clemente here, but I needed a second baseman more than a right fielder
    Shortstop: Xander Bogaertes, Aruba – My Red Sox fandom is showing a bit here – hope his career continues on its great pace so far
    Third Base: Vinnie Castilla, Mexico – Seriously considered Beltre here and going with Fernandomania!
    Left Field: Chili Davis, Jamaica – Probably my DH in AL games; I worried about his defense, so…
    Center Field: Andruw Jones, Curacao – On the short list for best defensive outfielder of all time can fix that
    Right Field: Ichiro Suzuki, Japan – Agonized over Ichiro vs. Oh, until Joe said MLB only

    Catcher: Brucy Bochy, France – This team’s David Ross (or David Ross’s mentor, depending on point of view)
    C/1B/OF: Dave Nilsson, Australia – Good utility guy for our bench, plus the southern hemisphere is represented
    2B/SS: Orlando Cabrera, Columbia – Solid middle infielder to give Alomar and Bogaertes a breather
    RF/PH: Elmer Valo, Czech Republic – Baseball Reference lists his position as right field and pinch hitter, so on the bench he goes
    OF/1B: John Anderson, Norway – No worries for cold weather baseball with this guy
    OF/3B: Bobby Thompson, Scotland – Has the most famous home run on the team

    Starter: Pedro Martinez, Dominican Republic – To misquote a writer I admire, if my soul was on the line I’d want Pedro circa 1999/2000 to pitch for me
    Starter: Bert Blyleven, Netherlands – Follow up Pedro’s stuff with one of the best curveballs ever just seems cruel
    Starter: Fergus Jenkins, Canada – Hall of Fame pitcher for a #3 starter works
    Starter: Felix Hernandez, Venezuela – Soooo close to putting Johan Santana here
    Starter: Dennis Martinez, Nicaragua – You could do much worse for a #5 starter
    Relief: Tommy Bond, Ireland – 3-time 40 game winner, but we’ll put him in the pen so he doesn’t destroy his arm after seven years of abuse
    Relief: Moe Drabowski, Poland – Not a great starter, but an effective reliever in his 30s
    Relief: Pretzels Getzien, Germany – Who wouldn’t want a guy named Pretzels on their pitching staff?
    Relief: Jack Quinn, Slovakia – Eastern Europe is well represented in this bullpen – the Sour Krauts maybe? I’ll just let myself out…
    Relief: Alex Wilson, Saudi Arabia – He’s had a couple good years coming out of the pen, plus he gets the gas for the team bus
    Relief: Danny Graves, Vietnam – Solid closer for Cincinnati, 2-time All-Star and 182 saves
    Closer: Mariano Rivera, Panama – I’ll be surprised if anyone has anyone else closing for them

  30. Mike says:

    Big Challenge:

    C – Ivan Rodriguez (Puerto Rico)(R)
    1B – Albert Pujols (Domincan Republic)(can also play 3B or OF)(R)
    2B – Rod Carew (Panama Canal Zone*)(can also play 1B, or SS in a pinch)(L)
    3B – Miguel Cabrera (Venezuela)(R)
    SS – Xander Bogaerts (Aruba)(Can also play 3B)(R)
    LF – Devon White (Jamaica)(Switch)
    CF – Andruw Jones (Curacao)(R)
    RF – Ichiro Suzuki (Japan)(L)
    DH – Babe Ruth (US)(Can also pitch)(L)

    C2 – Elrod Hendricks (Virgin Islands)(L)
    Be – Shin-Soo Choo (South Korea)(Of)(L)
    Be – Elmer Valo (Slovakia)(Of)(L)
    Be – Edgar Renteria (Colombia)(SS)(R)

    SP1 – Ferguson Jenkins (Canada)(RHP)
    SP2 – Bert Blyleven (Netherlands)(RHP)
    SP3 – Luis Tiant (Cuba)(RHP)
    SP4 – Jim McCormick (Scotland)(RHP)
    SP5 – Tommy Bond (Ireland)(RHP)

    Long Relief/Spot Starter – Jack Quinn (Austria-Hungary)(RHP)
    Long Relief/Spot Starter – Dennis Martinez (Nicaragua)(RHP)
    Middle Relief – Alex Wilson (Saudi Arabia)(RHP)
    Middle Relief – Danny Graves (Vietnam)(RHP)
    Set-up – Grant Balfour (Australia)(RHP)
    Set-up – Joakim Soria (Mexico)(RHP)
    Closer – Mariano Rivera (Panama*)(RHP)

    Manager: Bruce Bochy (France)
    Team Statistician – Harry Wright (England)

  31. Mike says:

    Small Challenge:

    C- Yasmani Grandal (Cuba)
    1B – Joey Votto (Canada)
    2B – Jose Altuve (Venezuela)
    3B – Adrian Beltre (Domincan Republic)
    SS – Carlos Correa (Puerto Rico)
    LF – Max Kepler (Germany)
    CF – Mike Trout (US)
    RF – Shin-Soo Choo (S. Korea)
    DH – Xander Bogaerts (Aruba)

    Pinch Hitter: Nori Aoki (Japan)

    SP – Jose Quintana (Colombia)
    Set-up: Peter Moylan (Australia)
    Set-up: Alex Wilson (Saudi Arabia)
    Loogy: Wei-Yin Chen (Taiwan)
    Closer: Kenley Jansen (Curacao)

    (I’m pretty certain this is the only correct answer)

  32. […] great Joe Posnanski recently challenged his readers to make a lineup using an active player from a different country at each spot. No country can be […]

  33. Tom says:

    Small challenge:

    Joey Votto Canada 1b
    Jose Altuve Venezuela 2b
    Carlos Correa PR SS
    Adrian Beltre DR 3b
    Yasmani Granda Cuba C
    Paulo Orlando Brazil RF
    Mike Trout USA CF
    Ichiro Suzuki Japan LF
    Xander Bogaerts Aruba DH
    Jose Quintana Columbia SP
    Kenley Jansen Curacao RP
    Bruce Bochy France Manager

    This was an interesting exercise in compromise. The keys for me were Altuve, Trout and Beltre the rest could be moved around various ways.

  34. Tom says:

    My all time team (starters first)

    1b Miguel Cabrera, Venezuela (also plays 3b)
    2b Rod Carew, Panama (also plays 1b), Glenn Hubbard, Germany
    SS Bert Campaneris, Cuba (also plays everywhere), Edgar Renteria, Columbia
    3b Adrian Beltre, DR
    C Pudge Rodriguez, PR; Dave Nilsson, Australia
    OF Babe Ruth, USA (also pitches); Ichiro Suzuki, Japan; Andruw Jones, Curacao; Shin Soo Choo, S. Korea; Devon White, Jamaica; Elmer Valo, Czeck Republic; John Anderson Norway (also plays 1b)
    P (first 5 are starters) Bert Blylevin, Netherlands; Fergie Jenkins, Canada; Dennis Martinez, Nicaragua; Fernando Valenzuela, Mexico; Jim McCormick, Scotland; Chien-Ming Wang, Taiwan; Tony Mullane, Ireland; Jack Quinn, Slovakie; Sydney Ponson, Aruba; Al McBean, U.S. Virgin Islands
    Bruce Bochy, France, Manager

    Very educational exercise! Thanks Joe

  35. Owen says:

    Current team:
    CF Mike Trout (USA)
    SS Xander Bogaerts (Aruba)
    1B Joey Votto (Canada)
    DH Miguel Cabrera (Venezuela)
    C Yasmani Grandal (Cuba)
    LF Starling Marte (DR)
    2B Javier Baez (Puerto Rico)
    3B Jung-Ho Kang (South Korea)
    RF Paulo Orlando (Brazil)
    SP Jose Quintana (Colombia)
    CL Kenley Jansen (Curacao)

    All-Time 25-Man Roster
    C Ivan Rodriguez (Puerto Rico)
    1B Miguel Cabrera (Venezuela)
    2B Edgar Renteria (Colombia)
    3B Xander Bogaerts (Aruba)
    SS Bert Campaneris (Cuba)
    LF Barry Bonds (USA)
    CF Andruw Jones (Curacao)
    RF Ichiro Suzuki (Japan)
    DH Bobby Thomson (Scotland)

    C Yan Gomes (Brazil)
    1/3 Jack Doyle (Ireland)
    2/S Horace Clarke (USVI)
    OF Devon White (Jamaica)
    OF Ed Armbrister (Bahamas)

    SP Pedro Martinez (DR)
    SP Fergie Jenkins (Canada)
    SP Bert Blyleven (Netherlands)
    SP Dennis Martinez (Nicaragua)
    SP Fernando Valenzuela (Mexico)

    RP Jack Quinn (Slovakia)
    RP Grant Balfour (Australia)
    RP Edwin Jackson (Germany)
    RP Wei-Yin Chen (Taiwan)
    RP Danny Graves (Vietnam)
    CL Mariano Rivera (Panama)

    MGR Bruce Bochy (France)

    In retrospect, I should have opted for Shin-Soo Choo over Armbrister as one of my outfield options. The toughest decision was Bonds/Ruth/Mays for my American player, and the second-toughest was Campaneris over Jose Fernandez (whom I believe would have been an all-time great had he lived) for Cuba, but which allowed me to pick Dennis Martinez instead of Everth Cabrera for Nicaragua. The total WAR of my roster is 1151.2, and would have been 1180.8 if I had gone with Choo instead of Armbrister.

  36. Paul says:


    When are you going to post the results? I have a very interested 9yr old who built a team…

  37. […] two weeks ago, I posted a challenge from baseball writer Joe Posnanski to his […]

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