MLB Players From Atlantic Canada

 

Pop Smith

Pop Smith of Digby, Nova Scotia

The following is a list of all players born in Atlantic Canada who have played in the Major Leagues.  Information includes player name, position(s), birthplace and MLB teams played for.  Some players have additional information.  An asterisk next to the team name indicates the team was a member of the Union Association, which some historians do not consider a major league.  All players are linked to their Major League profile on Baseball Reference.

  1. Bill Phillips, 1B – Saint John, New Brunswick – Cleveland Blues, 1879-84; Brooklyn Grays, 1885-87; Kansas City Cowboys, 1888
  2. Pop Smith, 2B/SS – Digby, Nova Scotia – Cincinnati Reds, 1880; Cleveland Blues, 1881; Buffalo Bisons, 1881; Worcester Ruby Legs, 1881; Philadelphia Athletics, 1882; Louisville Eclipse, 1882; Columbus Buckeyes, 1883-84; Pittsburgh Alleghenys, 1885-89; Boston Beaneaters, 1889-90; Washington Statesmen, 1891
  3. George Wood, LF – Pownal, Prince Edward Island – Worcester Ruby Legs, 1880; Detroit Wolverines, 1881-85; Philadelphia Quakers, 1886-89; Baltimore Orioles, 1889, 1892; Philadelphia Athletics, 1890-91; Cincinnati Reds 1892
  4. John Doyle, P – Halifax, Nova Scotia – St. Louis Brown Stockings, 1882
  5. Henry Mullin, CF – Saint John, New Brunswick – Washington Nationals, 1884; *Boston Reds, 1884
  6. Henry Oxley, C – Covehead, Prince Edward Island – New York Gothams, 1884; New York Metropolians, 1884
  7. Patrick Scanlan, LF – Halifax, Nova Scotia – *Boston Reds, 1884
  8. Jim McKeever, C/RF – Saint John, New Brunswick – *Boston Reds, 1884
  9. Fred Lake, C/1B/OF – Cornwallis, Nova Scotia – Boston Beaneaters, 1891, 1897; Pittsburgh Pirates, 1898; Boston Doves 1910 [managed the Red Sox in 1908-09 and the Doves (Braves) in 1910]
  10. John O’Brien, 2B – Saint John, New Brunswick – Brooklyn Grooms, 1891; Chicago Colts, 1893; Louisville Colonels, 1895-96; Washington Senators, 1896-97; Baltimore Orioles, 1899; Pittsburgh Pirates 1899
  11. Pat Hannivan, OF/2B – Halifax, Nova Scotia – Brooklyn Bridegrooms, 1897
  12. Bill Magee, P – New Brunswick – Louisville Colonels, 1897-99; Philadelphia Phillies, 1899; Washington Senators, 1899
  13. Larry McLean, C/1B – Fredericton, New Brunswick – Boston Americans, 1901; Chicago Cubs, 1903; St. Louis Cardinals, 1904, 1913; Cincinnati Reds, 1906-12; New York Giants, 1913-15
  14. Bill O’Neill, OF – Saint John, New Brunswick – Boston Americans, 1904; Washington Senators, 1904; Chicago White Sox, 1906
  15. Gene Ford, P – Milton, Nova Scotia – Detroit Tigers, 1905
  16. Art McGovern, C – Saint John, New Brunswick – Boston Americans, 1905
  17. Jack Cameron, C – Sydney, Nova Scotia – Boston Beaneaters, 1906
  18. Bill Jones, CF – Hartland, New Brunswick – Boston Rustlers/Braves, 1911-12
  19. Tom Daly, C/OF – Saint John, New Brunswick – Chicago White Sox, 1913-15; Cleveland Indians, 1916; Chicago Cubs, 1918-21
  20. Shorty Dee, SS/3B – Halifax, Nova Scotia – St. Louis Browns, 1915
  21. Jim Riley, 2B/1B – Bayfield, New Brunswick – St. Louis Browns, 1921; Washington Senators, 1923 [only athlete to ever play in both the NHL & MLB]
  22. Vince Shields, P/PR – Fredericton, New Brunswick – St. Louis Cardinals, 1924
  23. Ty LaForest, 3B/OF/SS – Edmundston, New Brunswick – Boston Red Sox, 1945
  24. Bill Harris, P – Duguayville, New Brunswick – Brooklyn Dodgers, 1957; Los Angeles Dodgers, 1959
  25. Vern Handrahan, P – Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island – Kansas City Athletics, 1964, 1966
  26. Paul Hodgson, LF – Fredericton, New Brunswick (born in Montréal, PQ) – Toronto Blue Jays, 1980
  27. Rick Lisi, RF – Halifax, Nova Scotia – Texas Rangers, 1981
  28. Vince Horsman, P – Halifax, Nova Scotia – Toronto Blue Jays, 1991; Oakland Athletics, 1992-94; Minnesota Twins, 1995
  29. Rheal Cormier, P – Moncton, New Brunswick – St. Louis Cardinals, 1991-91; Boston Red Sox, 1995, 1999-2000; Montreal Expos, 1996-97; Philadelphia Phillies, 2001-06; Cincinnati Reds, 2006-07
  30. Matt Stairs, OF/PH/1B – Saint John, New Brunswick – Montreal Expos, 1992-93; Boston Red Sox, 1995; Oakland Athletics, 1996-2000; Chicago Cubs, 2001; Milwaukee Brewers, 2002; Pittsburgh Pirates, 2003; Kansas City Royals, 2004-06; Texas Rangers, 2006; Detroit Tigers, 2006; Toronto Blue Jays, 2007-08; Philadelphia Phillies, 2008-09; San Diego Padres, 2010; Washington Nationals, 2011
  31. Jason Dickson, P – Miramchi, New Brunswick (born in London, ON) – California/Anaheim Angels, 1996-98, 2000 (selected to American League All-Star team in 1997)

In total 31 Atlantic Canadians have played in the Major Leagues (including the Union Association).

Some breakdowns of the numbers:
By province:
New Brunswick: 18 (including Jason Dickson & Paul Hodgson)
Nova Scotia: 10
Prince Edward Island: 3
Newfoundland & Labrador: 0

By position:
(numbers will add up to over 31 due to players playing multiple positions)
1B: 5
2B: 4
SS: 3
3B: 2
OF: 6 (not specified)
LF: 3
CF: 2
RF: 2
C: 6
P: 9

Decade broke in to the Majors:
1870’s: 1
1880’s: 7
1890’s: 4
1900’s: 5
1910’s: 3
1920’s: 2
1930’s: 0
1940’s: 1
1950’s: 1
1960’s: 1
1970’s: 0
1980’s: 2
1990’s: 4
2000’s: 0
2010’s: 0 (so far)

Last Atlantic Canadian to make his Major League debut was Jason Dickson in 1996 (Angels).  Last Atlantic-born player to debut in the Majors was Matt Stairs back in 1992 (Expos).  Over half, 19 to be precise, of Atlantic-born MLB players made their debuts over one century ago.  Judging by the information on these players on Baseball Reference, many either played MLB in Boston or Worcester, minor leagues in New England or died/buried in New England.  This tells us either the area was heavily scouted by New England area teams of the time or many of these players moved in the area when they were children/teenagers.  Only six of the 31 players have made their MLB debuts within the last 50 years of this writing (September 2014).  Hard to believe during the 1997 MLB season, New Brunswick had more players in the Majors than any other province (Stairs, Cormier and Dickson).  It would certainly be nice to add more names to this list in the coming years.  Perhaps a pro team in the region could spur more youth to either take up the game or if they’re already playing to take it more seriously.

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