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Thread: MLB players of eastern european descent?

  1. #1

    MLB players of eastern european descent?

    Have there been MLB players of eastern european descent(not only direct from there also guys from the early immigration waves in the US in the 19th century)?
    For example many great players are of german descent(wagner, gehrig, ruth, mauer, greinke...) or italian names(di maggio, piazza...) but I can't recall any eastern european names. Of course there are less eastern european immigrants, but there was still a fair share of e. european immigrants. So are there any players of eastern european descent?(think about names that end with ...ov, ...ik or ...ski)

  2. #2
    Some Germans and some Jews immigrated to the United States from eastern Europe. I suppose that the question means to skip them and also to skip Greeks and Turks and Armenians and Finns and Estonians, leaving Slavic peoples and their neighbors between the Baltic, Adriatic, and Caspian Seas (Slavs, Balts, Magyar Hungarians, Romanians & Moldavans, Albanians, Georgians, Armenians --but Armenians emigrated to America mainly from Turkey and further South).

    There have been "many" players of such eastern European descent in the major leagues, although many fewer than German-Americans.

    Some fairly well known
    Elmer Valo
    Lou Novikoff
    Harry and Stan Coveleski (born Kowalewski)
    Stan Musial (born Stanisław Franciszek and called Stashu by his Polish immigrant father Lukasz --wikipedia)
    Whitey Kurowski

    There were other teammates of Musial and Kurowski on the 1946 St. Louis Cardinals (at bb-ref).

    Steve Bedrosian is Armenian-American.


    For birthplaces see MLB players by place of birth at baseball-reference. It would be interesting to know which of the foreign-born players during are the sons of US diplomats, military personnel, and civilian employees of the armed forces --the children of the empire.
    Last edited by Paul Wendt; 03-18-2010 at 11:28 AM.

  3. #3
    Baseball is not played much by natives of eastern Europe and there are not many US military bases there.

    In contrast basketball is a national sport at least in Lithuania and former Yugoslavia, and the NBA is "full of" players born in eastern Europe.

    Basketball-reference lists four players born in Georgia.
    Those listings by birthplace also show about forty in ex-Yugoslavia, eight in Lithuania, two in Latvia, six in Russia.
    Last edited by Paul Wendt; 03-18-2010 at 11:29 AM.

  4. #4
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    Steve Dalkowski was/is second generation Polish. His father had been born in Poland, I know, and I'm fairly sure his mother was, as well.
    "They put me in the Hall of Fame? They must really be scraping the bottom of the barrel!"
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  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Wendt View Post
    Baseball is not played much by natives of eastern Europe and there are not many US military bases there.

    In contrast basketball is a national sport at least in Lithuania and former Yugoslavia, and the NBA is "full of" players born in eastern Europe.

    Basketball-reference lists four players born in Georgia.
    Those listings by birthplace also show about forty in ex-Yugoslavia, eight in Lithuania, two in Latvia, six in Russia.
    of course but I was also talking about eastern europeans ho immigrated several generations ago. those should have adopted the american lifestyle, shouldn't they?

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dalkowski110 View Post
    Steve Dalkowski was/is second generation Polish. His father had been born in Poland, I know, and I'm fairly sure his mother was, as well.
    What happened to all the Polish players in baseball? It seems in the 1950s-1960s, the sport was littered with them, but you don't really see many Polish names in baseball anymore.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by DaClyde View Post
    What happened to all the Polish players in baseball? It seems in the 1950s-1960s, the sport was littered with them, but you don't really see many Polish names in baseball anymore.
    In some people's minds, one is enough. I love the White Sox, though, so I wish there were more.

  8. #8
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    A couple of LA Dodgers come to mind:

    Dick Tracewski & Ron Perronowski

  9. #9
    Eddie Waitkus

    Ray Narleski

    Rip Repulski

    Andy Pafko

    Andy Seminick

    Joe Vosmik

    Greg Luzinski

    and Ted Kluszewski! Who could forget Big Klu!


    there do seem to be fewer right now, for some reason.
    Last edited by westsidegrounds; 05-28-2010 at 04:27 PM. Reason: remembered another guy. And another! I'm gonna stop now.

  10. #10
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    Excuse me? Al" The Mad Hungarian" Hraboski anyone?
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    Strikeouts are boring! Besides that, they're fascist. Throw some ground balls - it's more democratic.-Crash Davis

  11. #11
    Cass Michaels

  12. #12
    Al Simmons was Polish. His birth name was Aloys Szymanski.

  13. #13
    Jack Quinn- born Johannes Pajkos- was a fine pitcher who won 247 ML games. He was born in the Hungarian section of the Austro-Hungarian Empire.

  14. #14
    Johnny Pesky, perhaps? If I remember correctly his name was originally something like Peskowicz, or Peskovich or something of the sort.

  15. #15
    Frankie Zak, 1944-46 Pirates and 1944 All-Star was 2nd generation Polish decent. As a side note, the town of Kutno in the center of Poland has Stan Musial Stadium and is home to European Little League. I've been there and it is a huge complex that hosts the championships every year.

    Other players of Eastern European decent:
    Joe Medwick (Hungarian)
    Johnny Podres (Polish)
    Pete Appleton (Polish and played the first few seasons as Peter Jablonowski)

  16. #16
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    OK, time for a list-

    Polish-Americans-

    Joe Borowski
    Stan Coveleski
    Moe Drabowsky
    Steve Gromek
    Mark Grudzielanek
    Ray Jablonski
    Ted Kluszewski
    Whitey Kurowski
    Tony Kubek
    Eddie Lopat
    Stan Lopata
    Greg Luzinski
    Phil Mankowski
    Bill Mazeroski
    Barney McCosky
    Doug Mientkiewicz
    Stan Musial
    Joe Niekro
    Phil Niekro
    Freddie Patek
    Tom Paciorek
    Ron Perranoski
    A.J. Pierzynski
    Johnny Podres
    Jack Quinn
    Ron Reed
    Al Simmons
    Moose Skowron
    Frank Tanana
    Alan Trammell
    Carl Yastrzemski
    Richie Zisk

    Albanian-Americans

    Lee Elia

    Armenian-Americans

    Steve Bedrosian
    Chuck Essegian

    Croatian-Americans

    Bobby Grich
    Tom Haller
    Curtis Leskanic
    Mickey Lolich
    Roger Maris
    Erv Palich
    Dan Plesac

    Hungarian-Americans

    Al Hrabosky
    Charles Nagy

    Romanian-Americans

    Kevin Youkilis
    Tim Wallach

    Serbian-Americans

    Walt Dropo
    Eli Grba
    Mike Kekich
    Doc Medich
    Johnny Miljus
    Pete Vuckovich

    Slovak-Americans

    Andy Kosco
    Johnny Kucab
    George Shuba

    Slovenian-American

    Luke Hochevar
    Wally Judnich
    Joe Kuhel

    Turkish-Americans

    Chris Basak

    Greek-Americans

    Clay Bellinger
    Al Campanis
    Alex Grammas
    Eric Karros
    Bobby Kingsbury
    Billy Loes
    Nick Markakis
    Tino Martinez (Greek Mother)
    Aaron Miles (Paternal Grandmother)
    Gus Niarhos
    Milt Pappas
    George Theodore
    Gus Triandos
    Clint Zavaras

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    I think the Pirates signed a kid from Belarus.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Richard View Post
    I think the Pirates signed a kid from Belarus.
    http://www.baseballeurope.com/345/?tx_ttnews[tt_news]=1100&tx_ttnews[backPid]=15&cHash=11865c65ae
    The only thing you know is you never know and that you know for sure!

  19. #19
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    Joe Slusarski's dad was born in Poland.

    Harry Fanok was Ukrainian on his dad's side (two generations before the family moved from the Austro-Hungarian Empire) and Polish on his mother's.

  20. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by stejay View Post
    OK, time for a list-

    Polish-Americans-

    Joe Borowski
    Stan Coveleski
    Moe Drabowsky
    Steve Gromek
    Mark Grudzielanek
    Ray Jablonski
    Ted Kluszewski
    Whitey Kurowski
    Tony Kubek
    Eddie Lopat
    Stan Lopata
    Greg Luzinski
    Phil Mankowski
    Bill Mazeroski
    Barney McCosky
    Doug Mientkiewicz
    Stan Musial
    Joe Niekro
    Phil Niekro
    Freddie Patek
    Tom Paciorek
    Ron Perranoski
    A.J. Pierzynski
    Johnny Podres
    Jack Quinn
    Ron Reed
    Al Simmons
    Moose Skowron
    Frank Tanana
    Alan Trammell
    Carl Yastrzemski
    Richie Zisk

    Albanian-Americans

    Lee Elia

    Armenian-Americans

    Steve Bedrosian
    Chuck Essegian

    Croatian-Americans

    Bobby Grich
    Tom Haller
    Curtis Leskanic
    Mickey Lolich
    Roger Maris
    Erv Palich
    Dan Plesac

    Hungarian-Americans

    Al Hrabosky
    Charles Nagy

    Romanian-Americans

    Kevin Youkilis
    Tim Wallach

    Serbian-Americans

    Walt Dropo
    Eli Grba
    Mike Kekich
    Doc Medich
    Johnny Miljus
    Pete Vuckovich

    Slovak-Americans

    Andy Kosco
    Johnny Kucab
    George Shuba

    Slovenian-American

    Luke Hochevar
    Wally Judnich
    Joe Kuhel

    Turkish-Americans

    Chris Basak

    Greek-Americans

    Clay Bellinger
    Al Campanis
    Alex Grammas
    Eric Karros
    Bobby Kingsbury
    Billy Loes
    Nick Markakis
    Tino Martinez (Greek Mother)
    Aaron Miles (Paternal Grandmother)
    Gus Niarhos
    Milt Pappas
    George Theodore
    Gus Triandos
    Clint Zavaras
    Please refer to my post #13. Jack Quinn was not Polish- he was born in the Hungarian section of the Austro-Hungarian Empire.

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