Research, Publications, and Presentations




2023 MLB All-Star Game

by Marissa Kiss, PhD & James Witte, PhD

July 2023

When the American League and National League took the field for the 2023 All-Star Game, just over half (55.9%) of players who played were born in the United States, 42.4% of players were foreign-born, and 1.7% were born in a U.S. Territory. While we have argued that the team that plays the most foreign-born players will win the Midsummer Classic, that did not hold true this year when the National League beat the American League 3 to 2. However, when examining the batting output, foreign-born players stepped up to the plate and had the majority of the hits and runs scored. 

2023 World Baseball Classic

by Marissa Kiss, PhD & James Witte, PhD

April 2023

This commentary piece highlights that while the World Baseball Classic (WBC) is billed as a competition that pits the best players from 20 nations against one another, U.S. born players dominated several national team rosters and were found on the rosters of 15 of the other national teams. In this piece, the authors discuss the role of immigration policy and the rules that govern pathways to citizenship in each country and MLB’s financial interests and investments in growing the game as two reasons why there is a large presence of U.S. born players in the 2023 WBC.

MLB Hall of Fame

MLB Hall of Fame Inductees: 1936-2022

by Marissa Kiss, PhD

January 2023

This commentary provides an overview of the demographic make up of MLB Hall of Fame inductees. Since 1936, 92.6% of players inducted into the MLB Hall of Fame were born in the United States, 1.5% were born in a U.S. Territory, and 5.9% were born abroad. Regardless of birthplace, nearly one-quarter (23%) of inductees were minority players, managers, pioneers, executives, or umpires. The MLB we see today would not be shaped without the immigrant and non-immigrant and minority individuals and activists who laid the foundation and who envisioned a more inclusive and diverse sport.

World Series Tropy

2022 MLB Post Season

by Marissa Kiss, PhD & James Witte, PhD

October 2022

This commentary examines the impact of foreign-born players during the 2022 MLB post season. At the start of the 2022 MLB Season, 28% of MLB players were born in countries and territories outside the contiguous United States. During the post season and in the World Series, nearly one-third of players were born abroad. Foreign-born players played a key role in teams’ success not only during the regular season, but in the post season as well.


Immigration, Athletes, War, and Exclusion

by Michele Waslin, PhD

April 2022

This commentary examines recent efforts to ban Russian and Belarussian athletes from competing in international events and asks whether the US should ban these athletes from playing on American professional teams. It concludes that any attempt to prohibit current athletes from playing on American teams or to deport them from the United States would be very difficult and contrary to U.S. values.

opening day

3 Ways Major League Baseball's New 2022-2026 Collective Bargaining Agreement Impacts International Players

by Marissa Kiss, PhD

April 2022

More than one-quarter of MLB players and nearly half of all minor league players are foreign born. This commentary examines how the new CBA will have a significant impact on immigrant players' salaries and working conditions.



webinar flyer

Immigrants, Athletes, and Inclusion

In June 2022, the IIR sponsored a webinar in which experts discussed the benefits of inclusiveness in sports, and how immigrant athletes can promote greater understanding and acceptance of immigrants in the United States.


  • Marissa Kiss, Institute for Immigration Research
  • Earl Smith, Professor of Women and Gender Studies, University of Delaware
  • Michele Waslin, Institute for Immigration Research
  • James Witte, Institute for Immigration Research

Immigrants, Athletes, and Inclusion


In October 2021, Dr. James Witte, Dr. Marissa Kiss, and Dr. Michele Waslin presented the IIR's work on immigrants, sports, and inclusion at the online Public Sociology Conference. You can access the link here and watch the presentation.

Research, Publications, and Reports



The Streak(s) Continue: Immigrant Players Bring Baseball Victories 

With its 4-3 victory the American League continues its recent dominance of the All Star Game, but despite the greater number of foreign born players on the National League roster, it was actually the American League team that played the greatest number of immigrant All-Stars, nine to the National League’s eight.


Predicting the Outcome of the 2019 MLB All-Star Game: Immigrant Ball Players Are a Key Factor

With this year’s game coming July 9, die-hard fans, inquiring minds and hopeful gamblers want to know who will win: the National League or the American League? Our answer? The team that plays the greatest percentage of foreign-born players.


Immigrants in Sports

Baseball: The (Inter) National Pastime

This report looks at foreign-born players in Major League Baseball and highlights two examples—the 2017 All Star Game and the Division leading, Washington Nationals—to illustrate how changes in professional sports mirror and foreshadow the broader impact of demographic change and increasing globalization.

 Hot in Cleveland

Hot in Cleveland: What Kept Cleveland's Winning Streak Cooking? U.S. Born Pitchers and Foreign-Born Hitters

Overall, 90 percent of Cleveland Indians' pitchers are born in the United States, and 90 percent are white. However, this number changes when you look at the starting pitchers; two-thirds of the starting pitchers for the Cleveland Indians are born in the United States and one-third are foreign-born.