Between 1998 and 2005, the percentage of foreign-born players on opening-day rosters increased by nearly 9 percent, to 29.2 from 20.3, with the Dominican Republic producing 91 of the 242 players born outside the United States. Venezuela vaulted ahead of Puerto Rico for second place in 2004 and should remain there again this season.
Since Omar Minaya was named general manager of the Mets in September 2004, he has been unabashed in his enthusiasm to make the Mets a brand name in Hispanic communities within and outside of New York. It is a shrewd decision, from a marketing standpoint and a practical one. Attracting big-name Hispanic players like Pedro Martínez and Carlos Beltran to New York has not only improved the on-field product, but also enlarged the fan base.