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MLB London Series: Former MLB Players Born in the UK

 Alex Gary  |    Jun 5th, 2024 10:07am EDT

Photo Courtesy of MLB.com

The MLB is headed to England later this week as the New York Mets and Philadelphia Phillies square off in the MLB’s London Series on June 8th. In honor of this exciting event, let’s look back at some of the best players in professional baseball who hail from the United Kingdom.

Tommy Bond

Photo courtesy of the Society for American Baseball Research

Tommy Bond was born in Granard, Ireland, in 1856 and moved to the United States in 1862. Bond began his professional career in 1874 with the Brooklyn Atlantics in the National Association. In his debut, Bond established himself as a threat on the mound and the plate, a trend that would continue all season long. Later in the season, he took a no-hitter into the ninth inning before being broken up, marking the closest anyone had ever been to a no-hitter in professional baseball up to that point. Bond would work around the league playing for the Hartford Dark Blues, Boston Red Caps, Worcester Ruby Legs, Boston Reds, and the Indianapolis Hoosiers. He finishes his career with an ERA of 2.14 in 417 games played.

Jim McCormick

Photo courtesy of the Society for American Baseball Research

Jim McCormick was born in Glasgow, Scotland, in 1856 and moved to the United States in 1865. When he made his professional baseball debut in 1878, he became the first player of Scottish descent to appear in a major league game. He threw a fierce fastball and became one of the first pitchers in the majors to master the curveball. Though injuries plagued much of McCormick’s career, he played for ten seasons. McCormick would work his way around the league playing for the Indianapolis Blues, Cleveland Blues, Cincinnati Outlaw Reds, Chicago White Stockings, Providence Grays, and Allegheny City. He finished his career with an ERA of 2.43 in 492 games played. Despite ranking 35th on the Jaffe Wins Above Replacement Score (JAWS), McCormick has not been recognized in the Baseball Hall of Fame.

Danny Cox

Photo courtesy of the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame

Danny Cox was born in Southampton, England, in 1959 before coming to the United States. Cox would play college ball at Troy University before being selected by the St. Louis Cardinals in the 1981 MLB draft. Cox pitched in numerous NL championship games and World Series games with the Cardinals and Blue Jays, including a shutout in Game 7 of the 1987 National League Championship Series. Cox would finish his career with a 3.64 (ERA), 21 complete games, five shutouts and eight saves.

Lance Painter

Lance Painter is one of the most recent players from the United Kingdom to make it to the pros. Painter was born in 1967 in Bedford, England. He played college baseball at the University of Wisconsin. Painter was on one of the last Division One teams at the University of Wisconsin before the school cut the program for financial reasons. In 1990, Painter was drafted by the San Diego Padres but bounced around the league playing for the Rockies, Cardinals, Blue Jays, and Brewers. Painter had a solid career with 331 Ks, a WHIP of 1.50, and an ERA of 5.24. Painter retired in 2003 and went on to serve as the pitching coach for Great Britain during the 2005 European championship.

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Alex Gary