Curaçao producing big league talent
6 Images

Curaçao, a Dutch Caribbean island, known for its beaches, is producing big league talent

Curaçao producing big league talent
A cruise ship rises just beyond the left-field foul line of CuracaoÕs largest ballpark. (Kevin Baxter / Los Angeles Times)
Curaçao producing big league talent

Despite a population of just 160,000, less than the city of Santa Clarita, Curacao has sent 14 players to the big leagues since 2000, the most per capita of any country. Another 25 players were on minor league rosters for opening day last spring.

 (Kevin Baxter / Los Angeles Times)
Curaçao producing big league talent
Thousands of kids play baseball in Curacao nowadays, frequently on dirt fields littered with rocks.  (Kevin Baxter / Los Angeles Times)
Curaçao producing big league talent
Thousands of kids play baseball in Curacao nowadays, frequently on dirt fields littered with rocks.  (Kevin Baxter / Los Angeles Times)
Curaçao producing big league talent

Despite a population of just 160,000, less than the city of Santa Clarita, Curacao has sent 14 players to the big leagues since 2000, the most per capita of any country. Another 25 players were on minor league rosters for opening day last spring.

 (Kevin Baxter / Los Angeles Times)
Curaçao producing big league talent

When Andruw Jones signed with the Atlanta Braves in 1993, there were about 200 youths playing organized baseball in Curacao. At the time of his major league debut, three years later, there were nearly 1,000.

 (Kevin Baxter / Los Angeles Times)
1/6