Foreign Born Players for Knoxville

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From 1897 to 1965 there were 20 different foreign born ball players associated with Knoxville teams according to info at Baseball-Reference.com. Not all info is complete so I expect there might be more.

  • 9 players from Canada
  • 5 players from Cuba
  • 1 player from Germany
  • 1 player from Greece
  • 1 player from Italy
  • 1 player from Panama
  • 1 player from Puerto Rico
  • 1 player from Venezuela


Phil Nadeau - born in Montreal, Quebec, Canada in 1872

  • Played outfield for the 1909 Charleston Seagulls / Knoxville Appalachians of the South Atlantic League
  • His minor league career spanned from 1894 to 1914

Dutch Schesler - born in Frankfort, Germany in 1900

  • Pitched for the 1936 Knoxville Smokies of the Southern Association
  • His minor league career spanned from 1920 to 1943
  • He played 17 games for the 1931 Philadelphia Phillies

Jack Aragon - born in La Habana, Cuba in 1915

  • Played catcher for the 1939 Knoxville Smokies of the Southern Association
  • He was back with the 1950 and 1951 Knoxville Smokies as both player and manager
  • His minor league career spanned from 1937 to 1951
  • He played 1 game for the 1941 New York Giants

Earl Cook - born in Stouffville, Ontario, Canada in 1908

  • Pitched for the 1941 Knoxville Smokies of the Southern Association
  • His minor league career spanned from 1932 to 1946
  • He played 1 game for the 1941 Detroit Tigers

Al Campanis - born in Kos, Dodescanese, Greece in 1916

  • Played infield for the 1942 Knoxville Smokies of the Southern Association
  • His minor league career spanned from 1940 to 1948
  • He played 7 games for the 1943 Brooklyn Dodgers

Lou Polli - born in Baveno, Italy in 1901

  • Pitched for the 1942 Knoxville Smokies of the Southern Association
  • His minor league career spanned from 1922 to 1945
  • He played 5 games for the 1932 St. Louis Browns
  • He played 19 games for the 1944 New York Giants

William Casanova - born in Windsor, Ontario, Canada in 1930

  • Played outfield for the 1956 Montgomery Rebels / Knoxville Smokies of the South Atlantic League
  • His minor league career spanned from 1951 to 1956

Jacques Monette - born in Montreal, Quebec, Canada in 1930

  • Played outfield for the 1956 Montgomery Rebels / Knoxville Smokies of the South Atlantic League
  • Played outfield for the 1957 Knoxville Smokies of the South Atlantic League
  • His minor league career spanned from 1950 to 1958

Bill Diemer - born in Woodslee, Ontario, Canada in 1931

  • Pitched for the 1957 Knoxville Smokies of the South Atlantic League
  • His minor league career spanned from 1951 to 1957

Dave Roberts - born in Panama in 1933

  • Played for the 1957 Knoxville Smokies of the South Atlantic League
  • His minor league career spanned from 1952 to 1966
  • He played for three seasons in the Majors (Houston and Pittsburgh)
  • He later played for seven seasons in two different Japanese Leagues

Arnold Hallgren - born in Winfield, Alberta, Canada in 1933

  • Played outfield for the 1959 Knoxville Smokies of the South Atlantic League
  • His minor league career spanned from 1952 to 1961

John Ryan - born in Oshawa, Ontario, Canada in 1939

  • Played infield for the 1961, 1962, and 1963 Knoxville Smokies of the South Atlantic League
  • His minor league career spanned from 1960 to 1971

The 1963 season saw six foreign born players. The Smokies were part of the Detroit Tigers’ organization.

  • Pete Craig - Canada
  • Mike Cuellar - Cuba
  • Ricardo Delgado - Puerto Rico
  • Chico Fernandez - Cuba
  • Larry Rojas - Cuba
  • John Ryan - Canada

The 1964 season saw two foreign born players. The Smokies (Southern League) were part of the Detroit Tigers’ organization.

  • John Hiller - Canada
  • Larry Rojas - Cuba

The 1965 season saw two foreign born players. The Smokies (Southern League) were part of the Cincinnati Reds’ organization.

  • Rogelio Alvarez - Cuba
  • Francisco Obregon - born in Caracas, Venezuela in 1936