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.

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

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