Padres’ Nabil Crismatt, Jorge Alfaro make MLB history as first Colombian battery
The San Diego Padres won their Sunday finale against the Arizona Diamondbacks, but the victory was so much bigger than one game.
On Sunday, starting pitcher Nabil Crismatt and catcher Jorge Alfaro became the first Colombian battery to start a game in the history of Major League Baseball.
Alfaro, whom the Padres grabbed from the Marlins for cash considerations right before MLB’s 99-day lockout, was happy to hear that piece of information:
"“That’s nice to know, man. It’s nice to be part of that.I just want to say that it’s fun to be here.””"
Alfaro was born in Sincelejo, Colombia, while Crismatt hails from Barranquilla. Former teammate Luis Patiño, traded to the Rays for Blake Snell, is also from Barranquilla.
The 28-year-old catcher has been part of several notable trades already in his career. He signed with the Texas Rangers as an international free-agent, but ended up getting dealt to the Philadelphia Phillies in the Cole Hamels/Jake Diekman trade in 2015. Ahead of the 2019 season, he got traded again, this time as part of the package for J.T. Realmuto.
Crismatt has also bounced around, but as a free agent. He was part of the New York Mets, Seattle Mariners, and St. Louis Cardinals organizations before signing a minor-league deal with the Padres after the 2020 season.
Colombia was one of 21 different countries represented on Opening Day 2022, with 275 players from outside of the 50 states, the second-most diverse opening rosters in MLB history. Alfaro and Crismatt were among ten players representing Colombia.
Luis Castro was the first Colombian-born player in MLB history. He made his debut on April 23, 1902, and spent one season with the Philadelphia Athletics. It would be 72 years before another Colombian player, Orlando Ramírez, would follow suit.