In an MLB.com story, Jesse Sanchez recaps the mysterious background of Luis Castro, who may or may not have been one of the first MLB players born in Latin America.
Most sources say that Castro was born in Medellin, Colombia in 1867 or 1876 or 1877 and debuted with the Philadelphia Athletics in 1902. Some historians think that Castro was actually born in the U.S.
And then there is the case of Esteban Bellan, who was born in Cuba, and played for the Troy Haymakers in 1871-72 and the New York Mutuals in 1873 in the National Association, which MLB does not recognize as a major league.
Sandy Nava, a catcher for Providence of the NL and Baltimore of the American Association, is believed to be the first player of Latin American descent to play in the majors after their "official" start in 1876. Nava, according to most historians, had at least one Mexican parent. However, he was born in San Francisco in 1850, when the city's population boomed because of the Gold Rush and recording births was not exactly a high priority.