Tag Archive for Gift Ngoepe

Ngoepe & Neverauskas MLB Debut Hats on Display in Cooperstown

Earlier this season Indianapolis Indians players Gift Ngoepe & Dovydas Neverauskas made their Major League Baseball debuts with the Pittsburgh Pirates.

On April 24, 2017, Neverauskas became the first Lithuanian born player to make the majors.

Then on April 26, 2017, Ngoepe became the first South African born player to make the majors.

The hats both players wore in their respective debuts are currently on display in the “Whole New Ballgame” exhibit in Cooperstown, New York.

Ngoepe & Neverauskas are currently on the Indianapolis Indians roster, so head to Victory Field to catch them in action before their permanent move to the big leagues.

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Gift Ngoepe Makes History, Recalled by Pittsburgh Pirates

The Indianapolis Indians, in conjunction with the Pittsburgh Pirates, announced that infielder Gift Ngoepe was recalled to the big leagues. With the promotion, Ngoepe becomes the first African-born player to reach the major leagues.

Ngoepe, 27, was batting .241 (14-for-58) with three doubles, one triple, one home run and four RBI in 15 games for Indianapolis. He reached Triple-A for the first time in 2015, appearing in 21 games with the Tribe. Last year, he played in 102 games for Indy and was the best defensive shortstop in the International League after posting a .984 fielding percentage (seven errors in 440 total chances).

His defensive excellence has not gone unnoticed by Baseball America, who tabbed him as the “Best Defensive Infielder” in Pittsburgh’s farm system over each of the last five seasons (2013-17).

Born in Pietersburg, South Africa, Ngoepe was signed by the Pirates as a non-drafted free agent on Sept. 29, 2008. He has played in Pittsburgh’s farm system eight-plus seasons, accumulating 37 home runs and 201 RBI in 704 career games.

Ngoepe joins Dovydas Neverauskas in a week of firsts not only for the Pittsburgh Pirates but all of Major League Baseball. Neverauskas, who posted a perfect 0.00 ERA over 8.1 innings pitched for the Tribe this season, became the first born-and-raised Lithuanian to play in the big leagues after debuting Monday night at PNC Park against the Chicago Cubs.

Neverauskas was optioned from Pittsburgh to Indy to make room for Ngoepe but is not active for the Tribe’s opener tonight at Pawtucket.

SOURCE: Indianapolis Indians

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