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In a baseball backwater, Ngoepe found a field and a dream

The clubhouse was Gift Ngoepe’s home, an equipment storeroom his bedroom. The field, where the beginnings of his road to baseball history started, was his backyard. Never mind that Ngoepe’s field of dreams was a bit patchy. Never mind that there was no home run fence. And never mind that the Randburg Mets’ park is hidden away on the northern outskirts of Johannesburg, South...
3 days ago

Pirates rally in 9th, erupt in 10th to beat Braves 12-5

ATLANTA (AP) — Gift Ngoepe doubled to drive in Andrew McCutchen for the go-ahead run before the Pittsburgh Pirates hit three straight homers during a seven-run 10th inning to beat the Atlanta Braves 12-5 on Wednesday night. Pittsburgh’s Jose Osuna hit a bases-loaded, two-run single off Jose Ramirez in the ninth to tie it at 5. After Ngoepe’s double, the Pirates put the game...
4 days ago

The Continuing Search for Baseball Talent All Over the World

This is Alex Stumpf’s second piece as part of his May residency at FanGraphs. Stumpf covers the Pirates and also Duquesne basketball for The Point of Pittsburgh. You can find him on Twitter, as well. Read the work of previous residents here. For the last six years, Tom Gillespie has been scouring the world looking for future Pirates. He says it’s the same as normal scouting:...
Via Fangraphs
24 days ago  |  Discuss

Ngoepe makes first start against Marlins

Gift Ngoepe, the first player from Africa to reach the Majors, made his first start on Friday against the Marlins. The second baseman hit eighth in the order. He made his Major League debut on Wednesday with a single off Cubs left-hander Jon Lester in his first at-bat.
April 28, 2017

Ngoepe singles in first MLB at-bat

Before Wednesday night's game at PNC Park, Gift Ngoepe worried he might burst into tears the moment he heard his name called by Pirates manager Clint Hurdle.
April 26, 2017

Pirates to make Gift Ngoepe majors’ first African-born player

When Gift Ngoepe is promoted to the Pittsburgh Pirates, he will be the first African-born player to ever play in the majors. According to Adam Berry of, the 27-year-old will be making his major league debut eight and a half years after he was signed by the Pirates. The club has not confirmed the move yet, but the story behind Ngoepe is a fascinating one. He was born in South...
Via Sportsnaut
April 26, 2017  |  Discuss

Pirates call up Gift Ngoepe, first MLB player from African continent

Major League Baseball continues to grow around the world.Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports the Pittsburgh Pirates are calling up infielder Gift Ngoepe, the first major leaguer from South Africa and also the first player from any African country. It’s the second time this week the Pirates called-up a player from a country that’s never seen MLB action. As Rosenthal notes, pitcher...
Via The Comeback
April 26, 2017  |  Discuss

Source: Bucs' Ngoepe to be MLB's 1st African

Whenever Tom Gillespie meets a new Pirates employee, he tells them to look up the story of Gift Ngoepe. Gillespie didn't sign Ngoepe for the Pittsburgh, but the Bucs' European scout has known the South African shortstop since he was 17 years old.
April 26, 2017

Sunday Notes: Dombrowski, Nola, Ngoepe, Kobuko, Knuckleball Release Points, more

When it comes to acquiring relievers, Dave Dombrowski hasn’t had much luck in recent seasons. He’s made a lot of great signings and trades over the years, but as of late it’s as though someone has been following him around with voodoo dolls and pins. Prior to the 2014 season, as GM of the Tigers, Dombrowski signed closer Joe Nathan to a free agent contract. Nathan proceeded...
Via Fangraphs
March 26, 2017  |  Discuss

Report: Three minor leaguers arrested Sunday after bar brawl

Some minor league baseball players have found themselves in a load of trouble. Infielder Gift Ngoepe and pitcher Dovydas Neverauskas of the Pittsburgh Pirates’ Triple-A Indianapolis team were suspended for the rest of the season after a bar brawl Sunday morning in Toledo, Ohio. TribLive provided more details of the incident: According to documents provided by Toledo Municipal...
Via The Comeback
August 30, 2016  |  Discuss

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