DETROIT (AP) – Ramon De Jesus became the first Dominican-born umpire to be on the field in a Major League Baseball game, blending in and pretty much going unnoticed as the Cleveland Indians beat the Detroit Tigers 2-1 on Friday night.
"It was a routine game and that's what every umpire wants to have every night," De Jesus said in the umpires' room.
De Jesus was the second base umpire and got a good review from the crew chief.
"He did a real good job," third base umpire Gary Cederstrom said. "I worked with him in spring training several times and he's a very talented umpire."
The 32-year-old De Jesus had been in the minors since 2009, most recently as a staff member in the Triple-A Pacific Coast League and he will return there after Sunday's game in Detroit.
"I have two games on this assignment and then I will be back in Triple-A," he said.
De Jesus joins three other umpires not born in the U.S., including Venezuelan Manny Gonzalez, Angel Hernandez of Cuba and Mexican Alfonso Marquez. He didn't want to lobby for more to join the ranks.
"I can't answer that question," he said.
Opening-day rosters this season included 82 players from the Dominican Republic, which has produced the most players not from the U.S. every year since MLB started releasing data in 1995.
"It means a lot just because coming from a country like the Dominican Republic, a big baseball country, and being the first (umpire), it feels real nice," De Jesus said.