Global Game: Bligh Madris is first Palauan player in MLB history

Global Game: Bligh Madris is first Palauan player in MLB history
Madris made his MLB debut on Monday playing for the Pittsburgh Pirates against the Chicago Cubs

Bligh Madris made history on Monday becoming the first player from Palau to play a Major League Baseball (MLB) game. Madris got the start in right field for the Pittsburgh Pirates and excelled in his debut, going 3-for-4 with 2 RBI, helping his team score a 12-1 win over the Chicago Cubs. 

"I've had a lot of support from the Palauan people over the course of my career so far," Madris told following his debut. "They've really bought into me, and I've really bought into the culture and how proud it makes my father. So I'm just trying to make him proud every day, and if I make him proud, I know I'm making the Palauan people proud."

Madris, who grew up in Las Vegas, Nevada, was selected by the Pirates in the ninth round of the 2017 Draft and spent five seasons in the minors, playing 451 games with a .262 batting average and 36 home runs. In 2022, he was hitting .304 for the Indianapolis Indians, the Pirates’ AAA affiliate.

“As a Palauan, it makes me extremely proud and it is humbling that my son means so much to so many. It is overwhelming the support he receives,” said Style Madris, Bligh’s father, to The Guam Daily Post. “ It makes me proud that he is able to do something that can bring so many together.”

Palau is placed No. 76 in the WBSC Baseball World Rankings with 10 points, after a fifth-place finish in the U-18 Baseball World Cup Oceania Qualifier in 2019.