It is only fitting that after an unforgettable year for Venezuelan players -- a campaign that included Felix Hernadez's perfect game, Johan Santana's no-hitter and Miguel Cabrera's Triple Crown -- the 2012 World Series will be a showcase of the best that the baseball-crazed nation has to offer.

According to the country's embassy, a record nine Venezuelans will be participating in this year's Fall Classic. There are four Venezuelans on the Detroit Tigers' roster (Cabrera, Aníbal Sánchez, Avisail García and Omar Infante) while the San Francisco Giants have five (Scutaro, José Mijares, Pablo Sandoval, Gregor Blanco and Héctor Sánchez).

“It’s a product of the turn that the big-league organizations have made toward Latin America and Venezuela in particular," Humberto Acosta, a Venezuelan radio show host and columnist told the New York Times, "because this is a baseball country.”

Among foreign-born players, Venezuelans are the second largest grouping. Only Dominicans make up a larger portion of baseball players. But before this year, the most Venezuelans to play in the World Series was four, when Cabrera, Ugeth Urbina, Alex González and Juan Rivera played in the 2003 Series.

And not only are there a record number of Venezuelans in the Giants-Tigers series, it's likely that neither team would be in this position without the contributions of Cabrera, Scutaro and their countrymen.

With a population of 29 million, Venezuela is smaller than California, which has 37 million and also nine natives in the World Series.

World Series Has Heavy Venezuelan Flair Slideshow


Miguel Cabrera

Cabrera had one of the finest seasons at the plate in recent memory, becoming the first player in 45 years--and the first Latino--to win baseball's coveted Triple Crown award. Comedian George Lopez contextualized that feat for the Tigers slugger. "I told [Cabrera] that a Latino winning the Triple Crown is as impressive as having a black president," Lopez said when he visited the Tigers last weekend. Cabrera is hitting .278 with 10 hits, five RBIs and one home run in the playoffs.


Aníbal Sánchez

Sánchez has given the Tigers two solid outings in the postseason, going a combined 13.1 innings while surrendering just two earned runs.


Avisail García

The 21-year-old rookie has been a reliable contributor for Detroit in the postseason. He went 5-for-11 and with three RBIs against the Yankees in the ALCS.


Omar Infante

One of two players (the other being Sanchez) acquired by the Tigers in a midseason trade with the Miami Marlins, Infante has overcome some erratic play in the field to provide the Tigers' lineup with a solid bat and above-average speed.


Marco Scutaro

A 36-year-old journeyman whom the Giants acquired in a mid-season trade, Scutaro has batted a team-leading .354 in the postseason while striking out just once. He was named NLCS MVP.


Gregor Blanco

Blanco was given the tough task of replacing suspended star Melky Cabrera in left field, but so far, so good. His nine runs are tied for the most in the postseason, and his seven walks are good for third. "The Giants believe in me," Blanco said. "They gave me an opportunity to play in the postseason, and I want to make them believe they weren't wrong."


Héctor Sánchez

Sánchez may be Buster Posey's backup, but he has made a name for himself as Tim Lincecum's preferred catcher. If manager Bruce Bochy starts Lincecum in the World Series, expect Sánchez to be his backstop.


José Mijares

Bochy has used Mijares sparingly in the playoffs, mostly against lefties. Mijares has taken the mound five times in the postseason, accumulating 2.1 innings of work and giving up three earned runs.


Pablo Sandoval

"Kung Fu Panda," as Sandoval is affectionately known, has been a hit machine for the Giants. His 9 RBIs are the most among among all hitters in the playoffs, and his 16 base knocks are second only to Scutaro.

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