SA’s Gift Ngoepe takes Major League Baseball by storm

They may not be able to say his name correctly, but that hasn't stopped US sports commentators from singing the South African's praises.

FILE: Pittsburgh Pirates rookie Gift Ngoepe. Picture: @Pirates/Twitter.

NEW YORK - America's new favourite baseball player is a South African who made history this week.

Twenty-seven-year-old Gift Ngoepe became the first ever African-born player to enter Major League Baseball, notching a hit in the first at-bat in his career and helping his team - the Pittsburgh Pirates - beat the Chicago Cubs.

They may not be able to say his name correctly, but that hasn't stopped sports commentators from singing Ngoepe's praises.

The Johannesburg-raised player has created a great buzz around his debut and subsequent performance at Wednesday’s night game and won over a host of new American fans.

Ngoepe was signed by the pirates almost nine years ago as a teenager and some commentators say he has opened the door for other African talent.

Pitcher Dylan Unsworth is another South African who may also reach the major leagues too.