Gift Ngoepe truly had a unique road to the major leagues. In 2017, Ngoepe became the first African-born player to make it to the MLB with the Pittsburgh Pirates. The South African also notched a hit in his first at-bat. The Pirates originally signed him in 2008 and promoted him to the 40-man roster in 2015. For much of his time in the minors, Ngoepe was regarded as Pittsburgh's best defensive prospect. He was introduced to the game because his mother was a clubhouse attendant for a team in South Africa. The Pirates originally scouted him at an MLB academy in Italy in 2008.
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