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Original Issue

Present Moment

Gift Ngoepe announced himself in the pages of SPORTS ILLUSTRATED by saying "Hello, sir! My name is Gift!," and now he's announced himself to MLB. Originally profiled in the Aug. 10, 2009, issue (A Gift from Africa), Ngoepe made history last week by becoming the first player from Africa to play in the major leagues. Ngoepe, from South Africa, was called up by the Pirates, and in his debut went 1 for 2 with a walk in a 6--5 home win over the Cubs. The second baseman, who hit .217 with eight home runs last year in Triple A Indianapolis, was signed in 2009. Said Ngoepe after his debut: "The whole thing was just awesome."