M.L.B (Much Less Blacks)

February 29, 2008
By Todd Levy, Roslyn, NY

The New York Mets are a somewhat elite Major League baseball team, with young stars such as David Wright and Jose Reyes, and veteran pitching stars such as Pedro Martinez and Johan Santana. Though none of those players, nor any other of the Met’s players are African-Americans. Since Jackie Roosevelt Robinson broke the color barrier in 1947, African-Americans have been allowed to play MLB baseball. But in the last ten years the number of blacks in baseball has seriously decreased. Met’s manager, former six-time all-star Yankee second baseman, is an African-American, and last year when the MLB commemorated Jackie Robinson’s achievements, Randolph was sole Met who sported Robinson’s number 42 on his jersey. The Met’s general manager Omar Minaya is Hispanic, and is often criticized for going after many Hispanic players. As of 2006, with the boom in Hispanic MLB players, and the recent declining of the amount of African-American baseball players, 8.4 percent of MLB players are African-American, while 29.4 are Hispanic players.

There are many reasons for the decrease of black Major League Baseball players. One is the general mangers. Out of the thirty general managers, Ken Williams stands alone as the only African-American one.

Another Reason may be that many of the African-Americans today do not have the economic stability to commit to an expensive sport like baseball. Bats, gloves, balls, and a field are often not provided by the community, like basketball courts commonly are. This is also shown in expensive sports like hockey and lacrosse also not having many African-American players; and it is shown in basketball being dominated by the African-Americans.

Also scouts are going to Asia, and going to Latin America looking in search of talented young players, and because of that there are many more Hispanic players in the MLB, taking the spots that African-Americans would have had.

The decline of African-American players is a result of economic issues that African-Americans have had, general managers not looking for African-American players, and the increase in Hispanic players in baseball. Major League Baseball is to blame here as well, not doing much to reform the situation with the blacks, and should be encouraging scouting in black communities, and help build fields there as well. If they don’t start league and build fields, they are going to make baseball a much less talented league, not utilizing such a large percent of the country. This problem will only grow worse until MLB Commissioner Bud Selig decides to fix it, and while steroids is a huge issue he has, there are other problems that need addressing.

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