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View Full Version : Orlando Hudson's quest to get young blacks playing baseball again


Fenway
06-22-2011, 06:30 AM
http://www.boston.com/sports/baseball/redsox/articles/2011/06/22/hoping_to_fill_some_gaps_in_baseball/

Hudson thinks music is a big part of the problem - Hip-Hop translates better to basketball and football

sullythered
06-22-2011, 06:50 AM
Jack and Lewis are not young, and Rebecca is a girl. I don't know why Orlando Hudson would want any of them playing baseball, and I don't know of any other Blacks.

Fenway
06-22-2011, 07:02 AM
Jack and Lewis are not young, and Rebecca is a girl. I don't know why Orlando Hudson would want any of them playing baseball, and I don't know of any other Blacks.

Say what?

sullythered
06-22-2011, 07:11 AM
:tongue:Say what?

TheOldRoman
06-22-2011, 09:27 AM
Sensationalist clown Bob Ryan says Jackie Robinson would be "appalled at the state of the game." Again with this crap? Robinson made it possible for blacks to play pro baseball (and by proxy any sport they wanted to). Blacks are still free to play pro baseball if they want to and are good enough. Many of these kids are choosing basketball or football. They are free to chose those sports. This isn't an epidemic. Jackie Robinson wouldn't be appalled that young black men are choosing to play sports other than baseball. I am a baseball fan first and foremost, so I would like to see the most talented athletes play baseball. However, other than the RBI program which builds diamonds where there aren't any, there is nothing you can really do. You can't force kids to like baseball.

Sox
06-22-2011, 09:45 AM
Sensationalist clown Bob Ryan says Jackie Robinson would be "appalled at the state of the game." Again with this crap? Robinson made it possible for blacks to play pro baseball (and by proxy any sport they wanted to). Blacks are still free to play pro baseball if they want to and are good enough. Many of these kids are choosing basketball or football. They are free to chose those sports. This isn't an epidemic. Jackie Robinson wouldn't be appalled that young black men are choosing to play sports other than baseball. I am a baseball fan first and foremost, so I would like to see the most talented athletes play baseball. However, other than the RBI program which builds diamonds where there aren't any, there is nothing you can really do. You can't force kids to like baseball.

Good Post!! :thumbsup:

russ99
06-22-2011, 09:56 AM
I applaud Hudson for his efforts, the more kids playing baseball, and the more diverse the leagues are, the better the sport will be.

However, I don't get the assumed notion that Latin kids are getting more chances at baseball than black kids. To me it seems that players are making it to the big leagues by merit rather than race, which is what it's all about.

Irishsox1
06-22-2011, 10:11 AM
Once again, why is it an issue that Black American's are choosing to not play baseball? The media treats this topic like there is an underlining racism behind this issue when there clearly isn't. If anyone is to blame for this it's Michael Jordan. He looked great playing basketball but he looked like a tall skinny doofus playing baseball.

spawn
06-22-2011, 11:40 AM
Say what?

Jack Black
Lewis Black
Rebecca Black

spawn
06-22-2011, 11:43 AM
Sensationalist clown Bob Ryan says Jackie Robinson would be "appalled at the state of the game." Again with this crap? Robinson made it possible for blacks to play pro baseball (and by proxy any sport they wanted to). Blacks are still free to play pro baseball if they want to and are good enough. Many of these kids are choosing basketball or football. They are free to chose those sports. This isn't an epidemic. Jackie Robinson wouldn't be appalled that young black men are choosing to play sports other than baseball. I am a baseball fan first and foremost, so I would like to see the most talented athletes play baseball. However, other than the RBI program which builds diamonds where there aren't any, there is nothing you can really do. You can't force kids to like baseball.

100% on the money. He would be appalled if baseball wasn't an option. It is. It's just no longer the primary option, as it was a long time ago, before football and basketball became as popular as they are.

WhiteSox5187
06-22-2011, 11:52 AM
As others have stated, I don't think the lack of African-Americans in baseball is due to some kind of underlying racism, I think it is a simple case of African-Americans not playing baseball on the professional level. I am not so sure if the numbers support this but I don't think it's the case that African-Americans aren't playing baseball at all; it's that they aren't doing it on a professional level and part of that problem is something Hudson alluded to, it is a lot more time consuming to make the major leagues than it is in the NFL or NBA.

mzh
06-22-2011, 12:02 PM
JaMarcus Russell was a bust of epic proportions, but he has a minimum of $32 MM guaranteed, even if he's out of football 4 years later. Outside of his $5 MM signing bonus, Joe Borchard make ~$800k for his career. Football and basketball are where the guaranteed money is at. It's rare these days to see a kid like Bubba Starling, who could easily go pro in a couple years as a D1 QB, choose baseball over any of the other sports. Just my opinion.

tacosalbarojas
06-22-2011, 12:13 PM
Football has less guaranteed money than any sport. JaMarcus was an exception because he was a QB and number one pick. Now, b-ball...whole different animal, and is still the primary draw for quite a percentage of young African-Americans...doesn't hurt that all you need is a ball, a hoop, and a pair of shoes to play.

eriqjaffe
06-22-2011, 12:19 PM
Jack and Lewis are not young, and Rebecca is a girl. I don't know why Orlando Hudson would want any of them playing baseball, and I don't know of any other Blacks.Frank Black?

sullythered
06-22-2011, 12:45 PM
Frank Black?

D'oh!

pythons007
06-22-2011, 01:12 PM
Football has less guaranteed money than any sport. JaMarcus was an exception because he was a QB and number one pick. Now, b-ball...whole different animal, and is still the primary draw for quite a percentage of young African-Americans...doesn't hurt that all you need is a ball, a hoop, and a pair of shoes to play.

Ding. Basketball can be played by yourself. Baseball you need to find 18 dudes. Even though, I grew up playing whiffle ball all day long with about 4-6 people.

pearso66
06-22-2011, 08:45 PM
Ding. Basketball can be played by yourself. Baseball you need to find 18 dudes. Even though, I grew up playing whiffle ball all day long with about 4-6 people.

4-6 people? We played all the time with 2, sometimes we'd get a 3rd. Always had fun.

blandman
06-22-2011, 09:41 PM
Sensationalist clown Bob Ryan says Jackie Robinson would be "appalled at the state of the game." Again with this crap? Robinson made it possible for blacks to play pro baseball (and by proxy any sport they wanted to). Blacks are still free to play pro baseball if they want to and are good enough. Many of these kids are choosing basketball or football. They are free to chose those sports. This isn't an epidemic. Jackie Robinson wouldn't be appalled that young black men are choosing to play sports other than baseball. I am a baseball fan first and foremost, so I would like to see the most talented athletes play baseball. However, other than the RBI program which builds diamonds where there aren't any, there is nothing you can really do. You can't force kids to like baseball.

No, it's because of access. Baseball requires expensive equipment to play and a specific type of field. Anyone can play football or soccer in any park, all you need is a ball. For baseball, you need a diamond, mitts for everyone, bats, balls, etc. Saying someone has a "choice" to choose baseball completely ignores how difficult it is for the vast majority of African Americans in this country to actually make that choice, at least compared to other groups. Unless you seriously want to count stickball in the street until they're old enough to go to college. But why play stickball when complete access to other sports is right there.

Daver
06-22-2011, 09:48 PM
No, it's because of access. Baseball requires expensive equipment to play and a specific type of field. Anyone can play football or soccer in any park, all you need is a ball. For baseball, you need a diamond, mitts for everyone, bats, balls, etc. Saying someone has a "choice" to choose baseball completely ignores how difficult it is for the vast majority of African Americans in this country to actually make that choice, at least compared to other groups. Unless you seriously want to count stickball in the street until they're old enough to go to college. But why play stickball when complete access to other sports is right there.


Munch, kids can play whiffle ball in the backyard or any open field, all it takes is an interest in playing a form of the sport, and there are leagues for kids that come from low income families, and these leagues are scouted by colleges and prep schools.

For all I know they are Derek Rose approved as well.

spawn
06-22-2011, 10:29 PM
Munch, kids can play whiffle ball in the backyard or any open field, all it takes is an interest in playing a form of the sport, and there are leagues for kids that come from low income families, and these leagues are scouted by colleges and prep schools.

That's what I did growing up. We didn't have money, but we found a way (legally) to get the equipment we needed to play because we loved the game. Football wasn't the money generator it is now, and basketball was anywhere near as popular when I was growing up. We didn't need a specific field. You throw cardboard down on any dirt/grass field and you can play. We didn't need 9 guys per team either. Hell, I remember when it was just me, my brother, and two friends, and we would play strikeout at CVS. Let's face it. Black kids just have no interest in playing the game. It's that simple.

blandman
06-22-2011, 11:14 PM
Munch, kids can play whiffle ball in the backyard or any open field, all it takes is an interest in playing a form of the sport, and there are leagues for kids that come from low income families, and these leagues are scouted by colleges and prep schools.

For all I know they are Derek Rose approved as well.

That's what I did growing up. We didn't have money, but we found a way (legally) to get the equipment we needed to play because we loved the game. Football wasn't the money generator it is now, and basketball was anywhere near as popular when I was growing up. We didn't need a specific field. You throw cardboard down on any dirt/grass field and you can play. We didn't need 9 guys per team either. Hell, I remember when it was just me, my brother, and two friends, and we would play strikeout at CVS. Let's face it. Black kids just have no interest in playing the game. It's that simple.

You're missing the point - why half ass it when I can ACTUALLY play other sports? Other kids don't have to half ass it, there's leagues and equipment, so baseball's on an even playing field. You have to be CRAZY about baseball to choose wiffle ball over actually playing football or basketball, and it's hard to be crazy about baseball when you're 12 years old and playing wiffle ball because other kids are going to laugh at how ridiculous you're being for playing something meant for a six year old.

Daver
06-22-2011, 11:19 PM
You're missing the point - why half ass it when I can ACTUALLY play other sports? Other kids don't have to half ass it, there's leagues and equipment, so baseball's on an even playing field. You have to be CRAZY about baseball to choose wiffle ball over actually playing football or basketball, and it's hard to be crazy about baseball when you're 12 years old and playing wiffle ball because other kids are going to laugh at how ridiculous you're being for playing something meant for a six year old.

My kid played both football and baseball in leagues as a kid, the fees for football were 8 times the fees for baseball, for 32 fewer games.

Come on Munchman, you can do better than this.

TDog
06-22-2011, 11:28 PM
Sensationalist clown Bob Ryan says Jackie Robinson would be "appalled at the state of the game." Again with this crap? Robinson made it possible for blacks to play pro baseball (and by proxy any sport they wanted to). Blacks are still free to play pro baseball if they want to and are good enough. Many of these kids are choosing basketball or football. They are free to chose those sports. This isn't an epidemic. Jackie Robinson wouldn't be appalled that young black men are choosing to play sports other than baseball. I am a baseball fan first and foremost, so I would like to see the most talented athletes play baseball. However, other than the RBI program which builds diamonds where there aren't any, there is nothing you can really do. You can't force kids to like baseball.

I agree. There have been points since Jackie Robinson came up with the Dodgers that certainly would have disturbed him. In his last public appearance, he spoke out against the managerial color line. I did a paper in college in the 1970s that argued with statistical analysis that black baseball players had to perform better to get into and stay in the majors than white non-Hispanic players. But things are much different now.

"Appalled" wouldn't reflect Jackie Robinson's attitude. His 10-year baseball career may have taken 10 years or more off of his life, but he wasn't doing it for baseball. At most, I think he might be disappointed that more black kids aren't playing baseball.

blandman
06-23-2011, 08:16 AM
My kid played both football and baseball in leagues as a kid, the fees for football were 8 times the fees for baseball, for 32 fewer games.

Come on Munchman, you can do better than this.

Access. That baseball league is funded, supported by both the park district funds and local businesses. There is no funding in low income communities. "Leagues" are not a part of the equation at all.

downstairs
06-23-2011, 02:20 PM
Sensationalist clown Bob Ryan says Jackie Robinson would be "appalled at the state of the game." Again with this crap? Robinson made it possible for blacks to play pro baseball (and by proxy any sport they wanted to). Blacks are still free to play pro baseball if they want to and are good enough. Many of these kids are choosing basketball or football. They are free to chose those sports. This isn't an epidemic. Jackie Robinson wouldn't be appalled that young black men are choosing to play sports other than baseball. I am a baseball fan first and foremost, so I would like to see the most talented athletes play baseball. However, other than the RBI program which builds diamonds where there aren't any, there is nothing you can really do. You can't force kids to like baseball.

Yep, good post.

I think Robinson (and any black person- heck any person at all) is happy to see kids playing any sport rather than being lazy and/or falling into the hands of criminal activity.

For someone to call it a "white man's sport" is going a bit far... but end result... I live near some poor, mostly-black neighborhoods. Much happier to see kids playing basketball than on the street mugging people (which is an epidemic down here with young kids).

happydude
06-23-2011, 03:01 PM
Munch, kids can play whiffle ball in the backyard or any open field, all it takes is an interest in playing a form of the sport, and there are leagues for kids that come from low income families, and these leagues are scouted by colleges and prep schools.

For all I know they are Derek Rose approved as well.

That's what I did growing up. We didn't have money, but we found a way (legally) to get the equipment we needed to play because we loved the game. Football wasn't the money generator it is now, and basketball was anywhere near as popular when I was growing up. We didn't need a specific field. You throw cardboard down on any dirt/grass field and you can play. We didn't need 9 guys per team either. Hell, I remember when it was just me, my brother, and two friends, and we would play strikeout at CVS. Let's face it. Black kids just have no interest in playing the game. It's that simple.

You're missing the point - why half ass it when I can ACTUALLY play other sports? Other kids don't have to half ass it, there's leagues and equipment, so baseball's on an even playing field. You have to be CRAZY about baseball to choose wiffle ball over actually playing football or basketball, and it's hard to be crazy about baseball when you're 12 years old and playing wiffle ball because other kids are going to laugh at how ridiculous you're being for playing something meant for a six year old.

I think you are all correct. Generally, access to baseball is greater in non-urban areas and a lot of the Black kids that do play are suburbanites. However, like Daver and Spawn imply, there are ways to play baseball or some form of it if the desire is there. I'd agree with Blandman, though, in that that's less likely to happen if all other things are equal.

Ultimately, Spawn is correct in his assertion that Black kids simply aren't interested in baseball to the extent other kids are. In fact, I'd suggest that baseball is not as popular among White kids, either, as it once was. Many kids of all races find baseball slow, tedious, and boring; they are living their lives in a generation of much more exciting and faster-paced entertainment options. Because of the disparity in the racial populations, the impact of this lessened interest is seen more readily in the lack of Black faces playing the sport.

Additionally, I believe the declining interest among Blacks coincides with the increase in single-parent, women-led households in the overall Black community. Baseball is a game passed down from one generation to the next: your dad's dad took him to games as a kid, played catch with him in the yard, and sparked an interest in the sport in him that he then passed on to you in the same manner. With that link to the sport now absent in far too many Black homes, the only lure is the sport itself which, in my view, lacks the obvious, built-in excitement the other sports possess.

I appreciate the well-intended efforts of the Torii Hunters and Orlando Hudsons of the world but I doubt that making public service announcements, buying equipment, building fields, and sponsoring teams will do much to reverse this trend. When interest existed, there WERE fields and tons of Black kids on them from morning to night.

Tannerfan
06-24-2011, 10:05 AM
I've always thought of baseball as a rural, or country sport and basketball as an urban one. It's not just about equipment but the amount of space it takes to play the game properly.
The beauty of baseball is that it's an allegory for rural life. There is no time clock but instead the game is over when the allotted chances have taken place.
This is not unlike working on a farm. Your day is done when the chores are done, not because the clock tells you it's time to go home.
Basketball is very urban. Not only can you play it on any hard surface but it's
played on a relatively small space. It's also all about the clock. 12 minutes a quarter, 8 seconds to get the ball over the 1/2 court line, 24 seconds to shoot,
no more than 3 seconds in the lane. It represents fast urban living.
I think most black baseball players that thrived in the '60s and '70's came from the country. Willie Mays, Hank Arron, Bob Gibson and on and on all grew up in the country just like Mickey Mantle. I'm not saying every black player grew up on a farm but I'd bet a lot of them did.
When you look at the Hispanic players dominating now, the vast majority come from small towns without big urban settings.
Baseball is a game from the country, played in the city.
Basketball is a city game, growing in popularity in New York after World War II.
And to quote the late Chick Hearn: "These are games for boys, played by
men, for big money."