PDA

View Full Version : African-Americans losing numbers game in MLB


Fenway
04-12-2007, 08:08 PM
I wonder how Jackie Robinson would feel about this.


http://www.boston.com/sports/baseball/articles/2007/04/08/theyre_missing_in_action/

There are many opinions about why only 8 percent of major league players are African-American, compared with 28 percent in the mid-1970s. The Red Sox are one of the most diverse teams in baseball but have only one African-American on the major league roster (Coco Crisp).

CashMan
04-12-2007, 08:12 PM
Does it really matter? How many white people play basketball?

jdm2662
04-12-2007, 08:14 PM
Honostly, and a black friend of mine agree, it's not really a surprise. Not many black kids play it as much. They much rather play baseketball and football. You can't make someone play a sport they aren't interested in. Parents sometimes force kids to play certain sports. That isn't fair to the kid. I also used to work with a guy from the Dominican Republic. He said he and his friends played baseball every day of the week. It is that popular there.

PaulDrake
04-12-2007, 08:26 PM
Ask a high school coach who's been around awhile. The last two generations of male African American athletes have pretty much abandoned baseball in favor of football and basketball. It's a long term trend that shows no sign of abating. We had this discussion some time ago, and what the heck I'll mention it again. Certain areas, specifically Mobile, Tampa, and LA once produced an abundance of talented black baseball players. It's no longer the case. Latin Americans and Asians are filling the void. Of all the four major American professional sports, football is the most provincial, and baseball the most international.

balke
04-12-2007, 08:28 PM
Baseball overall is a widely diverse sport. Not only by color but by nationality. They talked on ESPN about baseball being too expensive to play when you are younger and its a lot easier to pick up a basketball or football (I don't agree with that, football needs padding, etc. Track and Field just takes shoes).

Part of it could be marketing where NBA and Hip-hop are one in the same image-wise, that makes it a much more attractive sport. Baseball doesn't market itself that way (and I don't think it should).

I think the opportunity is there for everyone, but to push kids in that direction it would take a parental and community effort in conjunction with a personal desire to play. I think there's plenty of positive role models there for the African-American community.

Jurr
04-12-2007, 08:56 PM
Baseball overall is a widely diverse sport. Not only by color but by nationality. They talked on ESPN about baseball being too expensive to play when you are younger and its a lot easier to pick up a basketball or football (I don't agree with that, football needs padding, etc. Track and Field just takes shoes).

Part of it could be marketing where NBA and Hip-hop are one in the same image-wise, that makes it a much more attractive sport. Baseball doesn't market itself that way (and I don't think it should).

I think the opportunity is there for everyone, but to push kids in that direction it would take a parental and community effort in conjunction with a personal desire to play. I think there's plenty of positive role models there for the African-American community.
Well, that's not necessarily true. You can develop skill in football or basketball in the yard with a ball. Baseball takes bats, balls, gloves, etc.

In Memphis, they have started a few inner city baseball programs to get the kids equipped and coached to play baseball. There's a makeshift baseball diamond about a block away from the clinic that gets a lot of use from one of the programs. They even have a van with the program's logo to carry the kids to the field!

I do believe, though, that the trend will continue. Baseball will continue to be the game of the white, asian, and latin communities, while black children will gravitate toward their heroes in basketball and football.

Fenway
04-12-2007, 09:08 PM
I honestly feel if Bo Jackson had just stuck to baseball young blacks would have flocked to play the game

Bo hit the longest ball I have ever seen hit ( in spring training ) It was close to 600 feet at the old Boardwalk and Baseball

Jerko
04-12-2007, 10:20 PM
I'm really sick of hearing about this with all the other crap going on right about now. Can't we just honor Jackie Robinson for what HE did and what HE accomplished and what HE had to go through instead of making EVERYTHING a numbers game???? I don't really think the current percentage of African-American players diminishes anything Robinson did or had to put up with during his playing career. GMAB media, quit sensationalizing everything. Just watch ESPN later to see JAW DROPPING (their words) comments about this from Torii Hunter..... :rolleyes::rolleyes: Everybody needs a platform these days I guess. Well I for one honor Robinson and I hope his family enjoys this weekend's ceremony. Let's leave it at that and not make it a bigger issue.

chaerulez
04-12-2007, 11:52 PM
Does it really matter? How many white people play basketball?

It's relevant. The point is how many young black athletes are dismissing baseball as a "boring" sport, when if they try it they could find it fun and also be really good at it. And I might be going out on a limb here, but I think a lot of white people play basketball.

balke
04-13-2007, 12:05 AM
It's relevant. The point is how many young black athletes are dismissing baseball as a "boring" sport, when if they try it they could find it fun and also be really good at it. And I might be going out on a limb here, but I think a lot of white people play basketball.


White people is pretty general, as is black people. Mainly we are talking about african americans, as in black people from out culture. White Americans aren't really that prevalent in basketball, a lot of European Caucasions are.

What happens with baseball is that its a sport you don't have to be the best athlete on the planet all of the time to play (you can't be a bad athlete, but you don't need to be linebacker size).

What happens with football a lot is someone sees the size or the the speed and will approach you (regardless of race) to come to a football practice. With baseball they want players who want to be there, and who want to learn and grow and help the team.

In other words, baseball is a sport where there's not a lot of aggressive coaches out there recruiting like there is for football. At least, that's how my experience was in high school. I never even saw a baseball coach looking for new ballplayers. They aren't looking for a specific body type to fill out the O-Line, or a track star to run back kicks.

Baseball takes a lot of players with a lot of bats and balls. Its hard to get that many people into a sport at one time if the majority of friends would rather play 6-on-6 b-ball at the courts. Its a big commitment to pick that sport I would think in an urban environment. Its so much easier, and so much more social to play basketball in that type of environment.

WhiteSox1983
04-13-2007, 12:50 AM
My dad is black, and he never got me interested in baseball. My brother was raised not knowing much about baseball. But when my mom remarried to a white guy, he got me into baseball big time. Now baseball is my favorite sport. Baseball in the black community is just not a high priority, thats all.

SaltyPretzel
04-13-2007, 07:43 AM
They much rather play baseketball and football.

http://ec1.images-amazon.com/images/P/0783230338.01._SCLZZZZZZZ_AA240_.jpg (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/images/0783230338/ref=dp_image_0/102-1844593-7185755?ie=UTF8&n=130&s=dvd)

oeo
04-13-2007, 07:51 AM
My dad is black, and he never got me interested in baseball. My brother was raised not knowing much about baseball. But when my mom remarried to a white guy, he got me into baseball big time. Now baseball is my favorite sport. Baseball in the black community is just not a high priority, thats all.

I don't understand why people kind of want to force it into their lives. How long are we going to say so much percentage of a team is black, latin, white, etc.? When it comes down to it, they're all human beings, what does their skin color have to do with anything?

Let people do what they want to do...if they don't want to play baseball, what's the big deal?

Jaffar
04-13-2007, 09:36 AM
I don't understand why people kind of want to force it into their lives. How long are we going to say so much percentage of a team is black, latin, white, etc.? When it comes down to it, they're all human beings, what does their skin color have to do with anything?

Let people do what they want to do...if they don't want to play baseball, what's the big deal?

Agreed. I didn't see the report but is that percentage based on players on major league rosters or does it count minor league players as well? What about college?

rdwj
04-13-2007, 09:52 AM
Let people do what they want to do...if they don't want to play baseball, what's the big deal?

I totally agree. As long as there are no barriers PREVENTING groups from participating, who cares how many of each group rise to the highest level?

And really, almost ANY sport can be played by ANY kids regardless of their economic conditions. Plenty of latin players got their start in the sport using a stick and make-shift ball. The same is true of tons of American playersw in the not-to-distant past.

We played in the street and in lots all the time as kids - you don't need a full diamond. Great equipment isn't required to play baseball. It's nice, but you can develop skills for almost nothing.

AZChiSoxFan
04-13-2007, 11:56 AM
I don't understand why people kind of want to force it into their lives. How long are we going to say so much percentage of a team is black, latin, white, etc.? When it comes down to it, they're all human beings, what does their skin color have to do with anything?

Let people do what they want to do...if they don't want to play baseball, what's the big deal?

Totally agree. Let all people play whatever sport they want to. Who cares what color any of them are?

TDog
04-13-2007, 01:03 PM
I have been reading about this trend for years. It came up when the White Sox went to the World Series against the Astros. American college baseball is taking on the racial composition of a "country club sport" like golf, as if golf con be considered a sport.

When I was in college in the 1970s, I wrote a paper arguing racism still existed in baseball, as evidenced by he percentage of black players in the league compared with their superior statistical rankings. That is, in general, black players had to perform better to play in the major leagues than white players. It's possible that institutional racism turned black people off to baseball, but the opportunities exist today. If I had kids, they wouldn't know football existed until they went to school and heard the dirty version on the street, and unfortunately, many kids grow up with no exposure to baseball.

I'm grateful that Harold Baines grew up knowing he would make a living out of playing baseball. Bo Jackson would have been much better off if he had never played football, and I'm not so sure the sports world would have been diminished if Michael Jordan had committed to a baseball career from the start.

Academics have written volumes about why baseball isn't attracting black players. I believe a big part of the problem with attracting kids to baseball is that it's not an easy sport.

The Dude
04-13-2007, 01:11 PM
I wonder how Jackie Robinson would feel about this.


http://www.boston.com/sports/baseball/articles/2007/04/08/theyre_missing_in_action/

I'm pretty sure Jackie Robinson would be the first to say that he'd want teams to have the best players possible regardless of the color of their skin.
There are more latino and asian players in the league now so naturally percentages will go down for other groups. Young black athletes just don't play baseball much and focus on other sports like football and basketball.

These articles are ridiculous. :rolleyes:

ewokpelts
04-13-2007, 02:29 PM
I have been reading about this trend for years. It came up when the White Sox went to the World Series against the Astros. American college baseball is taking on the racial composition of a "country club sport" like golf, as if golf con be considered a sport.

When I was in college in the 1970s, I wrote a paper arguing racism still existed in baseball, as evidenced by he percentage of black players in the league compared with their superior statistical rankings. That is, in general, black players had to perform better to play in the major leagues than white players. It's possible that institutional racism turned black people off to baseball, but the opportunities exist today. If I had kids, they wouldn't know football existed until they went to school and heard the dirty version on the street, and unfortunately, many kids grow up with no exposure to baseball.

I'm grateful that Harold Baines grew up knowing he would make a living out of playing baseball. Bo Jackson would have been much better off if he had never played football, and I'm not so sure the sports world would have been diminished if Michael Jordan had committed to a baseball career from the start.

Academics have written volumes about why baseball isn't attracting black players. I believe a big part of the problem with attracting kids to baseball is that it's not an easy sport.dave winfield was drafted by 4 pro teams. kida played more than one sport back in the day, and baseball made the most money. Today, mos tkids focus on one sport, and basketball and football have more upfront money, although baseball players make more over time

Fenway
04-13-2007, 02:32 PM
I have been reading about this trend for years. It came up when the White Sox went to the World Series against the Astros. American college baseball is taking on the racial composition of a "country club sport" like golf, as if golf con be considered a sport.



You really notice it in the summer college leagues like the Cape Cod....

HawkDJ
04-13-2007, 03:16 PM
I have been reading about this trend for years. It came up when the White Sox went to the World Series against the Astros. American college baseball is taking on the racial composition of a "country club sport" like golf, as if golf con be considered a sport.

I hear that. Our #2 ranked Tar Heels have an entirely white team, minus one seldom used African-American. It's pretty sad, actually.

hose
04-14-2007, 10:12 AM
To me what is important is that teenage boys of all races are playing sports instead of burglarizing my home. For some young boys playing sports keeps them out of trouble. I'm more concerned about how millions of youths turn out instead of what sport a couple thousand professional athletes end up playing in.

And if the teenage boy is not playing sports then be involved with music or boy scouts or any type of activity that will keep them from gangs or dropping out from HS.

Madscout
04-16-2007, 07:21 PM
Just wondering how many colleges will give a full ride for baseball. Basketball and football give a lot of money in college, which helps with intercity kids who can play. Perhaps if colleges devoted more money to baseball programs, we would see more african american players who can't afford to go to school otherwise.

Tragg
04-16-2007, 09:02 PM
I think the main reason is that it's not played much in the inner city - see golf.

Very few college players are given full rides- but gosh, there is a lot of scholarship and loan money out there, you can go.

People play what they enjoy. But if you're young and a great athlete to seriously consider a career as a pro athlete, they should consider baseball. 3 times the number of major league spots in baseball compared to hoops; (and 20 times more in baseball than say, golf). And much less wear and tear on the body compared to football; a much stronger minor league system and guaranteed contracts (that football lacks).

MUsoxfan
04-16-2007, 09:21 PM
People play what they enjoy. But if you're young and a great athlete to seriously consider a career as a pro athlete, they should consider baseball. 3 times the number of major league spots in baseball compared to hoops; (and 20 times more in baseball than say, golf). And much less wear and tear on the body compared to football; a much stronger minor league system and guaranteed contracts (that football lacks).


The problem is the money and glory aren't guaranteed up front. Many kids see Kobe and Michael Vick want to be like them. They don't want to play in the minor leagues for years to have a chance to get the money, glory and fame. They want an immediate return and baseball doesn't offer that

ewokpelts
04-17-2007, 06:10 AM
I think the main reason is that it's not played much in the inner city - see golf.

Very few college players are given full rides- but gosh, there is a lot of scholarship and loan money out there, you can go.

People play what they enjoy. But if you're young and a great athlete to seriously consider a career as a pro athlete, they should consider baseball. 3 times the number of major league spots in baseball compared to hoops; (and 20 times more in baseball than say, golf). And much less wear and tear on the body compared to football; a much stronger minor league system and guaranteed contracts (that football lacks).football offer FAST AND EASY money. same as basketball.
jermiane dye is making 6 million as a 30something, lebron made 6 million as a 18 year old rookie..

palehozenychicty
04-17-2007, 03:02 PM
The problem is the money and glory aren't guaranteed up front. Many kids see Kobe and Michael Vick want to be like them. They don't want to play in the minor leagues for years to have a chance to get the money, glory and fame. They want an immediate return and baseball doesn't offer that


This is the crux of the whole situation amid the talks about lack of diamonds, space, expensive equipment, and so forth.

Jerko
04-17-2007, 03:12 PM
There's a huge difference between not being ALLOWED to play in the majors, and CHOOSING not to play in the majors. ESPN again is making this a bigger issue than it is. The % of African-Americans in MLB is down because they are CHOOSING to pursue other careers, which IMO is the very meaning of the word freedom. I think it's weak to use Jackie Robinson Day to bemoan the current percentage of African Americans in the league, especially since that number is low by choice. It's a choice people are making, they're not being forced out or excluded. Think about that ESPN before you run 30 special reports next Jackie Robinson day. Let the man's family enjoy the day HE earned without making an issue out of everything.

PatK
04-17-2007, 04:05 PM
Here's my two cents:

1) Kids are playing other sports. Baseball doesn't have the national exposure that football and baseball do nowadays.

2) The potential payoff is less than football or basketball, and takes longer.

3) College baseball offers a lot less scholarships these days because of that NCAA mandate about equality in mens and womens sports. A lot of schools had to drop their programs because of it

All of this talk/whining about race and baseball makes me wonder why no one is pointing at the NHL.

AZChiSoxFan
04-17-2007, 04:11 PM
Just wondering how many colleges will give a full ride for baseball. Basketball and football give a lot of money in college, which helps with intercity kids who can play. Perhaps if colleges devoted more money to baseball programs, we would see more african american players who can't afford to go to school otherwise.

You bring up an interesting point. I heard a college baseball coach say a few years ago that baseball is the #3 revenue generating college sport, but in terms of funding by the Universities, it was like # 8 or # 9.

AZChiSoxFan
04-17-2007, 04:15 PM
This is the crux of the whole situation amid the talks about lack of diamonds, space, expensive equipment, and so forth.

Dead on. Any talk about lack of ballfields, equipment, etc. doesn't hold water in my book due to the fact that in ultra poor countries like the Dominican Republic, kids play baseball all day, everyday. I read an article one time about a famous major leaguer from the DR (can't remember who) who talked about using a made up tape ball to play baseball with.