Articles matching tag: Youth Travel Teams
- Column: Black Players in MLBApril 29, 2013
On the eve of the release of the movie “42,” the historical recounting of Jackie Robinson’s 1947 debut with the Brooklyn Dodgers, MLB Commissioner Bud Selig formed a committee to determine why the percentage of American-born black players in the Major Leagues has fallen by more than half, from 19 percent to 8.5 percent, since 1986. There is an element of irony in the timing of the release of the movie and the formation of the committee, both coming mere days before the NFL draft. The NFL and the NBA have long been accused of drawing talented black athletes away from the diamond. According to some experts, the instant recognition and riches of football and basketball, as exemplified by the glitz and glamour of the NFL draft, are reasons why black athletes are attracted to those sports over baseball. They may be right. After all, we live in an instant gratification world, one where riding buses for up to 14 hours at a time, playing before family and friends in small towns and eating three meals per day on $22 for 4-5 years – the norm for Minor League Baseball players before they reach the Major Leagues - is a hard sell.