African Americans in Baseball

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African Americans in Baseball

By | March 2013
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Michael Rizzo
Murray, Chass (2004). Game Fights Trend of Fewer Blacks. The New York Times

This article is about the declination of blacks in the game of baseball. It begins by talking about how successful blacks were in baseball from 1981-1997. Blacks such as Tony Gwynn, Tim Raines, and Gary Sheffield were winning National League Batting Titles 16 out of those 17 years. From 1998-2004, only one black player has won the batting title. As a huge baseball fan, I never knew that stat and find it very interesting. The article also entails that black players had won the National League MVP award quite often from 1949-1970. More recently from 1985-2004, black players had won the MVP 11 times, with Barry Bonds winning 6 of the 11. The article then argues if there is any black ball player who will take Barry Bonds’ stardom in Major League Baseball after he retires.

In 1995, 19 percent of the players on opening day rosters were black. In 2004 when this article was written, the percentage of black players had dropped to 10 percent. Major League Baseball is aware of the issue and are trying to do as much as the can to promote baseball in urban communities. Doug Melvin, the current General Manager of the Milwaukee Brewers suggests that young blacks among other young athletes are not interested in going to the minor leagues before they can play at the Major League level. He compares this to the National Basketball Association and the National Football League where young athletes can immediately jump to the pros right after high school. I completely agree with what Doug Melvin suggests in this article because young athletes, whether they are black or white, are trying to get paid millions of dollars as quick as they possibly can. In the case of young black athletes, most of them come from poor urban communities. They are looking to sign that multi-million dollar contract as soon as they are eligible to be drafted. In order to do so, they need to see the...