This Texas newspaper story has been circulating around the blogosphere for a while so I thought it deserved a bit of attention.
I think most everyone is aware that the number of star-quality or even major league-caliber African-American players in MLB has dwindled in recent years. The article does mention how the population of African-Americans in basketball and American football are much bigger than in MLB (we won’t even mention the NHL because I am pretty sure I can count the number of non-goaltender black players on one hand). There are several concerns that may or may not be significant, but they are there:
- Cost: as in ice hockey, baseball can be a very expensive sport with league fees, equipment (but who buys a $300 bat?!) and perhaps private instruction. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to realize that as a whole, black Americans don’t have a lot of money.
- Support: baseball doesn’t offer as many scholarships, especially full-ride scholarships, as football or basketball.
- Marketing: MLB is stupid and doesn’t know how to advertise their game to appeal to the African-American community.
- My own addition, but I’m guessing it’s easier to rise through the ranks in basketball and football than it is in baseball, plus the former sports don’t have as stringent of a period of indentured servitude as MLB does.
It’s a good, quick read if you guys have the time.