African-Americans in baseball

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:

  1. 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.
  2. Support: baseball doesn’t offer as many scholarships, especially full-ride scholarships, as football or basketball.  
  3. Marketing: MLB is stupid and doesn’t know how to advertise their game to appeal to the African-American community.
  4. 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.