I want to talk baseball, I really do. I want to talk about the playoff chase and all the great September match-ups like this weekends Wild West Showdown going on in San Diego between the Giants and Padres. But once again, I can’t.
I can’t when in my own backyard (Oakland, CA) - a backyard that’s produced a ton of Major League talent over the years - is all of the sudden a place where a scout won’t bother coming to anymore because it’s fields are unplayable, unkempt, and even unoccupied because the city will not fix them. Or that same scout won’t bother coming because the game has become so inaccessible to so many of the youth in the inner city areas (the very same areas that produced guys like myself, Willie McGhee, Ricky Henderson, Dave Stewart, the list goes on & on). Many times this is due to the fact the fields are horrible and many cannot afford the dues needed to play. We all have the birthright to play. The truth of the matter is the talent is still there, it’s the cultivation that is not anymore. The state of the game in Oakland, as well as so many other inner cities across America, is a sad one to say the least.
Two years ago at a MLB season kickoff event I posed a question that was never answered: “Where’s our baseball academy?”… Today I’m asking the same question to MLB - where’s our academy? With MLB academies doing great things in places like Venezuela, the Dominican, and even inner city LA. Major League Baseball Academies have proven to have positive impacts on the youth in these areas. MLB has a responsibility to the underserved youths in Oakland and around the country to make the game accessible to all. It’s the American pastime for richer or for poorer and once again the inner city getting the shaft. I’ve done everything in my power up until now, having coached, set up programs to donate money to programs, given of my own money for equipment, etc. MLB has not lived up to its responsibility here in northern California to cultivate our game. Let me be the first one to work with the MLB to bring an academy to the underserved youths of Northern California. Once again, there’s no better time than the present to do the right thing. And there’s no better time than the present for MLB to reinvest into the communities that have served it so well over the years.
Ahhh! I feel so much better now that I got that off of my chest. As Sammy Sosa once said, “baseball’s been very, very good to me”, I just would like for that to continue for those after me in situations similar to what I had to deal with coming up.
Thank you all for your comments. Let me apologize for not having replied to all of your comments, but I will do my best to make to sure that I do so from here on out. So keep them coming and remember to follow me on twitter at http://twitter.com/bipster10.
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