Originally posted on Larry Brown Sports  |  Last updated 4/10/13

The amount of African-American players on Major League Baseball opening day rosters this season was historically low. Only 7.7% of the players on all 30 MLB rosters are African-American, which is the lowest percentage since the Boston Red Sox became the final team to integrate their roster in 1959. Bud Selig is hoping to change that in the near future. According to USA Today Sports, Selig is expected to announce the creation of a formal task force this week that will aim to reverse the decline in African-American ballplayers across the league. The project will reportedly consist of a 17-member committee that includes owners, executives and coaches. It is expected to include Hall of Famer Frank Robinson and Chicago White Sox vice president Kenny Williams, among others. Hall of Fame second baseman Joe Morgan said he believes the low number of African-American stars in the MLB today has resulted in a lack of role models for young African-American players. “I never thought I’d see anything like this,” Morgan told USA TODAY Sports on Tuesday. “But I’ve seen it coming. There, for a long time, there were a lot of African-American players to look up to and emulate, but there’s not enough big stars now to dissuade them from basketball and football.” In 1995, 19% of the players on Major League rosters were African-American. The number was at its peak of 27% in 1975, so you can see how dramatic the drop has been over the last few decades. Four MLB teams opened their season this year without a single African-American player on their roster and 18 teams have two or fewer African-American players currently on their rosters. However, there have been some small signs that the trend could be reversing. Last year, seven African-American players were selected in the first round of the MLB draft, which is the most since 1992. Reds outfielder Derrick Robinson, who was offered a scholarship to play football at Florida in 2006 but chose baseball instead, said the risks involved with playing football could help increase the number of African-American players in baseball. “You look at those kind of things, and that’s why I talk to guys trying to get them to play baseball,” Robinson said. “Some of them say it’s boring, but hey, I love it. It’s so much better on the body and for longevity. Besides, you look at this game now, and it’s changing. The game’s being revolutionized now with speed and defense. We need all of the great athletes we can get.” When you hear stories like this, you realize how big of an issue concussions and head shots have become in the NFL. From a physical standpoint, it seems to make sense that an MLB career could be longer than an NFL career. Whether or not that increases the amount of African-American players on MLB rosters remains to be seen. Photo credit: Steve Mitchell-US PRESSWIRE

This article first appeared on Larry Brown Sports and was syndicated with permission.

GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Report: Blake Griffin opts out of contract to become free agent

Report: Wolves targeting Kyle Lowry, Jrue Holiday, other point guards in free agency

Conor McGregor’s coach says tentative plans include a return to UFC in 2017

Report: Mets open for business on the trade market

Markelle Fultz believes the Sixers are already a playoff team

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Report: Jimmy Butler’s attitude toward Fred Hoiberg made players ‘uncomfortable’

St. Louis Cardinals to hold first LGBTQ Pride Night

John Mara: Extending Odell Beckham Jr. isn’t team’s No. 1 priority

Mike Trout reportedly wanted to sign ‘lifetime deal’ with Angels

Blackhawks, Blue Jackets swap Artemi Panarin, Brandon Saad

Matt Forte expected to be ‘offensive workhorse’ for Jets?

Best of Yardbarker: Diana Taurasi makes history

The 'Finest running back from America’s Finest City' quiz

Players who need to turn around their season to save their teams

Sports & Politics Intersect: Washington gets a rare win

Three Up, Three Down: Flouting the written and unwritten rules of baseball

2016-17 NBA Awards: The Billy King Award for worst trade

Kicking it: David Villa isn't interested in a 'retirement tour'

Box Score 6/23: Philly continues to trust the process

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

Feeding your roundball addiction through the summer months

The 'NBA Draft going back to school?' quiz

2016-17 NBA Awards: The Gary Payton Award for best trash talk of the year

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Best of Yardbarker: Diana Taurasi makes history

The 'Finest running back from America’s Finest City' quiz

2016-17 NBA Awards: The Billy King Award for worst trade

Players who need to turn around their season to save their teams

Three Up, Three Down: Flouting the written and unwritten rules of baseball

Sports & Politics Intersect: Washington gets a rare win

Kicking it: David Villa isn't interested in a 'retirement tour'

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

Feeding your roundball addiction through the summer months

The 'NBA Draft going back to school?' quiz

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker