go to MSN.com
Originally written on Larry Brown Sports  |  Last updated 10/23/14

Via Larry Brown Sports:

The number 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.”

Four MLB teams, the St. Louis Cardinals, San Francisco Giants, Seattle Mariners and Texas Rangers 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 number of African-American players on MLB rosters remains to be seen.

3 Comments:
  • Why in the world should the race of a person be on the mind of Bud Selig. If a person is good enough to play in the Major Leagues it shouldn't matter if they are green. Stop trying to be so politically correct Bud. There are much bigger problems in the game. Getting a game that's free of cheaters and drugs would come to mind. Maybe making it so a family could afford to go to more then one or two games a year without taking out a loan. Maybe getting rid of some of the franchise's that have no chance of competing because the talent in the big leagues is so inferior. If more african americans were good enough and more importantly interested in baseball then they would be playing.
  • The issue of the pace of the game is definitely a problem but more fundamental is access. Access as it relates to youngsters in the inner city areas. Baseball needs space so all of the Baseball is played in the burbs where few if any of the "elite" athletes in a particular locality leaving the African American athlete stranded on the outdoor courts and minimal dimension areas of his neighborhood. The RBI program that MLB started some years ago while a noble effort, was a band aid for a broken leg...too little in too few places. Baseball has become sort of a country club sport where the powers that be don't have to go back into the city and their children don't have to be exposed to THAT atmosphere. I've recently attended a few HS Baseball games and have yet to see more that two African American players on any team.
  • The NBA is 77% black and 21% white of which 55% are white americans and 45% from other countries.So what is the NBA doing about this? Over 70% of the NFL players are black. The point is who cares!
    I agree with mbutts41, Bud should be concentrating on real issues and stop his white guilt BS.
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Ex-Bronco John Boyett punched cabbie, told cops to call Elway

Former NFL QB still feels effects of concussions every day

Robert Klemko given four-week suspension from The MMQB

Michael Vick: Percy Harvin won't be a monster here

Robert Griffin III 'guaranteed' to be back in Week 11

Urlacher: Cutler paid like elite QB, hasn’t produced like one

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Hoyer doesn’t think about getting benched for Manziel

Cardinals kicker blew $1,500 signing bonus on headphones

Ainge: Draft lottery reform would be 'better for the game'

Royals take Game 2 to even series with Giants

Report: Roger Goodell will have to testify in Ray Rice case

Blake Griffin accused of slapping man in Las Vegas club

PK Subban as Michaell Jackson at Canadiens' Halloween party

On Kevin Love, Kyrie Irving and embracing newfound roles

One Direction promotes tour by acting like bandwagon NFL fans

Jimmy Howard unveils pink mask for 'Hockey Fights Cancer'

Louisville Athletic Dept. asking for donations at gas pump

Falcons make huge mistake with London infographic

DeMarco Murry surprises Cowboys linemen with iMacs

Jimbo Fisher's son reps for Winston on 'Superhero Day'

WATCH: Steve Ballmer freaks out while shown on Jumbotron

AUDIO: Rex Ryan pranks Sammy Watkins on conference call

Top storyline for each Week 8 NFL game

WATCH: Giants pitcher yells at Salvador Perez after HR

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!

RUMORS & GOSSIP

Ex-Bronco John Boyett punched cabbie, told cops to call Elway

In the land of police blurbs, this might very well come close to taking the cake. The Denver Broncos released safety John Boyett on Thursday after he was arrested for assaulting a a cab driver. The former practice squad player apparently head-butted and punched a taxi driver in a bit of drunken rage early Wednesday morning. He then stole a shovel from a construction site and tried...
Via Sportsnaut
59 minutes ago

Former NFL QB still feels effects of concussions every day

Former NFL quarterback Kevin Kolb was forced to end his playing career before he reached his 30s because of head injuries. Kolb suffered four concussions that we know about. The first came in 2010 when he was with the Philadelphia Eagles and the last in a 2013 preseason game with the Buffalo Bills. The 29-year-old...Read More
Via Larry Brown Sports
2 hours ago

Robert Klemko given four-week suspension from The MMQB

Peter King’s website has handled its first major talent controversy with a fairly lengthy suspension. King announced Thursday via Twitter that MMQB writer Robert Klemko would be suspended for four weeks. A statement: In light of an incident in Chicago on Saturday, SI and http://t.co/Gy6pgD0hHK have suspended Robert Klemko for four weeks.>>>> — Peter King (@SI_PeterKing...
Via Awful Announcing
5 hours ago

Michael Vick: Percy Harvin won't be a monster here

New York Jets quarterback Michael Vick has some experience with facing a crossroads in his NFL Career. He was once cast-off as nothing more than a thug off the field and a bad teammate in the locker room. He has grown from that experience and matured a great deal in recent seasons. The veteran can offer some guidance to new teammate Percy Harvin, who was traded to the Jets last week...
Via Sportsnaut
4 hours ago

Robert Griffin III 'guaranteed' to be back in Week 11

Redskins HC Jay Gruden mentioned during an interview with SiriusXM Radio Wednesday that QB Robert Griffin III is “guaranteed” to be back for the team’s Week 11 match up against the Buccaneers. “I would think — I would guarantee Tampa, most likely, unless something happens between now and then,” Gruden said, via the Dan Steinberg of the Washington Post. “You’ve...
Via NFL Trade Rumors
5 hours ago

Urlacher: Cutler paid like elite QB, hasn’t produced like one

Brian Urlacher was teammates with Jay Cutler for four years. That’s long enough for the former Chicago Bears linebacker to draw the conclusion that Cutler is really only elite in one category at the moment — salary. Cutler, who signed a seven-year, $126 million contract this past offseason that included $54 million guaranteed, is certainly...Read More
Via Larry Brown Sports
6 hours ago

Hoyer doesn’t think about getting benched for Manziel

Cleveland Browns quarterback Brian Hoyer is confident in his game, even after Sunday’s loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars, and believes the coaches are committed to him. “I don’t even think about it to be honest with you,” Hoyer said of getting benched for Johnny Manziel, via ESPNCleveland.com. “I know what goes into my preparation. I know that talking to my coaches, that’s...
Via Sports-Glory
6 hours ago

Cardinals kicker blew $1,500 signing bonus on headphones

Having entered the NFL as an undrafted free agent, Chandler Catanzaro is making, in a relative sense, mere pennies. The Cardinals kicker signed a three-year deal that will pay him $420,000 this season -- the rookie minimum -- and included just a $1,500 signing bonus. That $1,500 is the only guaranteed money Catanzaro will receive over the life of the deal. And he already blew...
Via Helmet2Helmet
17 hours ago

Ainge: Draft lottery reform would be 'better for the game'

Danny Ainge says he support for NBA draft lottery reform was simple: He wants a league in which every team is trying to win. Making his regular appearance on 98.5 The Sports Hub’s “Toucher and Rich” on Thursday, the Boston Celtics’ president of basketball operations acknowledged he was definitely in the pro-reform camp. A proposal that would have lowered the worst team...
Via NESN.com
7 hours ago

Royals take Game 2 to even series with Giants

After last night’s disappointment, this game was exactly what Royals fans needed to forget about their team’s ugly loss in game one of this series. Like in game one, tonight’s game got off to a rocky start, but after allowing a leadoff home run to former Royal, Gregor Blanco, Ventura settled down. The final run given up by Yordano came in the fourth inning on a Brandon Belt...
Via Royals Blue
17 hours ago
Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.