go to MSN.com
Originally written on Larry Brown Sports  |  Last updated 11/13/14

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

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

Report: Alex Smith out week 17 with lacerated spleen

Belichick: Garoppolo has better understanding of NFL

Lionel Hollins: 'Honored and blessed to coach Kevin Garnett'

Curt Schilling gives Johnny Manziel advice on Twitter

The last time the Lions won in Green Bay

Carmelo Anthony: The Knicks are dying

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Andre Johnson willing to take pay cut with Texans?

Mets star David Wright reaches out to sons of slain NYPD officer

Panthers coach replaces break-in victims’ Christmas presents

Bruce Arians benches Logan Thomas on Christmas Day

Richard Sherman: Marshawn Lynch having MVP season

Curt Schilling tweeted advice to Johnny Manziel

Frank Gore: Colin Kaepernick is 'not broke'

The story of Morgan Bulkeley and birth of National League

Five breakout stars in 2014

The 2014 NFL All-Help Offense

Five things the world learned about the NBA on Christmas

What if Bear Bryant coached in the NFL?

The year’s 10 most notable sports media stories

'Roberto' Gronkowski wishes Pats fans Feliz Navidad

Are the Seahawks back on track?

WATCH: LeBron gets standing ovation from Heat fans in return

15 defunct bowls that leave the holidays feeling empty

Should the NFL's playoff seeding system change?

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.
RUMORS & GOSSIP

Report: Alex Smith out week 17 with lacerated spleen

Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith suffered an injury against the Pittsburgh Steelers last week. He was able to finish the game and actually showed up to practice in the days following the game. But sometime in between Smith’s last practice on Wednesday and Friday, the Pro Bowl quarterback was diagnosed with a lacerated spleen and has been ruled out of the team’s all...
Via Sportsnaut
1 hour ago

Belichick: Garoppolo has better understanding of NFL

It’s only right that three days after Christmas, the New England Patriots will get to play with their shiny new quarterback. Since Sunday’s matchup against the Buffalo Bills means nothing to the New England Patriots  — they’ve already clinched the No. 1 seed in the AFC — keeping their starters in the game for all four quarters seems like a ticking time bomb for injuries...
Via NESN.com
3 hours ago

Lionel Hollins: 'Honored and blessed to coach Kevin Garnett'

BOSTON — Lionel Hollins knows greatness when he sees it. The Brooklyn Nets bench boss has coached Kevin Garnett for just a few short months, but he could not praise the veteran big man enough when speaking with reporters Friday morning. “I’m honored and blessed to have had the opportunity to coach Kevin,” Hollins said before the Nets’ matchup with Garnett’s former...
Via NESN.com
2 hours ago

Curt Schilling gives Johnny Manziel advice on Twitter

Have you ever wondered what advice Curt Schilling would give to Johnny Manziel? No? Well, now we know anyway. The former Red Sox pitcher reached out unsolicited to Manziel on Twitter to give the Cleveland Browns rookie quarterback a bit of a Christmas gift. Some sage advice, if you will — at 1 o’clock on Christmas morning. @JManziel2 Didn't ask for it, but I'll throw it out...
Via NESN.com
3 hours ago

The last time the Lions won in Green Bay

Mel Gray returned a fourth quarter punt 78 yards for a touchdown. Erik Kramer completed two touchdown passes to Robert Clark. The year was 1991, and the eventual NFC Central winning Detroit Lions held off Mike Tomczak and the Green Bay Packers 21-17 at Lambeau Field. Since that fateful December afternoon in Green Bay, the Packers have won 23 consecutive home games against Detroit...
Via Sportsnaut
9 hours ago

Carmelo Anthony: The Knicks are dying

When all is said and done, the 2014-2015 New York Knicks could easily be the worst team in franchise history. The Knicks, who have never won less than 21 games in a season, have lost 16 of their last 17 this year and have a record of 5-26 after their latest loss on Christmas Day....Read More
Via Larry Brown Sports
5 hours ago

Andre Johnson willing to take pay cut with Texans?

One of the easiest ways Andre Johnson could force his way out of Houston would be to refuse to restructure his contract this offseason. Johnson will turn 34 before the start of the 2015 season, and he is set to count roughly $16 million against the Texans’ salary cap. Is he willing to lower that...Read More
Via Larry Brown Sports
5 hours ago

Mets star David Wright reaches out to sons of slain NYPD officer

When David Wright heard about the sons of slain NYPD officer Rafael Ramos, he felt obligated to do something.   The New York Mets captain is the son of a cop himself, so on Christmas Eve, he called Jaden and Justin Ramos, who lost their father when he and another officer were murdered in Brooklyn on Saturday. Wright had a 15-minute conversation with the boys and offered them a...
Via NESN.com
19 hours ago

Panthers coach replaces break-in victims’ Christmas presents

  Someone tried to steal Christmas from a family in Charlotte, N.C., but luckily, a Carolina Panthers coach saved the day.   Crystal Davis, a single mother of five, didn’t know what she was going to do when someone broke into her house Sunday and stole all of the family’s gifts from under their tree, per NBC Charlotte. Panthers defensive line coach Eric Washington...
Via NESN.com
23 hours ago

Bruce Arians benches Logan Thomas on Christmas Day

Arizona Cardinals rookie quarterback Logan Thomas was set to start his first career game this week against the San Francisco 49ers. And now, head coach Bruce Arians has changed his mind and will start maligned veteran Ryan Lindley, according to Kent Somers of The Arizona Republic: Bruce Arians uses the "quick hook" with Logan Thomas. Will go back to Ryan Lindley as starter for...
Via Sportsnaut
1 day 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.