Civil Rights Game

I am thankful to MLB for the glimpse of the Civic Rights Museum.  Iappreciate the discussions of the Negro League and the long overdue celebration
of the talent and humanity of the great Buck O’Neill. The main emphasis of the
evening wasn’t the game but the fact that a meager 8.5% of major league players
are African American. As more children opt to participate in other sports, MLB
has a marketing plan in place to woo them back to baseball, especially African
American youths. Now, back in the day, my friends and I played pick up games
all summer, each day, everyday.  And when we were short players, we used
"invisible man" base runners. MLB, I have a great marketing
idea…recruit more players to address your "invisible man" situation
– an African American owner.

Remember Donald Watkins?

What is really missing from professional baseball?  The exodus of
superior athletes turning over quick coin in the NBA and NFL? Or is a true
equitable relationship lacking? A relationship not only between players and
owners, but also that of perspective owners.  The culture of baseball is
an interesting meld of team play and camaraderie. It is unfortunate that the
culture of MLB management is that of good old boy back room politics, as in the
case of the Mr. Watkins.  The lip service of an annual Civil Rights Game
cannot change that image. 

Want to attract an alienated youth?  Embrace the culture and history of the game, not the MLB franchise, and relinquish the hold on opportunity. Welcome diversity.

PS. Bud – don’t be an idiot –  BE THERE for Barry, his fans and for the
good of the game.



  1. Coral

    Bud Selig should not be there for Barry Bonds’ home run. It is not as though Bud Selig is acting inappropriately. And you can not say that this is a race issue, because Aaron was also African American, as I’m sure you know. Selig being present for Bonds’ home run would, in my opinion, make him a weak commissioner (I already disagree with many of his decisions). Why should he condone cheating? I realize we live in an era of steroids, but for the most powerful man in baseball to condone and congratulate a cheater would be wrong. Barry’s offenses are not even so small as betting on a team (oh wait Pete Rose). When gambling is considered to be a more henious act than steroid use (and abuse) we live in a very perverse world.

  2. georgia

    Did Barry cheat? Has he been suspended for a positive test? Nope. Coral, he’s innocent until proven guilty. Barry has never been a “media darling” and he has been judged and convicted by the media. It isn’t a race issue. Its about giving one of the greatest hitters of all time his just desserts. When Barry pees dirty-I may change my tune…but not before. And Bud should be there – no positive test, means a new homer run king.

  3. SomeBallyard

    Sorry, Coral, I respect you but I have to side with Georgianne on this one. History is impossible to judge while it is happening. It will be interesting to see how all of this looks 25 years from now, when the passions have cooled down and all the secrets exposed. I remember what it was like when Aaron broke Ruth’s record. It wasn’t so very different in many respects, and the public generally didn’t recognize the inherent racism as we do now.

    Michael Norton – Some Ballyard

  4. Kathleen

    Did he cheat? There has been no “smoking gun” and no residue, so far, to prove anything. Nor will there be. This is not because he didn’t cheat (a question which will remain answered only in the hearts and minds of the individual fans) but, rather, because baseball doen’t want to know, not officially. It would lead to a record book purge and HOF nightmares. Having proof could cause THE Scandal that the commissioner’s office fears baseball could not survive. Of course, it will survive, and be stronger for it, if we had a commissioner and a commissioner’s office that really protected the game and acted in the best interests of the game, the players and the fans, and was not just an owners’ stooge. So, a player who could be really dirty gets to continue to play under a cloud of inference and the commissioner will snub him and the fans will either love him or hate him. Or, a player who could be really clean and one of the greatest hitters in the history of the game is forced to continue to play under that cloud, and forced to put up with the arrogant clucking of a hypocritical and cowardly commissioner. I will neither convict Mr. Bonds, or any other player under that cloud, nor let him go on completely free of guilt. None of these players really need baseball’s permission to offer their own evidence of innocence. They choose the cloud. For this reason, when the record is finally broken I will allow Mr. Bonds his day, but I will not rejoice in it. I, however, have that right, as a fan, to be disappointed that this record will be tainted for years to come because of a commissioner who fears the possibility of an ugly truth he can’t handle and because our “heroes” are only human and not quite heroic enough.


  5. georgia

    Say what you will about “smoking guns” and steriod conspiracies, but as of today, 05/02, Mr. Bonds is batting .333 with 8 HR. Playing under the media’s microscope, he is one of the stat leaders of this early season. Proving again he is STILL one of the greatest players to ever pull on a pair of spikes.

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