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.