Let's Leave The Civil Rights To People Like Rosa Parks
Joe Morgan was a great baseball player. As a fan of the Big Red Machine growing up, I was a Morgan fan. In a day when second basemen were primarily fielders and didn't hit forty home runs, he played great defense, hit for average, stole bases, and did the cutest little thing with his left elbow (like he was making the fart sound, except his right hand was not stuck inside his armpit) as he waited for the pitch. Now he talks stupid on TV.
In a pure statistical coincidence, it turns out that the Houston Astros do not have a single "African-American" player on their World Series roster. Joe Morgan is troubled.
The Astros are the first World Series team in more than a half-century with a roster that doesn't include a single black player.
"Of course I noticed it. How could you not?" Morgan said while the Astros took batting practice before the opener in Chicago.
Well, gee, Joe. I didn't notice. I guess I'm an insisetive white boy who doesn't care about the downtrodden. I guess I've been too busy looking trying to pronounce the spanish and Asian names of the 60% of the other teams to notice that no one with dark skin is named after a former US President.
The white Houston Astros celebrate their lack of diversity.
Now the natural question is whether this fact indicates racism in baseball. Let's look at the numbers, shall we.
Black players accounted for just about 9 percent of big league rosters this season.
Well, that is slightly less than the typically accepted 12% of the U.S. population that is black. I guess this shows that whitey is getting all the roster spots? Hardly.
The most recent survey by the NCAA taken during the 2003-04 season, showed that only 6 percent of Division I baseball players were black. Half of the men's basketball players were black, as were 44 percent of football players.
Houston has a half-dozen Hispanic players . . . .
No, whitey isn't getting his unfair share of baseball roster spots. Hispanics are. Maybe even Asians as a percetage of the population. Moreover, baseball's "problem" doesn't seem to be seeping into other sports.
It appears that among the "big three" sports in college, blacks make up only slightly less than their population in baseball. In football and basketball, however, they make up 4 times their population percentage of the players. Is this a problem? I mean, why aren't there more white and Asian-Americans playing college football and basketball?
Houston has 6 hispanic players. That is 24% of their World Series roster. They also have an Asian. They are "diverse."
"There's a perception among African-American kids that they're not welcome here, that baseball is not for inner-city kids," Morgan said. "It's not true, and I hate that the perception is out there."
Where does this perception come from? It isn't the game of baseball, or Major League baseball. Unlike tennis or figure skating, it isn't money. Poor hispanics are taking over the game.
It is probably ball park space. If black atheletes come from the cities, then baseball competes with more abundant black asphalt basketball courts. Football remains popular in all aspects of society.
I don't know why baseball doesn't draw the same interest it once did, but I suspect it is simple competition. Blacks are losing to hispanics in baseball and, to a lesser degree, Europeans in basketball. Football, still a uniquely American sport, remains filled with black and white players but few others. Maybe baseball lacks the flare today that it once did.
What I want to know are where are the African-American hockey players?