Baseball is America’s pastime and a sport that the black athlete first broke the color barrier. In fact, the black athlete changed the way the game was played and opened the door for teams to even consider players that were not white. Because of that, we have a lot of dominican and hispanic players in the league, and to a fault, they have taken over. However, now is a perfect time to resurrect the black athletes in the sports. There are a few black players that could be real role models for young black ball players to look up to. Some of these include Matt Kemp, Prince Fielder, Ryan Howard, Jimmy Rollins, Torii Hunter, CC Sabathia, Curtis Granderson, Adam Jones, and Andrew McCutchen. What baseball needs to do is find a way to highlight these players to the black community to show them that we can play baseball and its fun. Advertisement dollars are spent on basketball players and football players to reach young athletes. Those same messages can feature some premiere black MLB players in them to show that baseball is attractive as well. If you really look at it, there are no recognizable commercials with black baseball players so that could be something ad agencies should consider. Reaching out to the black athlete also needs to come from the black athletes themselves. Kids love to see actual athletes that have made it in sports. Give back to the community and open up more baseball camps and activities, therefore pulling more kids to the sport. It is a shame that we have abandoned a sport that first gave us our shot to prove ourselves.
One thing we fail to realize is that baseball players actually make more money than the other sports and the playing careers are longer as well. It’s not instant gratification (like a huge contract coming out of high school or college), but it pays off! Baseball actually takes the time to develop their players so that they actually earn what they make. If we were smart, we would go back to the sport that gave us our first stage.The advice I would give to young black athletes is this; “Don’t limit yourself to just basketball and football.” Baseball is a sport that you can enjoy and play for a long time. Check out some of the videos below on the issues of blacks in baseball and let me know your thoughts.