HOUSTON (AP) — Dusty Baker grew up watching black stars shine in the World Series, paving the way for a life devoted to baseball.
AL and NL champions expect Jackie Robinson to play without a black American-born player for the first time since 1950 when he leads the Houston Astros in Game 1 of the World Series against the Philadelphia Phillies on Friday night. It has been. Major League Baseball Color Barrier.
Baker, 73, is one of only two black MLB managers to have played or coached baseball his entire life.
“What hurts is I don’t know how much hope that will give young African American kids,” Baker told the Associated Press on Thursday. I had a lot of guys like (Willie) Mays, (Hank) Aaron, Frank Robinson, Tommy Davis, my hero, Molly Wills, and before I lose them, something needs to be done.”
Jackie Robinson made his debut for the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1947 and played in that year’s World Series. Since then, his New York Yankees-Phillies matchup in 1950 has been the only World Series without a U.S.-born black player.
Houston and Philadelphia, both announcing their 26-man rosters hours before Game 1 at Minute Maid Park on Friday night, are not expected to have U.S.-born black players. not. Houston black outfielder Michael Brantley has missed the season due to his shoulder injury.
“I don’t think that’s something baseball should be really proud of,” said Baker, who won the World Series as an outfielder with the Dodgers in 1981 and is seeking his first championship as a manager. Letting people know it didn’t take us a year or ten years to get to this point.”
In fact, the declining number of black MLB players has been a problem for years. Richard Lapchik, director of the Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sports in Central Florida, is lead author of his group’s annual report on diversity employment practices in sports. He said he had just 7.2% of black players on his opening day roster this year, and his 18% of MLB players were black, the lowest percentage since the survey data were first collected in 1991. did.
From when the Mays and the New York Giants faced Larry Dobby and the Cleveland in 1954, to the Astros in 2005, every team reaching the World Series had at least one U.S.-born black player.
For the first time since 1959, the Phillies did not have a black player on their opening roster this year. A black backup outfielder, Roman Quinn, he appeared in 23 games before being released.
Philadelphia power-hitting rookie Darrick Hall made his debut in late June and appeared in 41 games. His mother is white, his father is black and white, and he is multi-ethnic. Hall has not been on the Phillies’ roster in any of his first three rounds of this postseason, nor is he expected to be on the World Series roster.
Last summer, for the first time in MLB Draft history, four of the first five players were black.
With more than 300 big leaguers including Atlanta’s Michael Harris II, Cincinnati’s Hunter Green, Pittsburgh’s key Brian Hayes, and Milwaukee’s Devin Williams, all four have played in the MLB Youth Academy, Dream Series, Revived and more. participated in MLB’s diversity-based initiative. Baseball in Inner Cities (RBI) Program.
While “extremely disappointed and dismayed” by the state of affairs this year, Baker said the top composition of the latest draft means this will be the last World Series without a U.S.-born black player represented. I hope
“I have help along the way,” he said. “You can see it in the number of African-American #1 draft picks. I have.”
AP Baseball Writer Ben Walker contributed to this article.
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