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Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Malloy: Out at Home

1887 was a watershed year for both the International League and Organized Baseball, as it marked the origin of the color line. As the season opened, the black player had plenty of reasons to hope that he would be able to ply his trade in an atmosphere of relative tolerance; by the middle of the season, however, he would watch helplessly as the IL drew up a written color ban designed to deprive him of his livelihood; and by the time the league held its offseason meetings, it became obvious that Jim Crow was closing in on a total victory.

Yet before baseball became the victim of its own preju­dice, there was a period of uncertainty and fluidity, however brief, during which it seemed by no means inevitable that men would be denied access to Organized Baseball due solely to skin pigmentation. It was not an interlude of total racial harmony, but a degree of tol­eration obtained that would become unimaginable in just a few short years. This is the story of a handful of black baseball players who, in the span of a single season, playing in a prestigious league, witnessed the abrupt conversion of hope and optimism into defeat and despair. These men, in the most direct and personal manner, would realize that the black American baseball player soon would be ruled “out at home.”

Part 2. Part 3 is out tomorrow.


Thursday, August 14, 2014

Searching for Racial Earnings Differentials in Major League Baseball

This never would have happened if baseball adopted a racial salary cap.

White players do not seem to get paid less when they re-sign more than a year before free agency, but black players do.  Latinos take a severe discount and sign for $4.9 million per WAR when they sign early. Obviously Albert Pujols’ contract plays a role in this, but even excluding him the earnings per WAR among Latinos who re-signed more than a year before reaching free agency would be $5.3 million, far less than the pay per WAR for white or African-American players.

This is actually not surprising. An individual’s willingness to sign early is largely based on his desire for financial security. If a player has strong earning potential outside of baseball, he will not be as willing to surrender potential future earnings for current financial security. A player who is more likely to face economic hardship if he gets injured and fails to earn a fortune in baseball will be more amenable to a team-friendly discount.

 

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: August 14, 2014 at 09:16 AM | 19 comment(s)
  Beats: player salaries, race

 

 

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