It’s October in the Baltimore-Washington area and while football is kicking into high gear, the Boys of Summer have taken center stage. The Orioles are guaranteed a playoff spot for the first time in 15 years. The Nationals sported the best record in the majors for much of the season. Both cities have majority Black populations and both have embraced their baseball teams with enthusiasm, despite the declining number of African Americans playing in the majors.
...Looking at America’s current sports landscape, it’s hard to believe that Major League Baseball integrated two years before the NFL, three before the NBA. USA Today reports that African Americans in the majors have dwindled to 8% in 2012, down from 27% in 1975. Latinos now outnumber African American players 3 to 1. Many blame the reduction on baseball not being color friendly, noting the scarcity of Black owners, executives and managers and the fiction that identifies Babe Ruth as baseball’s greatest hitter, even though he was surpassed by Hank Aaron.
Here in D.C., the decrease in popularity is surely due, in part, to the absence of pro baseball for more than 30 years.
But in an election year, when no one can agree on anything, Baltimore and Washington are united in the love of their respective baseball teams, both of which are hoping to restore the tradition in their cities.
Posted: October 03, 2012 at 04:35 PM | 18 comment(s)
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