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Wednesday, October 03, 2012

AFRO: Baseball: Blacks’ Favorite Pastime No More

Other pennant race speech upcoming!

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.

Repoz Posted: October 03, 2012 at 04:35 PM | 18 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: history

Reader Comments and Retorts

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   1. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: October 03, 2012 at 04:53 PM (#4252755)
Is he talking about all Blacks? Because I think its still Bud Black's favorite pastime.
   2. Pat Rapper's Delight (as quoted on MLB Network) Posted: October 03, 2012 at 05:03 PM (#4252771)
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

Clearly the abundance of Latino owners in MLB is what is driving the growth of the number of Latino players.
   3. Fred Lynn Nolan Ryan Sweeney Agonistes Posted: October 03, 2012 at 05:13 PM (#4252796)
the fiction that identifies Babe Ruth as baseball’s greatest hitter, even though he was surpassed by Hank Aaron

This writer does not know what he is talking about.
   4. JoeC Posted: October 03, 2012 at 05:19 PM (#4252812)
Is he talking about all Blacks? Because I think its still Bud Black's favorite pastime.


All Blacks? I think they prefer rugby.
   5. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: October 03, 2012 at 05:54 PM (#4252892)
Wasn't AFRO one of Huey Freeman's many revolutionary groups? Africans For Revolutionary Overthrow or something?
   6. TerpNats Posted: October 03, 2012 at 07:38 PM (#4253110)
Some black octogenerians who fondly recall seeing the Homestead Grays play at Griffith Stadium probably want to set this young whippersnapper straight.
   7. catomi01 Posted: October 03, 2012 at 07:52 PM (#4253138)
the fiction that identifies Babe Ruth as baseball’s greatest hitter, even though he was surpassed by Hank Aaron


This writer does not know what he is talking about


If the only criteria is HR's hit, I think Aaron might have been passed by someone too....not sure though.
   8. dr. scott Posted: October 03, 2012 at 08:28 PM (#4253178)
I was at least listening to him before the babe ruth comment... that is just plain ignorant.

On his other points, are there really that many Black executives and owners in Basketball and Football... i assumed it was just as few with a few Magic Johnsons here and there...
   9. Bruce Markusen Posted: October 03, 2012 at 09:18 PM (#4253217)
I agree that this article wasn't particularly good. But the game is not doing a good job of attracting black fans.

Years ago, Mudcat Grant talked about bringing a little "hip-hop" to baseball. I guess there's at least one obvious way to do that: bring hip-hop music to the ballpark atmosphere. I would guess that few ballparks play hip-hop, but that's just a guess.

I think Mudcat might have also been talking about the style of play on the field, too, the style of play that used to be featured in the Negro Leagues, which was a game of speed and agressiveness mixed in with a little bit of showboating and entertainment. I wonder if the game we see on the field were to have those elements, would black fans become more attracted to it?

Pace of the game remains a problem. There is simply no legit reason for pitchers to take 25 to 30 seconds between pitches. Until all the down time we see at major league games is greatly reduced, baseball will have trouble drawing new groups of fans, whether they be African Americans, or Latinos, or younger fans.
   10. charityslave is thinking about baseball Posted: October 03, 2012 at 10:45 PM (#4253344)
I don't think that African -Americans are particularly repulsed by baseball. It's just that those honky's love it so much! Just look at the huge smiles on their faces as they whip that ball around. Lighties have a natural ability to throw, hit and catch the ball. You can tell just by watching them. With their slender thighs and small buttocks, they obviously have an advantage in sliding. Their high pitch, nasally shrill voices are easily heard when they call out "I got it!" as they stiffly run to get under the ball. It's in the blood of the whites. They love this game!
   11. Daunte Vicknabbit! Posted: October 03, 2012 at 11:09 PM (#4253374)
Wasn't AFRO one of Huey Freeman's many revolutionary groups? Africans For Revolutionary Overthrow or something?


Primey.
   12. JoeHova Posted: October 03, 2012 at 11:50 PM (#4253417)
On his other points, are there really that many Black executives and owners in Basketball and Football.


Owners, no. Executives, yes.
   13. Fred Lynn Nolan Ryan Sweeney Agonistes Posted: October 04, 2012 at 02:38 AM (#4253495)
Pace of the game remains a problem. There is simply no legit reason for pitchers to take 25 to 30 seconds between pitches.

One of the many things I love about the A's collection of young pitchers is that they all seem to have "Work quickly" drilled into their heads.
   14. Greg Schuler Posted: October 04, 2012 at 09:28 AM (#4253592)
Since someone already purloined the rugby reference, I'll mention that ice hockey clearly has a stranglehold on the Black (oh, can I type that?), er, African-American and their entertainment dollars. Even with the lockout.
   15. JJ1986 Posted: October 04, 2012 at 09:33 AM (#4253602)
Many blame the reduction on baseball not being color friendly, noting the...fiction that identifies Babe Ruth as baseball’s greatest hitter, even though he was surpassed by Hank Aaron.


This is so weird. First, no one thinks Aaron was the greatest hitter of all time. Second, Bonds very well could be. Third, who cares? Fourth, even if someone cares, there are dozens of other more important factors.
   16. zack Posted: October 04, 2012 at 10:13 AM (#4253643)
Since someone already purloined the rugby reference, I'll mention that ice hockey clearly has a stranglehold on the Black (oh, can I type that?), er, African-American and their entertainment dollars. Even with the lockout.


You can type it but you don't need to capitalize it. As I try to explain to my dad, black is perfectly fine as an adjective, just don't use it as a noun (or, god forbid, use "the blacks"). He may just be trolling me though.

Speaking of hockey, I am interested in why Canadians don't play much baseball anymore. If you listen to old hockey players, they all played baseball as kids, but these days it's all soccer or lacrosse.
   17. tfbg9 Posted: October 04, 2012 at 10:59 AM (#4253713)
ZZZ.
   18. jack the seal clubber (on the sidelines of life) Posted: October 04, 2012 at 11:29 AM (#4253769)
the fiction that identifies Babe Ruth as baseball’s greatest hitter, even though he was surpassed by Hank Aaron


There is not enough space to explain why this is false, unless your definition of greatest hitter is "career home run leader no matter how long it took".

What does the pace of the game have to do with anything? Poorly written and divisive junk.

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