Baseball is being Blackballed by Black Players

Posted by Andy Durham on May 14, 2007 at 11:34 am under Professional | 18 Comments to Read

The African-American has found another past-time.  Young blacks are not migrating toward baseball the way they were back in the 50’s, 60’s, 70’s and even the 80’s to some degree.

Today’s black teen and so many young African-Americans are ignoring baseball a game that their fathers and grandfathers played with a passion.  Today’s black teens are moving more and more to year-round basketball programs and to football.  The NBA is the showcase to today’s black youth and the NFL offers more to them than Major League Baseball can muster.

There are still many black players in today’s game but they hail from Cuba, Venezuela, Mexico, the Domican Republic, and all the places in-between Latin and Central America.  Canada is producing more pro-level baseball players than the US black communities these days.

NC A&T has more white players in their lineup than they do black players.  Larry Farrar the baseball coach over at Dudley High School is trying do something about it here locally but it is still a small drop in the bucket to what we are seeing when it comes to the decline of the black baseball player in today’s society.  Derrick Johnson has tried to keep things moving forward at Smith HS by bringing more black players to the game but it has been a major struggle.

Why are the young black African-Americans not interested in baseball?  The NBA and NFL offer up more glamour and more instant recognition.  The money gets bigger quicker.  You don’t have to go through a minor league system in pro basketball and football.  The wait is so much shorter than in baseball and the next thing you know you are on TV and chasing LeBron James and Pac Man Jones all over the place.  At least that’s what the kids are being led to believe.

How many African-Americans have come through the Marlins’ system and been Greensboro Grasshoppers lately?  Jai Miller and Greg Burns are two quick names that come to mind.  Ironically, both of those guys are centerfielders.  Bottom line, we are not seeing many African-Americans coming through the Greensboro systems.  Otis Nixon, Reggie Sanders and Derek Jeter made it to the bigs coming out of here but the list is short.

We all know a guy can be black and not be an African-American.  How many home-grown black men from the US are we seeing in the majors these days?  Hey there’s Jeter, Barry Bonds and Tori Hunter and Dontrell Willis, Gary Sheffield, Prince Fielder, Tony Gwynn Jr., Josh Barfield, Ray Durham, Derek Lee and a few others but not many.

Andru Jones is from the Virgin Islands and the black names we see today are Soriano, Hernandez, Gonzalez, Rodriguez, Ramirez, Ortiz, Tatis, Sanchez, Furcal, Gillen, Castillo, Encarnacion, Pena, Sosa, Molina, Cabrera, Guererro, Chavez, Tejada, etc.  These are not black men they just look to be in the eyes of those searching for answers. 

Take a look, the Japanese and Chinese players are coming into the big leagues more rapidly than today’s African-Americans.  Hank Aaron, Willie Mays, Willie McCovey, Jackie Robinson, Frank Robinson, and other black greats helped set the foundation for today’s game of baseball but their decendants can’t be found around the diamond of today.

It’s going to be up to kids like Alan Craven at Grimsley, Tyler Rankin at Ragsdale, and James ‘Tre Perry at Dudley to bring back the black to the game of baseball.  The African-American has his place in baseball history and it will be up to today’s kids to see if they want to preserve it.  Grimsley has one black player, Ragsdale has two, Page has a few, Dudley and Smith have plenty which is to be expected but at Northwest, Southeast, Southern, Eastern, and many of our other local schools you won’t see any at all.  

The call is out there, will any of our African-Americans accept it and set their sights on the major leagues in baseball or will they continue to flock to the basketball courts and football fields in the future?      


  • Jane Goodall said,

    They don’t let you play with baseball bats in prison.

  • Greg said,

    Ms. Goodall from that comment do you think blacks should still in the back of the bus or not sit at the same lunch counter with whites.

  • Jane Goodall said,

    Over 28% of black men can expect to be incarcerated at some point in their lives. Segragation has nothing to do with it. If you are a black male, it is imperative that you learn necessary basketball skills for surviving our prison system. Baseball doesn’t teach these valuable skill sets.

  • Andy said,

    Ms. Goodall it sounds as if you have gone beyond your studies of lower primate behavior. Welcome to the sports team at greensborosports.com and if you have a copy of your honorary doctorate from the Asheboro Zoo then we will hang on it the wall in our office. Your expanded research of man vs. beast amazes me.

  • chuckyd said,

    the naacp just called-they will be boycotting greensborosports.com effective immediately until they send andy to africa to play with the lions

  • Rev. Jesse Jackson Johnson King said,

    Why can’t we all get along?

  • Marshall Brown said,

    The bulldog verses the lions, I’ll take the lions and two limbs. Only because it is going down in Africa, if it was taking place in Plesant Garden I’d have to place my bet with the bulldog. Hey Andy, want to really get some publicity for your website? Demand that Jane Goodall post her home address on the website…

  • Greg said,

    I will be in touch with Skip Alston and Earl Jones about this web site.

  • Rob said,

    Could baseball suck any worse?

  • JT said,

    Somebody on here must be crazy or they have been smoking something. Baseball sucks? The Grasshoppers drew over 450,000 fans to their new stadium last year. The high schools are getting positive publicity for their runs in the playoffs. I for one feel the black player is still interested in the game of baseball and that the kids will see the error of their ways as chances in basketball and football erode. Baseball provides more chances to advance than basketball or football. Basketball only has five players on the court at one time and football is too dangerous for small children and the survival rate for football is very short.

    Just because you can’t afford to go to the games and you’re out of work on unemployment don’t come on here crying about baseball and cracking on a game you found too tough to play.

    I would tell you to get back in the game, but obviously you got passed over and did not get selected when they were choosing teams. Good on your video games and try not to cry when you see this post pal.

  • Rob said,

    Nice try buddy, but the bottom line is if college basketball or football were still being played, nobody would be paying baseball any attention. The only thing baseball gives to the Greensboro area is an extra barstool for some fat old losers like JT looking for a place to drown there pathetic existences. Those of you who feel the need to judge young black athletes and their right to participate in sports of their own choosing need to go and get a life. As the Jon Kruk once said, “If they don’t want me, I’ll just take my ball and go home!”

    Baseball sucks because ther best thing you guys can come up with is the lack of African Americans participating. At least this now gives you something to hack on when your trying to write an article about hockey, tennis, swimming or science olympiad.

  • Andy said,

    Are we loosing our minds here? I will agree with the Rev. JJJ King above. Why can’t we all get along? How can we all get along? We are all so competitive and that’s what drives this site. Let the bombs keep flying and take cover when necessary. Good Luck to all and to all a safe exchange.

  • Debbie said,

    In addition to Alan Craven, Grimsley also has an up and coming African-American baseball player —–sophomore Shaquille Jacobs who serves as co-captain of the Junior Varsity and has recently been brought up to Varsity in our post-season. A pre-IB student and a positive role model, Shaq has participated locally in AAU, the Hi-Toms League and Colt ball. He has also battled leukemia this year. I agree—we need more Alan Cravens and Shaq Jacobs.

  • Paul Lambeth said,

    Wow Jane, I thought your Imus comments a while back were bad, but that takes the cake.

    The real reason Baseball is not played like it used to be in the black community is because in my opinion basketball is more condusive to urban sprawl. Plus basketball is just more in tune with the tenor of our times in the African American community.

    And not only are blacks playing less baseball, kids play less baseball period, especially in the cities. In the rural areas the game is still very strong, that is because of the games pastorial nature, for much the same reason the game still thrives in the third world.

  • Andy said,

    Debbie, thank-you for the info on Shaq Jacobs. I had heard of him but didn’t know the full story. Again, thanks.

  • JT said,

    Some of this dialogue is troubling to me. If anyone wants to call out good ‘ole JT then meet me after the game on Friday night. I’ll be glad to take on all of your buddies from this site. My dad once owned part of the Greensboro Bats baseball team so I know this area well and will have no trouble competing with you guys. I got the brains and brawn in my family . Want some? Come get some, Friday night after the game and you know which game I’m talking about.

  • Rob said,

    Just becuase your daddy bought one of Jim Melvin’s fraudulent ownership coupons doesn’t mean he was really part owner of the bats. This is what happens to kids in the Boro, they grow up, can’t escape, and end up watching 3rd tier baseball and drinking watered down beer. I thought at first that you might actually be Melvin’s kid, but when I read “brains and brawn”, I knew that couldn’t be.

    The story on the kid with luekemia actually has merit. Black, white, or purple, that kid has shown a great deal of courage and should be recognized, not for his color, but for his bravery.

    I’m assuming the next article we see will be on the plight of the Causasian sprinter and the few remaining who compete in the sport.

  • Edward said,

    I agree with the comments of Mr. Paul Lambeth. Paul has good insight into the origin of this topic. Paul seems to think outside the box unlike many others that choose to voice their opinion in these comment boxes. Paul is right about his theories of the third world region. I have traveled to this area and have seen first hand what he is talking about. Paul I’m sure will have more on this for us in the future and I for one look forward to his information. As for Miss Goodall, I have have No Comment. Again, Paul thank-you for shedding some true light on this subject.