Sunday, April 01, 2007

Baseball, apple pie and politics

As baseball season begins, hope springs eternal even if, in Wisconsin, baseball begins in a season that is not exactly spring. The Reddess and I will be at Miller Park tomorrow and I am cautiously optimistic about the Brewers. They have little margin for error, but it would not be shocking if they made the post-season for the first time since I was a newly-minted lawyer.

But this is a political blog, so let's skip the apple pie. My Backstory colleague Jim Rowen seems to agree but bemoans the decline in the number of African-American players, apparently believing that, if blacks are represented at a rate that is slightly below their share of the American population, this means that baseball can no longer be the national pastime.

If a sport needs to look like America, the NBA needs major social engineering. While my guess is that the percentage of white players in the league may actually have increased, they are all foreigners. How can the NBA appeal to America unless it both looks and sounds like a campaign commercial?

My wild guess is that the number of African-Americans in baseball has declined as the game has become internationalized. There has been a huge increase in the number of Latin - and to a lesser degree - Asian players. As their numbers have gone up, the numbers of native born blacks and whites have probably gone down.

5 comments:

James Rowen said...
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James Rowen said...
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James Rowen said...

Sorry for the earlier deletions, Rick.

My point is that you are not accurate saying "if blacks are represented at a rate that is slightly below their share of the American population" when describing their percentage in the Major Leagues.

That rate is 8%, and declining.

The African-American percentage of the US population is 12%.

That's a significant difference.

Rick Esenberg said...

The NBA (77% black) must really worry you.

Charlie Barnasta said...

I'm pretty sure baseball can save itself and re-connect with the Black population if it follows this advice -- and ONLY if it follows this advice.

http://www.yard-work.org/?p=701