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Thread: Why American Born Blacks Are Not Playing Baseball

  1. #1
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    There have been plenty of discussions on this, so here are my reasons (in order):

    1) A buffoon of a commissioner (Bud Selig)
    2) Brothas are choosing other sports
    3) The pace of the game (BORING???)
    4) MLB's lack of marketing (ties in with Reason 1).

    I don't buy the argument of "no generational hand me down learning" (father to son teaching). This argument has too many negative connotations, such as lack of availability of Black fathers.

    Just remember, in striving to play professional sports, baseball has better long term economic benifits, such as:

    a) guaranteed contracts (The NFL doesn't)
    b) unrestricted free agency (The NFL, NBA don't have it).
    c) One day in the Big Leagues, and you get a pension! Name any company with that provision (you can't)!

    Peace.

    [ July 21, 2003, 10:44 AM: Message edited by: einnod23 ]
    "You can master any situation if you can master yourself."
    --TD Jakes

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    Interesting topic....I wonder too! When I was growing up, I never really had many blacks on my baseball teams. I played with more and more as I got older, but the number is so low that I can count the number of black baseball players. However, we did play against schools that were mainly black in high school. The league I play in now has more blacks almost all of them played college and pro-ball.

    Honestly I do feel that the big leagues does have alot of blacks. I know it's nothing compared to the white and latins in the league.

    [ July 21, 2003, 10:56 AM: Message edited by: Michael J. Carmona ]

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    http://espn.go.com/page2/s/wiley/030715.html

    ESPN's Outside the Lines did a show about this very subject about 2 weeks ago. And Ralph Wiley (Why Black People Like to Shout) wrote this piece about baseball and its oft contentious relationship with black folks.
    http://www.nubangclan.com
    http://www.myspace.com/warriornbc

    Your sins are the only interesting thing about you dreary bleak muthaf***s - Doug Stanhope

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    Yeah, i caught that espn piece, i don't know what its like now, but growing up little league, pony, babe ruth baseball was huge in chicago, all black teams, even neighborhood teams. basketball has simply replaced baseball with school and aau hoop teams from 5yrs old and up with year round play. back in the day, you were not considered a real athlete unless you excelled in all sports, baseball, football and basketball, not to mention track, swimming, maybe tennis, ping pong, pool, bowling, hell, in the chi, we even tried to mess with hockey! bottom line, no sport matches the creativity you get with hoopin

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    Originally posted by mhd:
    basketball has simply replaced baseball with school and aau hoop teams from 5yrs old and up with year round play.
    Baseball down here and probably every where else is the same way. In Texas we call it "Select-Baseball" kids play year round, and play more than 30 games, they travel around the country to play, sometimes double headers. My nephew is 15 yrs and plays on a Select team. Many kids are turning to basketball, though.

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    Originally posted by Michael J. Carmona:
    </font><blockquote>quote:</font><hr />Originally posted by mhd:
    basketball has simply replaced baseball with school and aau hoop teams from 5yrs old and up with year round play.
    Baseball down here and probably every where else is the same way. In Texas we call it "Select-Baseball" kids play year round, and play more than 30 games, they travel around the country to play, sometimes double headers. My nephew is 15 yrs and plays on a Select team. Many kids are turning to basketball, though. </font>[/QUOTE]my bad, Mike, that was poorly worded, i meant that AAU Basketball has year round leagues starting with very young kids, and that has replaced baseball for many black kids.
    another reason, is that NBA markets players, and baseball doesn't.

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    I forgot to list another factor on Black decline:
    5) length and expense to play the game.

    ...And another long term economic benefit for choosing baseball:
    d) The MLBPA: The baddest union in the universe!!!!

    [ July 21, 2003, 11:36 AM: Message edited by: einnod23 ]
    "You can master any situation if you can master yourself."
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    Originally posted by einnod23:
    I forgot to list another factor on Black decline:
    5) length and expense to play the game.
    I'm lost can you explain this? Blacks don't play baseball because the length and expense of the game? I probably just missed something.

  9. #9
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    Originally posted by mhd:
    Yeah, i caught that espn piece, i don't know what its like now, but growing up little league, pony, babe ruth baseball was huge in chicago, all black teams, even neighborhood teams. basketball has simply replaced baseball with school and aau hoop teams from 5yrs old and up with year round play. back in the day, you were not considered a real athlete unless you excelled in all sports, baseball, football and basketball, not to mention track, swimming, maybe tennis, ping pong, pool, bowling, hell, in the chi, we even tried to mess with hockey! bottom line, no sport matches the creativity you get with hoopin
    Jackie Robinson West baybeeeee! Minor league MVP - had that smoke in 5th grade, player. Could get anyone off the plate.

    Baseball was the organized sport of choice for us on the south side of Chicago. Basketball ran second. I can even remember strike-out, where you spraypaint the strike zone on the wall and try to out-pitch each batter. Brutal.

    We loved baseball more than anything else in my neighborhood.

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    Originally posted by einnod23:

    ...And another long term economic benefit for choosing baseball:
    d) The MLBPA: The baddest union in the universe!!!!
    thanks to a brother, Mr. Curt Flood!

    one more thing, baseball was my first love as a sport, then i started hooping and it was all over. but you immediately noticed that you needed a whole lot more cats to play a baseball game and you needed a whole lot more equipment, so if you are broke, like we were, you really only needed two things to hoop, a ball and a basket

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    Originally posted by Bold Soul:
    </font><blockquote>quote:</font><hr />Originally posted by mhd:
    Yeah, i caught that espn piece, i don't know what its like now, but growing up little league, pony, babe ruth baseball was huge in chicago, all black teams, even neighborhood teams. basketball has simply replaced baseball with school and aau hoop teams from 5yrs old and up with year round play. back in the day, you were not considered a real athlete unless you excelled in all sports, baseball, football and basketball, not to mention track, swimming, maybe tennis, ping pong, pool, bowling, hell, in the chi, we even tried to mess with hockey! bottom line, no sport matches the creativity you get with hoopin
    Jackie Robinson West baybeeeee! Minor league MVP - had that smoke in 5th grade, player. Could get anyone off the plate.

    Baseball was the organized sport of choice for us on the south side of Chicago. Basketball ran second. I can even remember strike-out, where you spraypaint the strike zone on the wall and try to out-pitch each batter. Brutal.

    We loved baseball more than anything else in my neighborhood.
    </font>[/QUOTE]no doubt, you could even use chalk for strikeout, and then you only needed one bat, one glove and one ball then it was one-on-one.
    its kinda sad that baseball fell off in the hood, because there were and are some incredible athletes chasing that hoop dream

  12. #12
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    Originally posted by einnod23:
    There have been plenty of discussions on this, so here are my reasons (in order):

    1) A buffoon of a commissioner (Bud Selig)
    2) Brothas are choosing other sports
    3) The pace of the game (BORING???)
    4) MLB's lack of marketing (ties in with Reason
    I would have to disagree with #1. I mean the way I see is all if not most baseball players are trying to reach one goal, and that's to make it to the "Show" (big leagues). Whether the commissioner is Bud Selig or Buggs Bunny that should/would not stop a player from reaching that goal. (just my opinion)

    About #3, they pace of the game might be slow from the stand or bleachers, but anyone who has played the game and was good at it should know that it's not boring, however baseball is one of the only sports where the game is not timed. (Softball beer leagues don't count [img]smile.gif[/img] )

    [ July 21, 2003, 11:52 AM: Message edited by: Michael J. Carmona ]

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    Originally posted by Michael J. Carmona:
    </font><blockquote>quote:</font><hr />Originally posted by einnod23:
    I forgot to list another factor on Black decline:
    5) length and expense to play the game.
    I'm lost can you explain this? Blacks don't play baseball because the length and expense of the game? I probably just missed something. </font>[/QUOTE]I worked in a sporting goods store, and remember gloves, bats and uniforms, on average, being at least $100+. I sure don't want to know the price now.

    To learn the skills necessary to play takes time. There aren't enough developmental leagues to teach it. Just remember, Mike, you're in Texas, where baseball is big. Many African American communities don't have those types of leagues, except Oakland and Chicago. Harlem is starting to pop up a couple of them, and one of the reasons may be due to the large Dominican population in neighboring Washington Heights.

    [ July 21, 2003, 11:58 AM: Message edited by: einnod23 ]
    "You can master any situation if you can master yourself."
    --TD Jakes

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    Originally posted by Bold Soul:
    I can even remember strike-out, where you spraypaint the strike zone on the wall and try to out-pitch each batter. Brutal.

    We loved baseball more than anything else in my neighborhood.
    Yeah here too man. We played wiffle ball to the end in my neighborhood. We didn't have batting cages in our back yards like some kids have today (My nephew does, though. More power to him). So I got most of my cuts by playing wiffle ball in the street. Before wiffle ball though. We would play sock ball, we would roll the sock up into a ball, and hit with our hands (or play with a Nerf ball).
    It even got so bad that we were playing "Cup Ball" after our little league games. Some kids played harder "Cup ball" than they did their real games. Ahhhh the days...!!

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    einnod, the bronx seems to have a pretty good program too, right?

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    somebody from the chi please break down "strikeout" for mr. carmona

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    Originally posted by einnod23:
    I worked in a sporting goods store, and remember gloves, bats and uniforms, on average, being at least $100+. I sure don't want to know the price now.
    Well when I was growing up I didn't care what kind of glove I used. My first glove was a hand me down, and it did the job. I didn't start getting into my glove until I was older. I always wanted a Rawlings "Heart of the Hide" glove($150.00). Needless to say I finally got one.

    Originally posted by einnod23:
    To learn the skills necessary to play takes time. There aren't enough developmental leagues to teach it.
    Man if you got LOVE for the game you'll do anything to get better. Whether if it's hitting the Tee, Taking dry cuts near a fence, etc.

    IMO, I have seen many kids stop playing because of the pressure that parents put on their kids. Parents that didn't even play ball push their kis too hard. That's one that you left out.

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    I can see several reasons why kids -- regardless of race and economics -- would be less attracted to baseball now. That goes from the talent level (which is lower due to expansion) to the length of the average MLB game, which is compounded by shorter attention spans. Plus, kids just have more diversions.

    I don't know if the story is the same in many other cities, but this is a pretty saddening thing: The league that I played in when I was 14 (1990) had eight teams; the rival league across the city also had eight teams. When my brother was the same age in 2000, the two leagues had FOUR TEAMS between them. (The school enrollment did not reflect this change.)

    I lived and breathed baseball when I was a kid. I was outside until dark practically every day from March (even in snow -- I didn't care!) through October.

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    Originally posted by einnod23:
    There have been plenty of discussions on this, so here are my reasons (in order):

    1) A buffoon of a commissioner (Bud Selig)
    2) Brothas are choosing other sports
    3) The pace of the game (BORING???)
    4) MLB's lack of marketing (ties in with Reason 1).

    I don't buy the argument of "no generational hand me down learning" (father to son teaching). This argument has too many negative connotations, such as lack of availability of Black fathers.

    Just remember, in striving to play professional sports, baseball has better long term economic benifits, such as:

    a) guaranteed contracts (The NFL doesn't)
    b) unrestricted free agency (The NFL, NBA don't have it).
    c) One day in the Big Leagues, and you get a pension! Name any company with that provision (you can't)!

    Peace.
    I agree that basball is the best way to go if
    you are trying to be a professional athlete.
    Average career and salary above that of all other
    sports and 25 man roster as opposed to 12 in the NBA.

    I think the decline of baseball's popularity is
    that it's not played anymore on a grassroots level. Outside of organized leagues.
    When I was a kid,we played blacktop basketball
    and sandlot baseball with equal joy.
    When's the last time you saw kids of any race out
    having a pickup baseball game?
    We live in a video game,instant gratification,short attention span country now.
    Baseball is a cerebral game,patience is paramount. The excitement of if a squeeze bunt or hit & run will be called by the manager is
    as exciting as the play itself,provided you truly understand the game.
    Baseball is like chess.
    Young people today are more programmed than in my youth. They need electronic apparatus to have fun. When's the last time you saw a Wiffle Ball game,Double Dutch,Hide & Seek or it's teen successor,Hide & Go Get It played in neighborhoods? If it's not attached to game cube,
    they are lost.
    Marketing is important and MLB has failed miserably. Michael Jordan's human shortcomings are ignored because of marketing that makes him seem super human. Yet baseball refuses to market it's Jordan counterpart,Barry Bonds.
    The NFL markets colors,logos and teams,the NBA
    players. Basball markets "the good 'ole days".
    Those days of Babe Ruth weren't so good for blacks and Latinos and it subconciously turns off
    people.
    Baseball is in a excellent position to go NBA type global. There were 3 Japanese All Stars,numerous Carribean and S.American stars,plus white and black Americans.
    If they market Bonds,Ichiro,A-Rod,Randy Johnson
    and the like,they can get a rise in popularity.
    Lastly,kids don't grow up today with baseball memories of big games. They are all shown at night,even weekend post season games.
    The games go over 4 hours and kids are asleep.
    The NBA is smart enough to start in early evening and it's a timed game,unlike baseball.
    You can't expect kids to grow up loving things they don't see. Lastly,Interleague play SUCKS!
    The wonderment of how Tom Seaver would blow away
    Reggie Jackson in the All Star game and the debates we would get into,are the same debates
    kids have today. Who can take who,Shaq or Duncan,Kobe or T-Mac,Kidd or Payton?

    Baseball should market the future,not the past.

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    tight post, speaking of double-dutch, i saw some young girls in my neighborhood doing it a couple of weeks ago, blew me away, first time i had seen that in many years.

    forget about baseball marketing the future, not gonna happen

  21. #21
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    Originally posted by mhd:
    </font><blockquote>quote:</font><hr />Originally posted by Bold Soul:
    </font><blockquote>quote:</font><hr />Originally posted by mhd:
    Yeah, i caught that espn piece, i don't know what its like now, but growing up little league, pony, babe ruth baseball was huge in chicago, all black teams, even neighborhood teams. basketball has simply replaced baseball with school and aau hoop teams from 5yrs old and up with year round play. back in the day, you were not considered a real athlete unless you excelled in all sports, baseball, football and basketball, not to mention track, swimming, maybe tennis, ping pong, pool, bowling, hell, in the chi, we even tried to mess with hockey! bottom line, no sport matches the creativity you get with hoopin
    Jackie Robinson West baybeeeee! Minor league MVP - had that smoke in 5th grade, player. Could get anyone off the plate.

    Baseball was the organized sport of choice for us on the south side of Chicago. Basketball ran second. I can even remember strike-out, where you spraypaint the strike zone on the wall and try to out-pitch each batter. Brutal.

    We loved baseball more than anything else in my neighborhood.
    </font>[/QUOTE]no doubt, you could even use chalk for strikeout, and then you only needed one bat, one glove and one ball then it was one-on-one.
    its kinda sad that baseball fell off in the hood, because there were and are some incredible athletes chasing that hoop dream
    </font>[/QUOTE]I learn to love baseball when my dad took me and my brother outside and taught how to play strikeout in Washington park. We would pitch against the fence. We wore that fence out every year. They had to replace it every year. I am teaching my boys how to play now.
    "Bullshit is the glue that binds us as a nation."

    George Carlin

  22. #22
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    Originally posted by mhd:
    einnod, the bronx seems to have a pretty good program too, right?
    True, and here in Brooklyn, we do have the Parade Grounds and Prospect Park (The biggest league being St. Francis of Xavier). I took a stroll in the Prospect Park one time, and saw a couple of games. Hardly any African Americans. Mostly Dominicans. No problem with Dominicans keeping the game up. Mo power to 'em. But hardly any American born blacks playing this game anymore.

    I remember as a kid, The Brothas from the projects (mainly Tompkins and Sumner Houses in Brooklyn) would assemble and play a Puerto Rican softball crew called the Destroyers. No, there was no racial hatin' going on. The Destroyers were an organized team, and went around playing cats from various neighborhoods in Brooklyn who wanted to play them. We got some cats together from time to time and had a good rivalry. You don't see that anymore in the Brooklyn hoods. Peace.
    "You can master any situation if you can master yourself."
    --TD Jakes

  23. #23
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    Dolemite stated how his dad taught him to play ball, and how he is teaching his kids.

    Do you all think the dad-to-son teaching is a factor to keeping the game up? Just remember, that argument may bring up the negative stereotype of the lack of availability of Black fathers (another discussion, though).

    And speaking of father figures, though I did not have my natural father growing up, my godfather did teach me the history of the game (and jazz music, too. But that's another topic). I do not know who Jackie Robinson is if it were not for him. And why did him and his family drink that strong ass Chock-Full-O-Nuts coffee? Cause Jackie was a partner in the business. I would not have otherwise known of Jackie's business exploits. Peace.

    [ July 21, 2003, 01:23 PM: Message edited by: einnod23 ]
    "You can master any situation if you can master yourself."
    --TD Jakes

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    Originally posted by einnod23:
    Do you all think the dad-to-son teaching is a factor to keeping the game up?
    To me I think just being around a positive role model will help a child develope in the game. It could be the neighbor, a coach, a friend, or a relative. For me it was uncle. I also think that confidence is the key factor for a kids developement, I've played with kids who their dad's were the coach, and their father's were so mean to them or pressured them to the point that they just quit playing after little league.

    [ July 21, 2003, 01:41 PM: Message edited by: Michael J. Carmona ]

  25. #25
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    The state of decline in Baseall's popularity is ufortunate and sad.This however does not disuade from bein a fan.The rich and precious legacy of Black baseball history should be taught to young people as a source of inspiration.If Buck ONeil
    and other greats would talk to kids about their exploits some of them will want to take up the game.

    [ July 21, 2003, 04:09 PM: Message edited by: P-Flipp ]

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