Why the Decline of African Americans in Baseball: Part 3


To summarize, the SPELLIT ASSESSMENT indicates that there is a correlation between economic background and playing baseball. The more money you are willing to spend the more likelihood you are to continue playing. My change plan is specifically targeting African-Americans because they are the ethnic group that is becoming less active at the fastest rate. (Straden 2014) The correlation seems to be there and active players would agree, “Longtime big leaguer LaTroy Hawkins said it directly: Baseball in the United States has become a sport for the rich.” (Keown 2013) Hawkins theory of baseball and economics does not seem to be wrong. Even though teams play baseball, they are still a company and need to generate profits to become successful,

“Why do the A’s want to move? Santa Clara County has a population of more than 1.7 million and is one of the most affluent counties in the nation. Alameda County has a population of 1.5 million and a median household income $20,000 less than Santa Clara County according to the 2000 census.” (Schoenfield 2013)

If this is a game for the rich, how well are African-Americans in terms of financial security? The following section helps understand and helps develop a more conclusive answer.

Pew Research Center has helped correlate some connections that are needed to understand the decline. These points are important because when addressing this problem no one seems to publicly acknowledge them, “By 2011, the black marriage rate had fallen to 56% that of the white rate: 55% of whites were married, compared with 31% of blacks.” This is an important statistic and correlates to baseball because the SPELL IT ASSESSMENT has showed that economics play a huge role in the participation rate among blacks. Also according to Pew (2013), “Marriage is considered an indicator of well-being in part because married adults are economically better off”.

By using this indicator, we can assume that the black families are not economically better off. With one parent working to provide for a family, it seems clear that they would not have the luxury to spend on things like baseball. Compared to football and basketball more equipment is required to play the game of baseball. Scheller (2014) has provided the image below to demonstrate the different costs by sport and also found that Hawkins stated the following, which adds to his previous comments mentioned before, “In baseball, you need all of the equipment — glove, bat, spikes. [Basketball] all you need is a pair of tennis shoes. You don’t take that for granted, but a majority of kids have a pair of tennis shoes that they wear to school.” Hawkins has been very adamant about baseball being a game that involves money and continues his dialogue with the following excerpt,

“If I would have went to my mom and would have asked her, ‘Mom, I need $1,500 to play on this travel team with the best players in the state, she would have looked at me [and said] – Hey, little league is $35 … and its $50 for you and your brother. I think I know where you’ll be playing at.’” (Diunte 2014).

The solutions to these problems involve work from the NCAA and MLB to eliminate the cost of school and get more community efforts from both of its players. It also calls for teams to step up its efforts to integrate more black children. Lastly, in order for my plan to work, MLB must learn to play politics in Washington D.C. Major League Baseball needs to get legislation passed to establish Opening Day and Civil Rights Week as national holidays. Last year Ozzie Smith teamed up with Budweiser and created a petition to establish the Opening Day holiday but ultimately failed because they did not have the correct game plan in pursing it.

You can find the first two articles here PART 1 and PART 2


Diunte, N. (2014, January 22). Ex-Met LaTroy Hawkins Speaks Out On The Decline of Blacks in Baseball.

Keown, T. (2013, April 13). What the MLB Committee Will Find.

Pew Research Center. (2013, August 22). Race in America: Tracking 50 Years of Demographic Trends.

Scheller, A. (2014, April 09). Major League Baseball No More Black Than It Was In The 1950s.

Schoenfield, D. (2013, June 18). Time for MLB To Let The A’s Move.

Standen, J. (2014). The Demise Of The African American Baseball Player.