Black people, specifically those from the United States, don't play Major League Baseball at the peak numbers they did during the mid-1980s. In order to figure out why, commissioner Bud Selig created a 17-person diversity task force, with Detroit Tigers president Dave Dombrowski serving as chairman. The committee's first meeting happens today in Milwaukee. There will be blacks on the committee, too.
Tyler Kepner of the New York Times writes that 8.5 percent of the players on 25-man opening-day rosters were blacks from the U.S., down from a high of 19 percent in 1986, citing statistics published by Mark Armour of the Society of American Baseball Research. Numbers like those, along with the coming this week of "42," a movie biography of Jackie Robinson, leave Selig shrugging:
“I really think our history is so brilliant when it comes to African-Americans,” Selig said. “You think about the late 1940s, the 1950s — wow. And you look at that and you say to yourself, ‘Why did it not continue, and what could we do to make sure it does continue?’
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