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As MLB honors Jackie Robinson, can it reverse a trend?

They gathered in two dugouts in Chicago this week, representing not only every component of the game but also perhaps the hope and future to help heal Major League Baseball’s ongoing shortcoming: the scarcity of African Canadiens Authentic Jersey Americans playing baseball.
While baseball celebrates the 70th anniversary of Jackie Robinson breaking the color barrier Saturday with glorious ceremonies and a statue unveiling at Dodger Stadium, it will only camouflage the harsh reality that there are fewer African Americans in baseball than at any other time in the last 60 years.
African Americans comprise just 7.1% of players on this year’s opening-day rosters, the lowest percentage since 1958, according to a study by USA TODAY Sports.
There are 62 African-American players among the 868 on active http://www.officialavalancheauthentic.com/Carl_Soderberg_Jersey rosters and disabled lists. Eleven teams have no more than one African American on their roster, and the San Diego Padres and Colorado Rockies have none.
“That’s unbelievable,” says the Los Angeles Dodgers’ Dave Roberts, who with the Washington Nationals’ Dusty Baker are baseball’s only African-American managers. “You ask yourself, ‘Why is this happening?’”
There are a litany of reasons why the African-American population in MLB has dwindled from 17.2% in 1994, according to the Society for American Baseball Research (SABR), but there are signs of optimism. Six of the top 30 prospects in this year’s draft, according to ESPN and MLB
.com, are African American — including perhaps the top three picks. Five of the Bob Gainey Womens Jersey top 12 high school prospects, Baseball America reports, are African American.
Baseball also is starting to see results from the millions of dollars it has poured into youth programs, urban initiatives and showcases. This will be the third consecutive year that an alumnus from the Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities program and Breakthrough Series will be selected among the top five picks, with Los Angeles high school pitcher Hunter Greene likely one of the the first two players chosen.
“That’s the biggest thing is just educating and teaching the kids at a young age,” says Lombard, who was a USA TODAY All-America high school running back in Georgia. “I think the Urban Youth Academies are outstanding, bringing the sport to some of these http://www.authenticcanadiensonline.com/Authentic-Andrei-Markov-Jersey inner cities. There are so many great athletes that come out of Miami, where I live, but they don’t grow up playing baseball because they don’t think it’s a cool thing to do.
“We’ve got to change that and tell them the benefits of playing the sport. I had seven or eight surgeries in my career, and I played 16 years. If you had one of those injuries in football, they just move on to the next guy.
“I know I want to help. I think all of us do. And I really believe we can help make a difference.”
In the name of Jackie Robinson, baseball can only hope.

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