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[Yahoo]Changing diversity: Astros first Series team in half-century w/o black player

Discussion in 'Houston Astros' started by SwoLy-D, Oct 26, 2005.

  1. SwoLy-D

    SwoLy-D Contributing Member

    Jul 20, 2001
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    No wonder we're LOSING... :rolleyes:
    Still, the MLB should be diverse. FULL of Dominicanos, the Astros are... :eek:

    Changing diversity: Astros first Series team in half-century without black player

    By BEN WALKER, AP Baseball Writer
    October 26, 2005

    HOUSTON (AP) -- Joe Morgan worries about the face of baseball. Watching the World Series, the Hall of Famer is troubled by what he sees.

    His old team, the Houston Astros, is down 3-0 to the Chicago White Sox, but it's not their lineup that concerns Morgan. It's their makeup.

    The Astros are the first World Series team in more than a half-century with a roster that doesn't include a single black player.

    ``Of course I noticed it. How could you not?'' Morgan said while the Astros took batting practice before the opener in Chicago. ``But they're not the only ones. There are two or three teams that didn't have any African-American players this year.''

    Morgan said it's a predicament and a challenge for Major League Baseball. While more players from around the world are making it to the majors -- Japan, Korea, for example -- the number of blacks is declining.

    ``It's a daunting task to get African-American kids into baseball, and I don't see the trend changing,'' he said.

    The last World Series team without a black player was the 1953 New York Yankees. It wasn't until 1955 -- eight years after Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier in 1947 -- that Elston Howard became the first black in Yankee pinstripes.

    Black players accounted for just about 9 percent of big league rosters this season.

    ``We know that we have to work to do,'' Commissioner Bud Selig said Tuesday. ``We'll continue to intensify our efforts. I'm very aware, I'm extremely sensitive about it, and I feel badly about it. But we need to get to work to change things.''

    Astros general manager Tim Purpura agrees.

    ``I think it's a huge, huge problem for baseball,'' he said. ``The pool of African-American players just isn't there. And as baseball becomes more college-oriented in its draft, there aren't a lot of players to pick.

    ``The African-American athletes are going into other sports,'' he said.

    The most recent survey by the NCAA, taken during the 2003-04 season, showed that only 6 percent of Division I baseball players were black. Half of the men's basketball players were black, as were 44 percent of football players.

    Houston has a half-dozen Hispanic players -- it was the first team to open a baseball academy in Venezuela, about a dozen years ago. Bench coach Cecil Cooper is black.

    Outfielders Charles Gipson and Charlton Jimerson, both black, played for the Astros during the regular season.

    The White Sox have three black players on their Series roster: Jermaine Dye, Carl Everett and Willie Harris, along with coaches Tim Raines and Harold Baines.

    They also have eight Hispanic players and Japanese second baseman Tadahito Iguchi.

    ``We're diverse because we're looking for the best in talent and character,'' general manager Ken Williams said before the Series started. ``It just happened that way. I could care less what the makeup of the club is as long as it works as a whole.''

    Williams is the only black general manager in the majors. A former big league outfielder, he joined the White Sox in 1992 as a scout, confident he could find players in the inner cities. After a year of trying, Williams felt as if he'd failed.

    Morgan is disturbed by what he's found, too.

    A two-time NL MVP, Morgan helped Cincinnati win two straight championships. In 1976, along with fellow black teammates Ken Griffey, George Foster and Dan Driessen, the Big Red Machine swept a Yankees team that had 10 black players on its roster.

    Just 10 years ago, Atlanta and Cleveland each had five black players when they met in the World Series.

    In 2003, Derek Jeter and the Yankees lost to Florida. Jeter's father is black and his mother is white; the All-Star shortstop has said he considers himself both black and white.

    ``There's a perception among African-American kids that they're not welcome here, that baseball is not for inner-city kids,'' Morgan said. ``It's not true, and I hate that the perception is out there.''

    Updated on Wednesday, Oct 26, 2005 2:39 am EDT
  2. TMac640

    TMac640 Contributing Member

    Jan 10, 2005
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    *shakes the haters off again*
  3. Uprising

    Uprising Contributing Member

    Dec 29, 2000
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    Why does this keep coming up?

    Oh well, about time to start following the Rockets again.
  4. DaDakota

    DaDakota If you want to know, just ask!

    Mar 14, 1999
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    The funny thing is that no one complains about the lack of white players in the NBA.....

    And 9% is really close to the overall 13% total of African Americans in the states.

    I will tell you what....I sure wish we had a black player that could hit.....hell, I would take a martian if they could hit in the clutch at this point.

  5. Luckyazn

    Luckyazn Contributing Member

    Jun 23, 2003
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    If you're GOOD enough you'll make a team.
  6. Luckyazn

    Luckyazn Contributing Member

    Jun 23, 2003
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    True, no one complains about lack of white players in the NBA.
    no one complains about lacks of mexican players in the MLB.
    no one complains about lacks of whatever else in the NFL.

    If you're GOOD enough you will play somewhere.
  7. Rocketman95

    Rocketman95 Hangout Boy

    Feb 15, 1999
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    I don't think the point of the article is to criticize the Astros for not having an African-American on their team. Nor, as some responses have indicated, does the article argue that there's racist overtones to the relative lack of black baseball players in the MLB.

    It's more to lament the fact that in general, the sport's popularity among African-American kids has rapidly declined and that's upsetting to many, not just African-Americans. There are various reasons why this has happened and it is something that I think needs to be addressed. Baseball really needs to make a concerted effort to bring inner-city kids back into the fold.

    One of the problems in this country today is that people try to ignore race. They do so by dismissing very valid opinions and feelings any time race is brought up. This is not a critical article condemning racists. It's an article that shows the mourning of a sport's lost popularity among blacks by former black baseball players.
    #7 Rocketman95, Oct 26, 2005
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2005
  8. PhiSlammaJamma

    Aug 29, 1999
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    Who wins?

    1b Watson
    2b Morgan
    3b Lopes
    ss Yelding
    c Nichols
    OF Bass
    OF Wynn
    OF Bell
    SP JR Richard
    SP B. Williams
    SP Gooden
    SP A. Young
    SP ?
    C M. Jackson
    C Gordon

    1b Bagwell
    2b Biggio
    3b Caminiti
    ss Dickie Thon
    C Ausmus
    OF Lane
    OF Berkman
    OF Gonzalez
    SP Scott
    SP Schilling
    SP Wilson
    SP Pettitte
    SP Clemens
    C Lidge
    C Wagner

    1b Abreu
    2b Viscaino
    3b Cabell
    ss Lugo
    c Eusebio
    OF Cedeno
    OF Cruz
    OF Beltran
    SP Lima
    SP Andujar
    SP Portugal
    SP X. Hernandez
    SP C. Hernandex
    C Agosto
    C Dotel
  9. Another Brother

    Another Brother Contributing Member

    Sep 28, 2001
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    Morgan is crazy. No one cares about this or even notices.
  10. Saint Louis

    Saint Louis Member

    Jun 27, 1999
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    Urban children are no longer playing little league baseball and haven't been for about 25 years. I can remember when there used to be a Timbergrove, Heights, Norhill, West End and Oaks Dads Club little leagues. Oaks Dads Club may be the only one left on the near northwest side of Houston.

    Every kid wants to be the next Michael Jordan, not the next Joe Morgan. I guess Joe has a hard time dealing with that.
  11. TECH

    TECH Contributing Member

    Nov 6, 2002
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    Baseball requires a lot more equipment and space to play, along with organization. It's harder to find all of those necessities, rather than simply getting a ball and hoop, or a football.

    That may be just a small aspect of this "problem", I'm sure there are other reasons. Such as, the interest level of African Americans towards certain sports. If baseball gets shunned by African Americans in favor of other sports, then big deal, get over it.

    Maybe if Stern gets really strict on the dresscode of the NBA, then the uniforms of the MLB players wouldn't be as uninviting to AA's. :D
  12. Phi83

    Phi83 Contributing Member

    May 20, 2002
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    Why don't people complain that there is not enough Black and Latino NHL players? Can't we all just get along!
  13. bobrek

    bobrek Politics belong in the D & D

    Sep 16, 1999
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    Are Puerto Ricans considered white or hispanic or could they be either?
  14. Rocket River

    Rocket River Member

    Oct 5, 1999
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    MMMM Kay

    Rocket River
    I rec'on
  15. rikesh316

    rikesh316 Member

    Sep 28, 2002
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    Charlton Jimerson may be in Houston next year. He is having a good Arizona Fall League. He has all the 5 tools but is too inconsistent at the plate at times like he strikes out a lot.
  16. tigermission1

    tigermission1 Contributing Member

    Aug 17, 2002
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    Well, baseball is not really an 'athlete's sport' like basketball is, so the Black players dominate the more demanding sports (athleticism-wise). Yup, that's my explanation and I am sticking to it :p

    And oh yah, Swoly-D, it's not even CLOSE. I would take the "All-Hispanic team" in a heartbeat. ;)

    Seriously though, now finally my focus can shift entirely to basketball (In fact, I was at the Rockets game earlier tonight). I like the Astros and I root for them just like any other Houston franchise. However, baseball is a FAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAR second-place sport when compared to basketball.

    Good season by the Astros, they simply were overwhelmed by a better, more disciplined, and more aggressive team that seemed to just be hungrier for it than our team was. I hope it doesn't take another 40 years until the Astros get back to the WS.
  17. WizzyWig

    WizzyWig Member

    Oct 10, 1999
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    Our hitting coach is black...that is close enough in my book
  18. El_Conquistador

    El_Conquistador King of the D&D, The Legend, #1 Ranking
    Supporting Member

    Jun 11, 2002
    Likes Received:
    We should bring back Derek Bell, Mike Jackson and Doc Gooden just to make Another Brother happy. Cut Lance Berkman, Oswalt and Lidge to make room. That way we subtract three whites and add three blacks. At that point, we will have met our quota and everyone can live happily ever after.

    If that doesn't work try reparations.
  19. bobrek

    bobrek Politics belong in the D & D

    Sep 16, 1999
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    Actually, Gaetti is the hitting coach and he is white. Cecil Cooper is the bench coach and he is black.
  20. Poloshirtbandit

    May 30, 2003
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    Yeah, but football requires alot of equipment too.

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