Growing up, I was involved in almost every “extracurricular” activity imaginable. Band, scouts, basketball, baseball and football.
Admittedly, I like to think I was gifted in everything I tried to do. My parents still have my trophies and certificates to prove it. But as time passed and I got older, I dropped a lot of things from the table and by the time I reached high school, my major activities were band and baseball.
Baseball has been and will continue to be an important part of my life and I enjoy the game and the stories it produces.
There’s one story that continues to surface that really gets to me and in the big picture, I guess it really shouldn’t. I always find it disturbing when I hear complaints about the lack of blacks in the Major Leagues and the lack of young black boys playing the sport growing up.
It’s not the fact that the issue of blacks not playing baseball, because the statistics back that up. MLB, with its Urban Youth Academy has done a good job addressing this.
My issue, and again, maybe I’m nitpicking, is whenever this is discussed, you always here — “Well, we have to get baseball back in the inner city.” As someone who didn’t grow up in the ‘hood and played baseball with just as many blacks as whites, I find this one sided and somewhat stereotypical.
This past weekend, ESPN aired withe Urban Invitational Tournament in Compton, Calif. that feature to of the top HBCU baseball porgrams –Southern and Bethune-Cookman, which was advertised as an event that would “focus on reviving the majesty of baseball in the African-American community”.
Again, not to overlook the facts of the matter, but to me, to say that baseball is dead in the African American community suggest that “they” feel that only blacks who play baseball are in the inner city. I haven’t yet to see this initiative come to the ‘burbs, where myself and millions of young blacks like me grew up.
Nonetheless I support what MLB is trying to do and think they have made some progress. I just their message is just a tad stereotypical.