Kepner: A most valuable player with an invaluable platform
From Tyler Kepner at the New York Times on November 14, 2013, with mention of SABR members Mark Armour and Dave Dombrowski:
By the end, they had all left the postseason stage: Brandon Phillips and Michael Bourn, Coco Crisp and Justin Upton, David Price and Andrew McCutchen, Carl Crawford and Prince Fielder. The World Series arrived, and all the African-American stars in the playoff field were gone.
When the Boston Red Sox played the St. Louis Cardinals, not a single African-American threw a pitch or took a turn at bat. Quintin Berry, whose father is black, stole a base as a pinch-runner for Boston in Game 4. There were no other African-Americans on the rosters.
On Thursday, McCutchen won the National League’s top prize, taking the Most Valuable Player award in a runaway. McCutchen, the’ center fielder, had 28 of 30 first-place votes, with St. Louis’s Yadier Molina getting the other two. Arizona’s Paul Goldschmidt placed second over all.
In the American League, Miguel Cabrera of thewon his second M.V.P. in a row, with 23 first-place votes. The Angels’ Mike Trout had five, and Baltimore’s Chris Davis and Oakland’s Josh Donaldson had one each.
Cabrera is already a symbol of Major League Baseball, winning the Triple Crown last season and slowly crossing over into the national consciousness; he has a Chevrolet commercial.
As a newly minted M.V.P., McCutchen, 27, will have his own platform. He is the first African-American player to win an M.V.P. award since Jimmy Rollins in 2007, and he has a chance to make a positive impact in an area of increasing concern to baseball.
Black players from the United States made up 8.5 percent of opening day rosters this season, down from a peak of 19 percent in 1986, according to a study by Mark Armour from the Society of American Baseball Research.
Read the full article here: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/11/15/sports/baseball/a-most-valuable-player-who-has-a-valuable-platform.html
This page was last updated November 15, 2013 at 11:07 am MST.