Baseball creates committee to study decline of blacks in majors

From Tyler Kepner at the New York Times on April 9, 2013, with mention of SABR member Mark Armour:

Commissioner Bud Selig said Tuesday that he was creating a 17-member diversity task force to study and address the issue of on-field participation by African-Americans in Major League Baseball.

“I don’t want to miss any opportunity here,” Selig said in a telephone interview from his office in Milwaukee. “We want to find out if we’re not doing well, why not, and what we need to do better. We’ll meet as many times as we need to to come to meaningful decisions.”

The first meeting, Selig said, would be Wednesday in Milwaukee, with Dave Dombrowski, the president of the Detroit Tigers, serving as chairman of the committee. The committee includes several other front-office executives, but also Bernard Muir, the athletic director at Stanford; Frank Marcos, the senior director of baseball’s scouting bureau; and the former Mets manager Jerry Manuel.

Only 8.5 percent of the players on the 25-man rosters on opening day were African-American. Several teams, including the World Series champion San Francisco Giants, had none. The highest percentage of African-Americans playing in the majors, according to new research by Mark Armour from the Society of American Baseball Research, was 19 percent in 1986.

Read the full article here:

Read more: “The Effects of Integration, 1947 to 1986,” by Mark Armour

Related link: Mark Armour talks with’s Paul Hagen about the decline of African-American players in MLB

Originally published: April 10, 2013. Last Updated: April 10, 2013.