Gamble: Baseball’s black knights: The Matthews family wants to save black baseball

From J.R. Gamble at The Undefeated on October 5, 2016:

The knock on baseball these days is that it has lost its appeal as a viable sport in the black community as evidenced by the fact that only 7 percent of the players on Major League Baseball rosters are African-American. This is a stark contrast to the 1970s and ’80s, when black superstars were plentiful and the percentages fluctuated between 15 percent and almost 30 percent.

Gary Matthews Sr. was one of those superstars and that decline in America’s baseball mojo didn’t affect his four sons, who all wanted to play in the pros like Pops.

The Matthews brothers lived through some great times with their dad, who was a star on that 1984 Chicago Cubs team that won the National League East title and had the town in hysteria, drunk with hopes of winning Chi-Town’s first World Series title since 1908.

Decades later, the Matthews remain one consistent black baseball family, unaffected by the lack of diversity in the game or in the league offices. And as long as they exist and continue to expand their impressive baseball legacy, the soul infusion of baseball’s black knights will always be felt, if not respected.

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Originally published: October 5, 2016. Last Updated: October 5, 2016.