Yates: Where are the black ballplayers in baseball?

From Clinton Yates at The Undefeated on February 12, 2018:

When Jerry Manuel walks into the room at Tempe Diablo Stadium early on a Friday morning, he’s carrying a portable speaker blasting an instrumental version of Chaka Khan’s “Sweet Thing.” His coaches are trying to guess who is on the saxophone. After multiple failed attempts, he announces that it’s Boney James. A copy of Baseball America is on the table and MLB Network is playing in the background. Then the meeting starts.

The baseball lifer known as “The Sage” is here to run the show. He’s leading a collection of former Major League Baseball players, coaches and scouts at the Dream Series, a showcase event run by MLB and USA Baseball that puts the best African-American players in the country in the same place to learn and play.

It looks like a big league spring training, it feels like a big league spring training, but it doesn’t quack like a big league spring training. With 60 kids invited to the event, specifically pitchers and catchers, they don’t have time to waste. This crew has been selected because of their knowledge, experience and skill. The best black players in America are here to learn from some of the best black coaches in America. Period. It’s important that their message is unified, for a variety of reasons.

Read the full article here: https://theundefeated.com/features/dream-series-where-are-the-black-ballplayers-in-baseball/

Originally published: February 12, 2018. Last Updated: February 12, 2018.