Astros’ Dusty Baker says the 2022 World Series having zero U.S.-born Black players ‘looks bad’ for baseball

This year’s World Series between the Houston Astros and the Philadelphia Phillies will likely feature zero U.S.-born Black players for the first time since 1950. During a media availability session Thursday, manager Astros Dusty Baker shared his thoughts on what it means for baseball.

Baker told reporters that it’s not good luck for the game, but he remains positive about his future.

“I don’t think this is something that baseball should really be proud of,” said Baker, who played 19 MLB seasons. “It looks bad. We know it didn’t take people a year or even a decade to get to this point. But there is help along the way. You can count on the number of African American No. 1 draft picks.”

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Major League Baseball Players Association director Tony Clark continued the conversation Friday afternoon before Game 1.

“I can say I’m disappointed. I can say (it’s) unfortunate. And I can [say] I’m not surprised,” said Clark, as reported by USA Today’s Bob Nightengale. “This is an issue that has been front and center for a long time.

“It’s really unfortunate that as every young Black player may be watching these games tonight, they won’t see someone who looks like them. As a result, they may make a decision against continuing to play our great game and move on to something else . . .”

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Jackie Robinson became the first African-American to play in the league on April 15, 1947. He and the Brooklyn Dodgers went on to compete in the World Series that year. Since then, only the Parola Series between the Phillies and the New York Yankees in 1950 did not feature a Black player born in the United States.

The Astros and Phillies have a few other players of color on their rosters. Houston has Jose Altuve from Venezuela and Philadelphia has Jean Segura from the Dominican Republic. Even so, Bob Kendrick – president of the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum in Kansas City, Mo. – told the Associated Press that he is “surprised” not to see a Black player born in the United States in the World Series.

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“This is eye-opening. It’s kind of amazing that two cities that have a high African-American population, there’s not a single Black player,” Kendrick said. “It lets us know that there’s obviously a lot of work to be done to create opportunities for Black kids to pursue their dreams at the highest level.”

The Astros host the first two games of the Fall Classic on Friday and Saturday at Minute Maid Park. For the rest of the schedule and more information on how to watch, click here


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