Dusty Baker Is Quite Concerned That There Will Be No African-American Players In The World Series This Year

Dusty Baker Is Quite Concerned That There Will Be No African-American Players In The World Series This Year

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Dusty Baker was inspired to become a baseball player after seeing other Black athletes succeed at the World Series.

On Friday night, he’ll head the Houston Astros against the Philadelphia Phillies in Game 1 of the World Series, representing the first time since 1950, just after Jackie Robinson busted the color barrier in Major League Baseball, that both the American League and National League winners won’t have a single player of African-American descent.

The 73-year-old Baker, one of just two Black managers in Major League Baseball, is extremely troubled, as he has devoted his whole life to the sport, either as a player or a coach.

In an interview with the Associated Press on Thursday, Baker said, “What stings is that I don’t know how much optimism it provides some of the young African-American youngsters.” When I was their age, I had people like (Willie) Mays, (Hank) Aaron, Frank Robinson, Tommy Davis, and my hero, Maury Wills. Before it’s too late, we must take action to prevent losing them.

During his first season with the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1947, Jackie Robinson made his Major League Baseball debut and appeared in the World Series for the first time. Since then, the 1950 World Series between the New York Yankees and Philadelphia Phillies was the only one in which neither team had a player born in the United States who was Black.

Neither the Astros nor the Phillies are likely to have a player of African-American ancestry on their 26-man rosters when Game 1 is played on Friday night at Houston’s Minute Maid Park. Houston’s Black outfielder Michael Brantley has a season-ending shoulder injury and will not play again this year.

Although Baker won the World Series as an outfielder for the Dodgers in 1981, he has yet to achieve managerial success, and he does not believe that this is something the sport can be proud of. It’s not a good sign. On the other hand, people can see that this progress didn’t take months, years, or even decades to achieve.

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