Tuesday is Jackie Robinson Day in Major League Baseball. Every player on all 30 MLB clubs will wear the number 42 on their backs — the same number Robinson wore when he broke in with the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1948; the same number every club permanently retired save for one day a year.
“I’ve always known the significance of that number,” admits Minnesota Twins outfielder Aaron Hicks, the team’s only U.S.-born Black player, “definitely for me being a Black player.”
Hicks ranks Robinson in the same trailblazing light as Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Rosa Parks. “They are heroes, and he is right up there with them,” believes the second-year centerfielder. “He was the guy who took a lot of crap and handled it the right way. Continue Reading →
According to the latest data, 20 percent of Major League Baseball (MLB) Central Office executives are Blacks or people of color. Three of them recently were in town during the Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities (RBI) World Series. Since 2008, Wendy Lewis has been the highest ranking Black female as senior vice president of Diversity and Strategic Alliances. Thomas Brasuell is vice president of MLB Community Affairs. David James became the first full-time director of the 22-year-old RBI youth baseball and softball program in 2008. Continue Reading →
A new movie on the life of Jackie Robinson premieres Friday. It has support from people in high places. “We think that everybody in this country needs to watch this movie,” advises First Lady Michelle Obama on the movie 42 after she and her husband, President Barack Obama viewed a private screening last week at the White House. The first of several Minnesota Twins “Diversity Days” will be Monday April 15, the day Major League Baseball (MLB) annually honors Robinson’s major league debut in 1947. “It was an important and powerful moment in baseball when Jackie Robinson broke in with the Brooklyn Dodgers,” recalls Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig. Continue Reading →
Twins’ diversity lags far behind league progress
Second in an occasional series
The 2012 Major League Baseball Racial and Gender Report Card (RGRC) released earlier this year gave the league an A for its racial hiring practices. “MLB has done an excellent job in continuing to increase the number of people of color in the League Office and for managers and coaches,” wrote RGRC Author Richard Lapchick, who is director of the Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sport. Almost 32 percent of the MLB Central Office staff were people of color, but only 9.4 percent of the 426 employees are Black. There also has been a nine-percent decrease in the total number of people of color as general managers and a three percent decrease in managers of color since 2010. Among top management (CEOs, presidents, general managers and vice presidents), there hasn’t been a person of color as a CEO or team president of an MLB club since 2003. Continue Reading →