Recent Articles

Major League Baseball on the lookout for Black talent




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 →

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Lewis speaks to RBI participants



It was only a few minutes, but Wendy Lewis had a room full of young ladies hanging on her every word. “I saw myself in all of you,” said Lewis, the senior vice president of Major League Baseball Diversity and Strategic Alliances last Friday at the Twins ballpark as the featured speaker for this year’s RBI World Series opening banquet. “We are much more the same than we are different.”

Before her remarks, Baseball’s highest ranking Black female executive watched the softball players ages 19 and under who came as far west as Hawaii, as far south as the Dominican Republic, and as far east as New Jersey converse with each other without some handheld device in their hands during the dinner. “You don’t even know how meaningful that is… It’s been a long time since I’ve been with a group of people in this age group,” Lewis told them, reminding them that they are part of a generation “that can do things so successfully, so remotely, so isolated that people have forgotten how to be human” and as a result, people today use cell phones as “appendages.”

“It is not by coincidence or by happenstance” that they reached the Twin Cities this year, reaffirmed Lewis as she recalled what she read earlier that day during her morning Bible study: “There are only 1,440 minutes in each day — that’s it. Continue Reading →

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All-Star hype offers little for Blacks



The Minnesota Twins last week kicked off the team’s apparent year-long promotional blitz on their hosting of the 2014 All-Star Game. It is their third time being hosts at three different venues: the old and gone Metropolitan Stadium (1965); the old and soon-to-be gone Metrodome (1985); and, a year from now, at their present edifice located on the North Minneapolis-downtown border. “We dreamed of hosting this incredible event,” said Twins Owner Jim Polhad in a team release. After reading this and the media-distributed fact sheet, my curiosity got the best of me and I came up with some Roberta Flack-Donny Hathaway-Billy Preston-type questions:

Where were the Blacks then, and will there be any Blacks next year? Willie Mays and Bob Gibson were among 12 Blacks who played here in the 1965 game, and seven Blacks played in the 1985 dome game. Continue Reading →

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Baseball offers a third option for athletic success



Baseball has existed for over a century, but among inner-city children it’s almost non-existent. Why isn’t this sport as popular as football and basketball, especially given baseball’s potential to offer the successful player both a very lavish lifestyle as well as a long playing career? Frank White, the Minnesota Twins Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities (RBI) coordinator, believes the love of sports, no matter what type of sport, often is nurtured at home. He surmised that for many inner-city children, their parents probably grew up around basketball and football, so that it is probably what they will talk about or watch on television during family time. “Most children will be interested in what they are exposed to in their homes,” he pointed out. Continue Reading →

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Only certain changes for beleaguered Twins are fewer Blacks



Baseball each year is like that groundhog that supposedly predicts how long winter will last. It reminds us of a welcome change of seasons ahead.  

Spring training begins this week, which signals that the frigid weather hopefully soon will soon be gone. Along with thi

s comes the annual optimistic aura that engulfs each team, including the Minnesota Twins, who twice have come within a game of losing 100 games in consecutive seasons. During the off-season,

the Twins rid themselves of the little on-field diversity it had by dismissing its only Black coach and trading away its two recognizable Black players. Continue Reading →

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Olympian Devers set goals to reach her dream

She knows what it means to be down and find a way back up

By Charles Hallman

Staff Writer


In between two historic Olympic gold-medal performances, Gail Devers’ body was physically falling apart, and she and the doctors couldn’t figure out why. “I started to lose weight — I lost so much weight, I weighed 108 pounds [down from 125]” in 1988, recalled Devers as she spoke to a room full of young females as keynote speaker at the 2012 Reviving Baseball in the Inner Cities (RBI) Softball World Series closing banquet August 11. “My hair was falling out.”

Doctors also discussed amputating her feet before Devers was finally diagnosed in 1989 with Graves’ disease, an autoimmune condition that causes an overactive thyroid. Graves’ disease is the most common type of hyperthyroidism, caused by a malfunctioning of the immune system as antibodies are produced that attack good cells. As a result, the thyroid cells produce too much thyroid hormone, which in turn, over-stimulates the thyroid. Continue Reading →

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