While Black Latino players in Major League Baseball, like David Ortiz and Manny Ramirez, are a dime a dozen, American-born Blacks are a bit harder to find. But this year’s World Series between the Tampa Bay Rays and Philadelphia Phillies is seeing more Black players than the world championship has seen in years.
The Rays have Edwin Jackson, Cliff Floyd, Carl Crawford, B.J. Upton and David Price while the Phillies are reppin’ with super stars Ryan Howard and Jimmy Rollins. There hasn’t been that many American Black players in the World Series since 2002.
Mike Berardino of the Florida Sun-Sentinel talked with some of the players about the lack of Black players in the MLB and the sort of big deal it is to have seven of them in the World Series.
“You definitely hope people take notice of it,” Floyd told Berardino. “I’m talking about [black] kids who definitely need to see it. Everybody sees the percentages have gone down, but we need to get out there. Hopefully this is a step in the right direction in terms of getting our young African American kids to get out there and see that baseball is a great sport.”
“Obviously there’s a lack of African-Americans in the game,” Upton added. “I think that us being on this big stage right now could definitely help. I hope a lot of those kids watch it, just to show there’s another sport. There’s not just football and basketball.”