Updated Oct. 27, 2005 – While the World Series is over, some Major League Baseball insiders are citing what they say is a troubling reality: The 'Stros have no Bros.
The Houston Astros, which lost to the White Sox Wednesday night, is the first World Series team in more than 50 years to be without a single Black player. Two Blacks played for the team earlier this year, but aren't with them now.
"But they're not the only ones," Hall of Famer and former Astro Joe Morgan told The Associated Press. "There are two or three teams that don't have any African-American players this year."
Morgan told AP it's a predicament and a challenge for Major League Baseball. While more players from around the world -- Japan, Korea and Latin America, for example – the number of Black American ballers is declining.
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"It's a daunting task to get African-American kids into baseball, and I don't see the trend changing." said Morgan, now a commentator on ESPN. he said that Black players made up fewer than 9 percent of big-league rosters this season.
Astros GeneralManager Tim Purpura said that he agrees it is a problem but that the pool of Black players just isn’t there.
The Chicago White Sox have 13 Black players on the roster, nine from Latin America and four from the United States.
"As baseball becomes more college-oriented in its draft, there aren't a lot of players to pick,” Purpura told The Associated Press. "The African-American athletes are going into other sports."
The last World Series team without a Black player was the 1953 New York Yankees, a team that didn't have its first Black player until eight years after Jackie Robinson broke baseball's color barrier in 1947.
"There's a perception among African-American kids that they're not welcome here, that baseball is not for inner-city kids," Morgan said. "It's not true."
Why do you think the number of Blacks in Major League Baseball is so small?