MLBPA president Tony Clark highlighted the fact that the 2022 World Series will not have a black American player in either dugout for the first time in decades.
MLB’s struggles to attract black players will be under a microscope this year during the World Series between the Houston Astros and the Philadelphia Phillies.
For the first time since 1950, neither team participating on baseball’s biggest stage has a black American on the roster.
“I can say I’m disappointed. I can say its unfortunate. And I can say I’m not surprised. This is an issue that has been front and center for a long time,” Tony Clark said per Bob Nightengale.
“It is truly unfortunate that as any young Black player may be watching these games [beginning] tonight is not going to see someone that looks like them. As a result, they may make a decision against continuing to keep playing our great game and move to something else.’
World Series has no U.S.-born black players for first time since 1950
There will be diversity in the dugouts via players from other countries but the lack of black Americans represented simply highlights an issue baseball is trying to address.
The number of black Americans in MLB has steadily dwindled over the decades. As Astros head coach Dusty Baker pointed out, this didn’t happen overnight.
While there may not be black Americans on the field, Baker will be able to represent the black community as he attempts to become only the third black manager in MLB history to win a World Series.
How many black managers have won the World Series?
Two managers of African American descent have managed to win a World Series.
The first to do so was Cito Gaston, leading the Blue Jays to titles in 1992 and 1993. Dave Roberts followed in his footsteps in 2020 with his World Series title with the Dodgers.
Baseball needs to continue to work to foster the game in the black community so that future World Series will have black stars on the diamond and in the managerial spots.