As an African-American man who was raised in the inner city, I know all too well about the struggles of bringing baseball to these areas. The lack of fields, the lack of funding and facilities, which leads to a lack of fans amongst my peers due to them not being able to play the sport.
Black American Representation In Baseball Is Low
Still earlier this year, me finding out that there were only 6% of us in the MLB was staggering. This is exactly what former Ace (now Los Angeles Dodgers front office special assistant) MLBbro Chris Archer wants to change.
“I would love to see more representation, but I do understand it takes time for these things to happen, the former Tampa Bay, Pittsburgh Pirates and Minnesota Twins pitcher said on an appearance on “Foul Territory.” “One thing that I love to talk about are the initiatives. The RBI program, the Dream Series that was just this last weekend, the amount of Black American players that have been getting drafted the last several years, kind of shows MLB’s investment into the community, the seeds are starting to be planted and we’re seeing some fruit from those.”
If change is what Archer wants, he’s certainly at the right organization to help implement that. The Dodgers are known for bridging the gap in between African Americans and baseball. Both in history and present day.
LA Dodgers Always Had A Connection To Black Baseball
We all know the story of Jackie Robinson, the HOF MLBbro who broke pro baseball’s color barrier when he signed with the Dodgers and eventually started at first base on April 15, 1974. We also know about Dave Roberts, who in 2015 became the first minority manager in Dodgers franchise history and also became the second African American manager to win a World Series.
The Dodgers continue their efforts of supporting and promoting baseball in underserved communities through their Los Angeles Dodgers Foundation renovating and constructing Dream Fields throughout Southern California.
One program Archer mentioned, the Dream Series, held its 7th annual baseball camp at Tempe Diablo Stadium (the Spring Training home of the Los Angeles Angels) on Martin Luther King Weekend. The program featured nearly 80 top African American and Latino high school players from across the nation.
The athletes received elite-level instruction from former Major and Minor league players, managers, and coaches. There were also scheduled appearances from MLBbro stars such as CC Sabathia, Josiah Gray and Dream Series Alumnus Hunter Greene (just to name a few).
Chris Archer Is In A Position To Help Change The Culture
Archer holds a career record of 63-89 with a very respectable ERA of 3.93 with 1,454 K’s. His career record doesn’t really do him justice as injuries stunted the two-time All-Star’s growth and never allowed him to reach his peak. However, Archer’s knowledge, his position as a rare Black starting pitcher and his new role in the front office with the Dodgers allows him a chance to influence and fix some of baseball’s obvious flaws. Inner-city talent is essential to providing athletics with the greatest and most talented performers on the biggest stages.
The battle to bring baseball to the inner cities is ongoing, with much more work to be done, here at MLBbro we stand with Chris Archer and will do our part to return that 6% into a much higher number.