March 01, 2006

MLB takes a step toward bringing inner-city youths back to baseball: The Urban Youth Academy has opened in Compton. "Make no mistake about it we lost a generation of inner-city players along the way," (Joe) Morgan said. "I think that starting today, with the opening of this field, we will stop the erosion of inner-city players."

posted by BullpenPro to baseball at 02:07 PM - 11 comments

It is easy to say that this is a great chance for inner-city kids as it will give them a chance to get away from drugs, gangs, ect. and I'm sure that is going to be said here a few times so I'll just skip ahead to my next point. I think this is a good chance for the MLB to find new talent and as said in the article, stop these players erosion. Will the MLB recieve a massive influx of talent? Probably not, but they may find some quality players, just like quality players are found in certain countries where their is poverty and despair. I guess you could think of inner cities as the Dominican Republic of the United States.

posted by Ying Yang Mafia at 02:50 PM on March 01, 2006

The facility opens amid a decreasing involvement in the sport among African-American youths. Black players accounted for about nine percent of big league rosters last year, down from about 27 percent in 1985. The Houston Astros also became the first World Series team since the 1953 New York Yankees to not have a single black player on their roster. That's amazing, when you really think about it. Many fringe basebally fans probably look at any given game and see quite a few Dominican players and think they're really seeing black individuals from the U.S. playing the game. When you look at where these individuals come from, however, it drives home the fact that blacks in this country have turned their back on the game. This program sounds great, and it's overdue. Hopefully it flourishes and is able to branch out.

posted by dyams at 03:00 PM on March 01, 2006

My fascination with this issue is this test to see if the drop-off in inner–city baseball development is due to a lack of interest or a lack of opportunity. It has been argued many times that basketball is crushing baseball in urban areas because: 1) basketball can be played in a smaller confined space while baseball needs larger, more open areas that are not easy to find in the inner-city; 2) equipment costs for basketball (a ball, a hoop) are significantly lower than those for baseball (bats, balls, gloves, etc.); and 3) it's easier to get anywhere from 4-10 kids together to play hoops, but getting 18 to play real baseball requires too much coordination. This Academy provides a solution to all of those problems, so the only issue now will be, given the opportunity, do inner--city kids care about playing baseball anymore? What draw does the sport have in and of itself? I guess we'll see.

posted by BullpenPro at 03:00 PM on March 01, 2006

I have to admit, my first thought is: it's about fucking time. They should have done this 30 years ago.

posted by chicobangs at 03:05 PM on March 01, 2006

Well-said Chico

posted by everett at 03:24 PM on March 01, 2006

This is a good move by MLB. I agree with chicobangs that they should've done this before. There are only about 9% of players in the league that are black. I personally would like to see a more even mix of players from around the world such as whites, blacks, hispanics, and orientals.

posted by nort_12345 at 07:41 PM on March 01, 2006

I had two freinds who used to work in the downtown YMCA Youth department in Kansas City Kansas and they told me the biggest problem in the iner city is getting young men and women from the iner city to volunteer to coach and work with the kids. They don't have the same support that the suburban kids have.

posted by kck54 at 10:40 PM on March 01, 2006

While I am not black, I did grow up in the inner city. We played baseball as much as we could. My mom was not rich, but I always had a glove and cleats. The problem was no one to coach or umpire or drive us around. I would have adored a program like this.

posted by GoBirds at 05:03 AM on March 02, 2006

Teach these kids to speak ENGLISH and compute MATH... NOT baseball. Joe Morgan is an ASSHOLE.

posted by tanuki11 at 07:51 AM on March 02, 2006

Teach these kids to speak ENGLISH and compute MATH... NOT baseball. Joe Morgan is an ASSHOLE. Not to nitpick or anything, but there are schools where kids can learn English and math. Thanks to cutbacks in public school funding for physical education and after-school activities, many inner-city kids never get the chance to play baseball (or participate in other extracurricular activities). This is something you should complain to your local school board about, not MLB. Major League Baseball is not in the business of educating kids; they're in the business of promoting their product, which is what they're doing with this initiative. In addition, they donate millions of dollars a year to a multitude of charities, many benefiting children. You are, however, correct about Joe Morgan. He is an asshole.

posted by The_Black_Hand at 08:27 AM on March 02, 2006

well they noticing they losing thier black audiences and add in some more asian players i see asians r goin 2 be common in the sports world soon look we got yoa ming and couple asians in baseball and one in ftball i noticewith the tb bucs

posted by defrag3x at 05:37 PM on March 05, 2006

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