The numbers are so low that baseball boss Bud Selig has created a task force to address this issue. That's great. Good luck.
Two years ago I wrote a story on this decline and interviewed high school coaches, college coaches and a handful of major leaguers for their opinions on why this trend has not been reversed.
New York Yankees outfielder Curtis Granderson offered the best, and most real, insight:
"I know it's expensive, but I've gone to places and there are fields. You can easily get equipment donated. I don't know how you fight this one. I've heard a lot of kids just say, 'I don't want to.' That's not a black/white thing, that's a kid thing. So they play on their computer, and they say, 'I want to just stay right where I am. I'm not getting into any trouble so you can't force me.'"
Here is the problem not just for young black kids who want to play sports - baseball can be boring. This generation thrives on constant stimulation and that has never been baseball's strength. A Major League game is 3 hours, six or seven times a week, 162 times a year. That is an enormous time investment.
This is not a race issue, this is a time issue. And no sport takes its time any more than Major League Baseball.
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