Just a “Whiter Shade of Pale”

By Gary Norris Gray
Updated: July 3, 2006

CALIFORNIA—An interesting but troubling disclosure was revealed when the University of North Carolina Tar Heels at Chapel Hill played the Oregon State University Beavers for the 2006 College Baseball Championship.

The light blue and white clad Tar Heels entered the tournament from the winners bracket. Then won the first game of the 2006 baseball championship battle. The black, orange, and white clad Beavers entered the tournament in the loser’s bracket. The Beavers staved off elimination three times in the lower qualification rounds before meeting the baby blue Atlantic Coast Conference Champions, the Tar Heels from the southeast. Both teams played well and had to finish the series with a third and final game. The Oregon State Beavers won their first national title with a throwing miscue of the Tar Heel’s second baseman who threw the ball out of the reach pass the first basemen’s mitt allowing an OSU baserunner on third base to score the winning run.
Last week was unlike this past spring NCAA basketball championship games known as (March Madness) when many players from many different lands with different languages participate. Sixty-four baseball teams played including two of my favorite schools, Southern Illinois University at Carbondale, and the University of California at Berkeley. Both lost in the first round.
On Monday June 26, 2006 the college championship tournament finished with the final two outstanding teams Oregon State University and the University of North Carolina vying for this year’s college baseball title.
There were thirty-eight North Carolina players and twenty-eight Oregon State University players and the field was white as snow.

NOT A single African American player donned a college World Series championship uniform.
There was one glaring difference between baseball and basketball that the NCAA can no longer hide.

Not only that but there was not a single black coach or even an African American ball boy or ball person of color found on the field last weekend at Oklahoma’s Rosenblatt Stadium.
This is just an extension of what Major League Baseball (MLB) currently is entertaining in their national ballparks. Could it be because African Americans are no longer interested in America’s past time? Are African Americans not welcome in the sport of baseball unless they have super talent?
America’s mainstream news seldom mentions the fact that is not many players of darker hue on the high school, college, and professional baseball diamonds. None of the estute ESPN or American Broadcasting Companies (ABC) reporters voice an opinion about the absence of African American players; it is interesting that one of the announcers for ESPN-ABC happens to be African American (Harold Reynolds). It is my firm belief that baseball will have its hands full and must be instrumental if we are going to see positive changes in,