5% That Says It All

Updated: March 2, 2008


Lee Soloman


Our source is MLB never known for over stating problems for African Americans There estimate for the percentage of African Americans playing Division I NCAA Baseball in 2008. The fact that it is not SHOCKING is. Just one more statistic PROVING America has accepted the fact few African Americans have any place in Baseball. On the Field. Off the Field Black Americans have ALWAYS been few and far between.

Further the 5% figure in the NCAA portends the direction Major League Baseball is quickly headed. Today there are “maybe” 7% of roster players who are African American. Wait 2 or 3 years and Baseball will match the NCAA’s 5%. It is the Same Problem.

But what new can we bring to a subject we have covered again and again and then again in the Box here’s how ……

By focusing in on what MLB is doing to foster African Americans in college baseball by looking at this past weekend’s Urban Invitational which featured Baseball Powerhouses USC and UCLA playing Historically Black Colleges Southern University of Baton Rouge, Louisiana and Bethune-Cookman University of Dayton Beach, Florida.

Those project as well as the MLB Urban Youth Academy in Compton, California, and the annual so called Civil Rights Game this year pitting The New York Mets and the Chicago White Soxon March 29th in Memphis, Tennessee. All of this is under the tutelage of African American Lee Solomon, MLB’s Senior Vice President of Operations.

Our response …..

as usual SYMBOLISM is NO substitute for Real Action Everyone meaning the White Media and others including African Americans who do not have Clue wildly applaud the ONE Urban Baseball Academy, and the practically meaningless Urban Invitational and the useless Civil Rights Game. AND OF COURSE HOW COULD WE FORGET the annual tributes to Jackie Robinson by Baseball EVERY April 15th now and forever. At least you know where to find Rachel Robinson.

Complain Complain Complain is that all you do Black Box NO you know IF you read every day but we sure do COMPLAIN because there is so so much all over Sports to COMPLAIN about And COMPLAINING is far far better than COMPLIMENTING the Sports Establishment for nothing EXCEPT symbolism. That is why in this context Symbolism is so DESTRUCTIVE because it is a substitute often worse a calculated Strategy to avoid doing anything of Substance and Major League Baseball in one MAJOR offender.

Here is our Point ….

It should be yours too.

All these gestures are an excuse for doing NOTHING significant. Then we’ll get to Mr. Solomon to close. Let’s take a look at the University of California NCAA Baseball powerhouse playing a few HBCU college for show sponsored by MLB. USC has ONE African American on its 40 player roster and of course NO Black coaches.

And of course likewise UCLA Baseball has ONE African American on its 34 player roster and of course NO Black coaches. Isn’t it amazing how these major teams always well often anyway find ONE Black player but they can never find any more.

So while MLB is hyping its so called Urban Invitational over the weekend they are in reality promoting teams that have virtually NO Black players. Now some of our Readers will say why pick on USC and UCLA its the same on matter what Division I colleges they picked. In fact there are plenty of Division I teams with not even ONE African American.

Well you just made our Point thank you Dear Reader this is one Big SCAM Here is what Baseball would do if it REALLY was concerned. It would underwrite a major CONFERENCE every year whose theme is ” The Disappearance of African American From Baseball HOW DO WE REVERSE IT. ” And each year MLB would also issue a REPORT with a list of specific steps at EVERY level it is initiating including in COLLEGE baseball to address the Problem and bring Black Americans back into Baseball.

Instead we get these BULLSHIT gestures that actually make the Problem WORSE allowing Baseball to look like it is doing something while it does NOTHING Which finally brings us to MLB Senior VP Lee Solomon Isn’t it WONDERFUL that Commissioner Bud Selig has an AFRICAN American in charge of ALl Baseball Operations. On one level of course it is EXCEPT it is really simply another TRAP for African Americans. Because all Mr. Solomon is allowed to do and what he has more than likely convinced himself ALL he wants to do is organize these meaningless gestures while Baseball gets ever more White and on the Field anyway Latino.

To close on that Point ….

Mr. Solomon has been an MLB executive since 1991, over 15 years. For a good portion of the time one of his responsibilities has been the executive in charge of the MLB Umpire Operations. Since Mr. Solomon has been in charge of supervising and approving new Umpires there are exactly the same number of African American Umpires as before he took over. There were and are TWO Black Umpires among 70 Roster Umpires.

It’s all “symbolism” in the corrupted meaning of the word SYMBOLISM as an excuse for inaction for doing NOTHING POSTSCRIPT Neither USC or UCLA even meet the 5% that supposedly is the % of African Americans playing NCAA Baseball. The only African American on the University of Southern California Baseball roster is Will Rice a Senior who plays the Outfield …..

Jemain Curtis And the ONLY African American on the UCLA Baseball roster is Jemaine Curtis a Junior who plays both 3rd Base and ShortStop ….

Jemain Curtis