Looking To Boost The Numbers

By BASN Wire Services
Updated: June 17, 2010

MIAMI — BlackCollegeBasbeall.com has successfully entered the showcase arena. BCB launched its first showcase this past June 11th in Miami, Florida at North Miami Beach Senior High School.

In partnership with the Metropolitan Junior Baseball League and its Florida Commissioner Andre Payne, Black College Baseball was able to workout and evaluate talent of young African American and Hispanic ball players.

New Director of Scouting Operations for Blackcollegebaseball.com and a Philadelphia Phillies scout, Keith Stubbs, directed all on field workouts and provided the evaluations for the players. “This is what I love to do, “says Stubbs.

“BlackCollegebaseball.com allows me to use my network of scouts and Ruffin’s [Bell] network of coaches to help these young men get into college,” added Stubbs. “If you do everything your supposed to do, you should be the chooser and not the chosen in this complicated college process.”

This project has been the brain child of several people. “It was something Bill Forrester and I talked about as we solidified out partnership back in the fall of 2009″, said BCB owner Ruffin Bell.

“At the same time, Stubbs and I had been talking about the idea of showcases at the exact same time. At some point, we all just decided to do it.”

According to the NCAA Student Athlete Ethnicity Report released in May of 2010, in the 2008-09 academic year, only 1257 African American ball players played baseball on the NCAA Division I – Division III level.

According to that same report, only 1,667 Hispanic/ Latino ball players had the same opportunity. This was out 29,816 baseball players. Both races combined equaled less than 10% of the ball players in the NCAA. Individually, African Americans equated to 4.2% and Hispanics/ Latinos were 5.6%.

“These are staggering numbers when you look at them,” says Bell. “I feel we can find and highlight minority ball players across the US that just don’t have the means for the proper exposure. It’s not that we’re not playing, it’s about exposure and access to opportunities.”

MJBL Florida Commissioner Andre Payne was equally pleased with the success of the showcase. “I just wanted to thank BCB again. I have been getting calls from the kids, parents, and coaches alike raving about the things they learned on Friday,” he said.

“I was extremely pleased to have the opportunity to announce the partnership between MJBL and Blackcollegebaseball.com, stated MJBL Executive Director, William Forrester, Jr..

“I realize the importance of providing national exposure for the accomplishments of our young men who are participating in HBCU baseball programs. Without Blackcollegebaseball.com, the outstanding achievements of these young men would go unnoticed to many throughout the baseball world.”

Forester highlights that “This partnership will not only continue to accentuate the efforts of these collegiate ball players, but it will also introduce our future baseball talent pool of high school juniors and seniors that are currently participating in MJBL.”

“It will enable us to share the impediments that MJBL league commissioners face when trying to offer and promote baseball and educational opportunities to our youth in our African-American communities across the country.”

The Metropolitan Junior Baseball League, Inc. (MJBL) is a 501(c) 3 non-profit organization. The league was founded in 1966 by Dr. William M.T. Forrester in Richmond, VA during the days of segregation when there were very limited opportunities for African-American youth to participate in organized baseball.

Today, MJBL is a national organization that offers baseball, educational and cultural enrichment opportunities to youth of all nationalities who desire to participate.

MJBL is host to several events throughout the year. The league will host the 20th Annual MJBL Inner City Classic featuring the MJBL World Series dubbed “The Black World Series” to be held July 28th – August 1st , 2010 in Greensboro, NC .

This all inclusive event is intended to reconnect to the legacies and accomplishments that the Negro Leagues once provided to this great nation.

The Bobby Bonds Memorial Symposium is also featured during the Classic. It focuses on baseball programs at historically black colleges and universities and has become a think tank for the African American community on how to revitalize our communities through education and sport.

It has been endorsed by Hall of Fame member and ESPN personality Joe Morgan and many others. Started in 2002, BCB is dedicated to the promotion of black college baseball teams, the academic institutions and collegiate baseball.

NOTE: For more information about BCB, visit the official website at www.blackcollegebaseball.com.