We Need More Black Baseball Players says...

From an Internet article.

"Lots of people have paid lip service to the diminishing presence of African-Americans in baseball. Now a group of former big-leaguers is committing itself to helping end the trend.

Dennis "Oil Can" Boyd, Marquis Grissom and Delino DeShields are putting together a barnstorming tour-dubbed "Oil Can Boyd's Traveling All-Stars"-of exhibition games this spring and summer through America and Canada. They're also in the early stages of trying to put together a new independent league, tentatively called the Urban Baseball League, to start play next year."

"I'm sick of the rhetoric," DeShields told the Boston Globe. "If we want more black kids playing baseball, if we want more black people in the stands, if we want more black people running baseball teams and in positions of power, then we have to go after it ourselves. We have do something about it, and not just talk about it. Oil Can, Marquis and I are going after it. We're trying to change things as businessmen and as baseball players."

The hope is the UBL will have franchises in cities with large African-American populations, preferably with prominent African-Americans in ownership positions, and will help sell and teach the game to inner-city kids. Chicago seems a natural for the league, although the saturation of pro teams in the area creates a challenge for a new enterprise.

Derek Bell and Sam Horn are among the former big-leaguers who have committed for the this summer's tour. The organizers are hoping to land Carl Everett, Pokey Reese and Bernard Gilkey, among others.

Do they really think an Independent League is going to help?

There are hundreds of professional baseball teams scattered across the land. (A list of Major League affiliated teams. Link.)  If that doesn't give you enough baseball, then there are a handful of independent leagues oh and whole lotta college teams to boot.

If your city is big enough to collect money to build a ball field, it probably already has baseball in it.

It's not like there is a movement to get more white people into the NBA, more asians into the NHL or latinos into the NFL, etc.

If someone doesn't have the desire to get into a sport, watching a bunch of semi-professionals that happen to have the same skin color as them probably isn't going to help.

A travelling exhibition of all-stars over the spring and summer...When is MLB baseball played? In the spring and summer... So where would the best baseball players be during the spring and summer? Probably playing for a MLB team (or in our case on the DL of a Major League Baseball team). Once again watching "passed their prime" and "never quite hit their prime" players play baseball...probably won't inspire many kids to pick up a bat and glove at their local Wal-Mart.

Maybe they should try some media blitz and spend millions of dollars on a poster boy MLB athlete and slap his face on every thing that may be marketed towards young african-american males. That has a better chance of succeeding than another independent baseball league that features mostly African-American players.

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