Friday, February 02, 2007

Black History Month

My local newspaper's sports page had a very short but very telling article today entitled, "Major League Baseball (MLB) Launches African Tour for Prospects", which focused on a goodwill tour to Ghana in search of baseball talent.

Now this is evidence of social progress on many levels including:
  • MLB's delegation included several African-Americans such as Dave Winfield (formerly with the Twins and Yankees) and Dusty Baker (former Cubs manager)
  • This tour has the potential to create a pipeline for talent for MLB but more importantly it creates an incentive system for Africa's young men to avoid becoming "child soldiers" in the various civil wars on the continent -- assuming MLB's owners dedicate funding to create a network of youth baseball /semi-professional leagues.
  • The development of a "baseball league infrastructure" on the African continent would be an ideal "foreign aid" project yielding much better results that we have seen produced by the donor community -- United Nations, World Bank, etc. -- for at least the past 50 years.
  • This goodwill tour highlights the fact that the historic segregation in baseball -- which resulted in the creation of the "Negro Baseball Leagues" -- is dead and gone which we should all celebrate in a free society especially during Black History Month in the USA.

For a fuller understanding of how racism affected the history of American baseball please visit the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum website at:

Through the inspiration of Horace M. Peterson III (1945-1992), founder of the Black Archives of Mid-America, a group of local historians, business leaders, and former baseball players came together to create the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum in the early 1990s.

Baseball in Beautiful,


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