Percentage of African-American Players in Major League Baseball Grows for First Time Since 1995

Thursday, April 16, 2009

The percentage of black players in the major leagues increased to 10.2 percent last year, the first rise since the 1995 season.

The sport had reached an all-time low of 8.2 percent in 2007, according to Richard Lapchick, director of the University of Central Florida's Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sports. The percentage of black pitchers rose to 5 percent from 3 percent and the percentage of black infielders went up to 9 percent from 7 percent.

"The decline of African American players has been a big story and this may represent a halt in that slide," Lapchick said.

Baseball received an A for race hiring for the first time in his annual report, which was released yesterday, up from an A-minus last year. He cited 10 minority managers at the start of this season, matching the previous high in 2002. There were five African Americans, four Latinos and one Asian American.

There were five minority general managers: three African Americans and two Latinos.

The sport got a B for gender hiring, up from a C-plus. Its overall grade went up to B-plus from B.

Lapchick released the study on Jackie Robinson Day, the 62nd anniversary of when Robinson broke the major league color barrier.

-- LAWSUIT: A baseball fan says he was ejected from Yankee Stadium for leaving his seat to use the bathroom while "God Bless America" played.

Bradford Campeau-Laurion filed a federal lawsuit yesterday against New York City and the Yankees.

The lawsuit contends he was made a victim of political and religious discrimination last Aug. 26.

It says two police officers who ejected him were enforcing a Yankees policy that keeps spectators in their seats during the song.

-- From News Services

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