PHILADELPHIA, JUNE 10 -- Major league baseball will implement Jesse Jackson's demand that each team come up with an affirmative action plan to increase the number of minorities in management positions, Baseball Commissioner Peter Ueberroth said today.
"Every team will have a strong and positive affirmative action program in place within the next 30 days," Ueberroth said.
"Many already do. And the firm represented by Clifford Alexander and Janet Hill has been retained to evaluate each major league team to make sure the plans are correct and to make sure the plans are implemented."
Jackson met separately with owners of American and National league teams at their summer meeting today and emerged with Ueberroth to say that progress had been made.
"We had very positive meetings with both groups of owners to lay out the body of our concerns and expectations," Jackson said.
"Most basically, each team must comply with the law and come forth with an affirmative action plan that includes women, blacks and Hispanics."
Now that baseball has accepted his demands, Jackson said he and a group of former players and civil rights activists will evaluate each team's plan and examine the progress that has been made at a meeting in Chicago on June 29 before deciding on further action.
"We shall take back a report of our meeting today and we plan to meet again with Commissioner Ueberroth," Jackson said. "By June 29, we will be able to make a judgement. The movement that has begun to take place is impressive."
Jackson had previously threatened lawsuits, demonstrations and fan and player boycotts if his demands were not met, but backed off from ultimatums after his meetings with the owners.
Philadelphia Phillies President Bill Giles said his team is one of those with an existing affirmative action plan.
Jackson said there were many qualified minority candidates for management jobs in baseball and agreed that progress has been made in the wake of controversial comments made in April by former Los Angeles Dodgers executive vice president Al Campanis on the ABC "Nightline" program.
Campanis said blacks lack the "necessities" for management jobs. Shortly afterward, he was dismissed from his position by the Dodgers.
Jackson also called for an increase in minority representation among baseball umpires and sportswriters and said he would expand his campaign in the future to professional football, golf and tennis.
"But we want to handle this situation first and set the precedent," he said.