Play Ball

March 28th, 2011

In 1975 African American baseball players accounted for twenty-five percent of all the players in baseball. Today that number is less then ten percent. Correspondingly the number of Latin players today stands at over twenty-five percent of players in the majors and well over half of all the players in the minor leagues. What has happened to participate this turnaround? What does it tell us about baseball, about race in America, and about the unintended consequences of racial progress? Most profoundly, can these lessons from baseball be applied to understanding other aspects of our society, such as employment and education. University of Pittsburgh Professor Rob Ruck, explains how the major leagues colonized the black and Latin game, in his new book Raceball. My conversation with Rob Ruck: