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  • African American pitchers

    This came up on another thread about the lack of black pitchers historically. I’m wondering what the reason might be and welcome comments on it.

    Obviously Bob Gibson and Ferguson Jenkins (who is Canadian) come to mind. Other notables are Dave Stewart, Vida Blue, CC Sabathia, Al Downing, JR Richard, Dwight Gooden, Lee Smith and Don Newcombe. Also coming to mind are Mike Norris, Mudcat Grant, Earl Wilson, Sam Jones, Brooks Lawrence, Mike Jackson, Al Jackson and Tom Gordon.

    Smith, Gordon, and Jackson are the only African- American relievers in the top 100 in saves.

    There are only 14 African American pitchers in the top 500 in wins: Jenkins, Gibson, Blue, Gooden, Sabathia, Stewart, Rudy May, Newcombe, Grant, Dock Ellis, Gordon, Downing, Wilson, and Jim Bibby.

    They certainly aren’t well represented, as far as number of players listed.
    This week's Giant

    #5 in games played as a Giant with 1721 , Bill Terry

  • #2
    Active ones (off the top of my head):

    David Price, CC Sabathia, Wesley Wright, Darren Oliver, LaTroy Hawkins, Edwin Jackson, and Jerome Williams.

    Wow.
    Rest in Peace Jose Fernandez (1992-2016)

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by Francoeurstein View Post
      Active ones (off the top of my head):

      David Price, CC Sabathia, Wesley Wright, Darren Oliver, LaTroy Hawkins, Edwin Jackson, and Jerome Williams.
      Robert Carson, a lefty reliever for the Mets, is from Hattiesburg, Mississippi.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Carson_(baseball)

      http://mlb.mlb.com/video/play.jsp?content_id=24714025
      The Mets have the best, smartest fans in baseball.

      Comment


      • #4
        The last thread on the subject was locked; not sure why but I'm hoping this one doesn't suffer the same fate. I think there was a misunderstanding that it was some kind of complaint that black pitchers had actively been discouraged somehow, but I don't think anyone suggested such a case.

        My comment at the time was, that the Negro Leagues had pitchers that could do double duty a lot later than the white major leagues did, and that it may be some sort of carry-over from that. For whatever reason it's clear that blacks are pretty near the top at every other position in baseball history other than pitcher (and, as I also said at the time, 3B, though I have no theories on why that might be other than coincidence).

        The other thing is, I think there are fewer American baseball players in general than ever before; basketball and football capture young people's attention more and playing football and basketball is more accessible to more people, there simply aren't baseball diamonds everywhere to the degree there are basketball hoops and football fields, or at least open fields that will suffice. That's one thing RBI (Reviving Baseball in Inner cities) is trying to change, it's possible in a decade or so we might actually see more American-born players in general.

        Disclaimer: this is not an issue I am saying in any way we should be forcing. I simply think it's interesting, and possible reasons behind it are worth discussing.
        Found in a fortune cookie On Thursday, August 18th, 2005: "Hard words break no bones, Kind words butter no parsnips."

        1955 1959 1963 1965 1981 1988 2017?

        Comment


        • #5
          Cowtipper summed it up perfectly in the other thread, so I'll just drop this here.

          Originally posted by cowtipper View Post

          I don't understand why there is always discussion about blacks and baseball, like we need a certain level of African Americans in the sport just because we want to look diverse. Black people don't like baseball as much as basketball and football, so they play those sports more. They don't pitch, bummer. Oh well, who cares. I don't understand the underlying thinking that baseball needs some sort of race quota.

          You know, there's hardly any white running backs in the NFL. That must be a travesty, and if it's not, let's make it one.
          My top 10 players:

          1. Babe Ruth
          2. Barry Bonds
          3. Ty Cobb
          4. Ted Williams
          5. Willie Mays
          6. Alex Rodriguez
          7. Hank Aaron
          8. Honus Wagner
          9. Lou Gehrig
          10. Mickey Mantle

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by GiambiJuice View Post
            Cowtipper summed it up perfectly in the other thread, so I'll just drop this here.
            Exactly what I'm disagreeing with, that the interest here is "because we want to look diverse" or "the underlying thinking that baseball needs some sort of race quota." Not my intent in discussing it at all, nor, I suspect, JR Hart's in starting the thread. Is a desire to discuss it automatically a politically-charged event? It's a statistical anomalie if nothing else- statistical anomalies of all kinds seem to interest us- why not this one?
            Found in a fortune cookie On Thursday, August 18th, 2005: "Hard words break no bones, Kind words butter no parsnips."

            1955 1959 1963 1965 1981 1988 2017?

            Comment


            • #7
              I don't have the time or the inclination to research this on Christmas Eve, but are African-American pitchers more under-represented than other positions? I doubt it.
              They call me Mr. Baseball. Not because of my love for the game; because of all the stitches in my head.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by ol' aches and pains View Post
                I don't have the time or the inclination to research this on Christmas Eve, but are African-American pitchers more under-represented than other positions? I doubt it.
                centerfielder is traditionally a "black Position". a lot of Superstars have been black (griffey, mays, puckett...)

                2012 black AL CFers:
                granderson, Upton, Adam jones, Jackson cespedes (ok we learned that latin blacks don't Count), span, brantley

                probably there are more and the NL also has some nice black CFers (kemp, cutch, bourn...) but I did not bother to Count them.

                It Looks like more then half of the CFers right now are black. that is way more then the percentage of SPs.
                I now have my own non commercial blog about training for batspeed and power using my training experience in baseball and track and field.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by ol' aches and pains View Post
                  I don't have the time or the inclination to research this on Christmas Eve, but are African-American pitchers more under-represented than other positions? I doubt it.
                  Catchers and for some reason Third Baseman are pretty rare.
                  Rest in Peace Jose Fernandez (1992-2016)

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    We don't see a lot of black pitchers and catchers for the same reasons why we didn't see black quarterbacks for many years. Pitcher and Catcher positions are thought of as "thinking-man" positions that rely as much on baseball smarts and out-thinking the batter as they do on raw athletic ability. I believe they've overcome this stereotype to some degree in College Football and the NFL but baseball hasn't caught up yet.
                    My top 10 players:

                    1. Babe Ruth
                    2. Barry Bonds
                    3. Ty Cobb
                    4. Ted Williams
                    5. Willie Mays
                    6. Alex Rodriguez
                    7. Hank Aaron
                    8. Honus Wagner
                    9. Lou Gehrig
                    10. Mickey Mantle

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by GiambiJuice View Post
                      We don't see a lot of black pitchers and catchers for the same reasons why we didn't see black quarterbacks for many years. Pitcher and Catcher positions are thought of as "thinking-man" positions that rely as much on baseball smarts and out-thinking the batter as they do on raw athletic ability. I believe they've overcome this stereotype to some degree in College Football and the NFL but baseball hasn't caught up yet.
                      Isn't the catcher's equipment called the "tools of ingnorance?"
                      Strikeouts are boring! Besides that, they're fascist. Throw some ground balls - it's more democratic.-Crash Davis

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by GiambiJuice View Post
                        We don't see a lot of black pitchers and catchers for the same reasons why we didn't see black quarterbacks for many years. Pitcher and Catcher positions are thought of as "thinking-man" positions that rely as much on baseball smarts and out-thinking the batter as they do on raw athletic ability. I believe they've overcome this stereotype to some degree in College Football and the NFL but baseball hasn't caught up yet.
                        That just can't be the reason. If that was the reason, it would have to mean that baseball from college, to the minors and up to MLB does not consider black ballplayers capable of playing positions thought of to be "thinking positions".
                        I don't believe baseball at any level is doing so by design.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Is it possible there is a simple reason, maybe a bigger number of blacks prefer the batter box, the offensive part of the game over pitching.
                          Or is that too simple.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Over the course of the player development stage, players will gravitate towards as well as being guided by coaches to positions that they are good at.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by toomanyhatz View Post
                              The last thread on the subject was locked; not sure why but I'm hoping this one doesn't suffer the same fate. I think there was a misunderstanding that it was some kind of complaint that black pitchers had actively been discouraged somehow, but I don't think anyone suggested such a case.

                              My comment at the time was, that the Negro Leagues had pitchers that could do double duty a lot later than the white major leagues did, and that it may be some sort of carry-over from that. For whatever reason it's clear that blacks are pretty near the top at every other position in baseball history other than pitcher (and, as I also said at the time, 3B, though I have no theories on why that might be other than coincidence).

                              The other thing is, I think there are fewer American baseball players in general than ever before; basketball and football capture young people's attention more and playing football and basketball is more accessible to more people, there simply aren't baseball diamonds everywhere to the degree there are basketball hoops and football fields, or at least open fields that will suffice. That's one thing RBI (Reviving Baseball in Inner cities) is trying to change, it's possible in a decade or so we might actually see more American-born players in general.

                              Disclaimer: this is not an issue I am saying in any way we should be forcing. I simply think it's interesting, and possible reasons behind it are worth discussing.
                              Not buying, that story just keeps rolling along, often repeated.

                              Let me show my age, I lived on the West side of Buffalo long ago. We would often head to the East side, inner city, mostly black.
                              We had less baseball diamonds in the city and even the outskirts than there are today.
                              We played with taped up bats, torn balls, open fields, parking lots any place, day and night.
                              Interest in the black section was great, game were alway going on.
                              So many wanting to play, pick up games, some were left out.
                              There are more diamonds and playgrounds available now. Some playgrounds loan out bats, balls and mitts to use.

                              Times have changed, more black going to football and basketball. It's not neglect or lack of facilities.

                              Comment

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