Jackie Robinson’s legacy looms over All-Star Game in LA

by | Jul 18, 2022 | Sports

LOS ANGELES — The legacy of Jackie Robinson showed in Major League Baseball’s draft, with four Black players among the first five selected for the first time in history.Six of the first 18 players chosen as well as nine players taken in the first round are Black. All of them are alumni of MLB’s diversity development programs.That’s considered progress in a sport that has a smaller percentage of Black players now than any year since the early 1990s. “It’s nice to see athletes sticking around after the age of about 12 or 13 continuing to play baseball because we need more of them,” former All-Star shortstop Jimmy Rollins said Monday.But Robinson likely would still not be satisfied.On the 25th anniversary of Robinson breaking baseball’s color barrier with the Brooklyn Dodgers, he criticized MLB for not yet hiring a Black manager or helping Black players establish careers after their playing days ended. Robinson’s comments at the 1972 World Series came in his last public appearance before his death days later at age 53.”Here we are now, 50 years since, we have two Black managers,” said Bob Kendrick, president of the Negro Leagues Museum in Kansas City, Missouri, citing Dave Roberts of the Los Angeles Dodgers and Dusty Baker of the Houston Astros.“Naturally, he would be disappointed because he wouldn’t see the things that he and others had fought so diligently for, to create opportunities,” Kendrick said of Robi …

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