All Articles Tagged "baseball players"
Though there aren’t many black players in baseball nowadays, there are still many who still play the game. Thanks to the popularity of shows like Basketball Wives, VH1 just produced the show Baseball Wives. However there aren’t any black wives starring on the show. Here is a list of the women behind some of the major baseball players that you may or may not know.
After Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier in professional baseball, African-Americans continued to excel in the field for many years — but are dwindling in numbers today. What was once America’s greatest pastime spawned Hall of Famers like Roy Campanella, Hank Aaron and Willie Mays, plus many other great African-American legends. But despite this rich history, black youth today are focused more on the glitzy trappings of football and basketball. Their synergies with hip-hop have led young African-Americans away from baseball, known for its more conservative crowd. This decline in interest has contributed to the fact that there are fewer black American baseball players than ever. The Boston Globe reports:
We’re always a bit surprised when a young baseball prospect turns out to be African-American.
“It hurts, it really does, to see the decline of the sport,’’ says San Diego Padres second baseman Orlando Hudson, one of the dwindling number of African-American major league players. “To think that our baseball ancestors put up such great numbers and stood for so much and how much they went through in this great game.’’
Once upon a time, baseball was the city game, for all races. There was always a field or lot somewhere. Playing baseball was a standard way of life. It can easily be argued that, in the first 50 or 60 years of the 20th century, baseball was, by far, the most popular sport for African-Americans.
“I’ve had kids come up to me and ask why I’m playing that white man’s game,’’ sighs Hudson.
Hudson works to reverse this trend through his program Around the Mound, which promotes baseball to inner city youth. But the competition to gain interest in baseball’s slow-paced game is rough. Training for baseball emphasizes slow growth over the exciting expression of raw talent witnessed in the NBA. African-American kids are enchanted by the prospect of breaking into basketball right out of high school using innate skills. And very few baseball luminaries receive the massive contracts offered to the brightest of the NFL. By comparison the understated life of a baseball player seems unappealing.
But playing baseball over more flashy sports has it’s advantages. According to Hudson, “We make the most money,” and the sport is far less damaging to the body. The overall quality of life for the players is better, as they receive daily perks like better food in their club houses. Ironically, baseball is less glamorous, but is considered the preferred deal both financially and personally by professional athletes. It would be a shame for black American players to miss out.
Worse than African-American athletes turning down a better way of life would be seeing our pioneering legacy in baseball die. Black Americans made inroads into the sport so that players who are Dominican or Asian would not have to face the same racial barriers we did. Following in the footsteps of African-American greats who battled their way to the mound is an opportunity our youth are entitled to enjoy. Baseball is not “the white man’s game.” We paid the price to make it ours, too.
(ESPN) — IT WAS THE KIND of sweltering Columbia, S.C., day Corey Jenkins usually spent bringing folks to their feet, legging out a double or snaring a line drive. But on this afternoon, June 1, 1995, the 18-year-old star was earning an ovation at Dreher High’s graduation. After the ceremony, as he made his way through the throng in the Carolina Coliseum, Corey saw James Brown, one of his agents. “The Red Sox took you in the first round,” Brown said. The good news for Jenkins was better news for Brown. He and Darnell Jones, his partner at Summit Management, had big plans for Corey and his cash.
WAIT. STOP. Excuse us as we stand on the brakes and screech to a halt. We’re not going to tell one more story about how quickly and horribly things can go wrong for a young athlete. We could, of course: Jenkins is still putting his life back together, nearly 20 years after he first met Brown and Jones. But you already know athletes get scammed all the time. Michael Vick wasduped while he was facing dogfighting charges and again while he was in Leavenworth. Scottie Pippen just held a giant yard sale after losing much of his $100 million in career earnings to bad investments. John Elway sank $15 million into a hedge-fund Ponzi scheme.
A full rogues’ gallery of shady agents and financial advisers have populated sports pages over the years: Luigi DiFonzo, Marc Dreier, Robert Allen Stanford, Triton Financial, Kirk Wright. And the big picture never seems to change: In 2009, Sports Illustrated found 78 percent of NFLers were either bankrupt or under severe financial stress within two years of retirement, and 60 percent of NBA players were bankrupt within five. In 2002, U.S. News & World Report reported that 78 NFL players had been defrauded of a combined $42 million over the previous three years.