Jackie Robinson is not only one of the most influential figures in baseball history, but in American history in itself. Seventy years ago on April 15th, 1947, Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier and became the first African-American to play in the Major Leagues. Every year from there on out now is known throughout the baseball community as Jackie Robinson Day, where every player in uniform wears his number, 42. His influence on the world in regards to sports and race is unquestioned as seen in the two tweets below and his legacy will never die. However, as time goes on, more and more people use Jackie Robinson Day as a day to address a serious issue in the baseball world. The lack of African-American’s in the game.
— Dad 2.0 Summit (@dad2summit) April 15, 2017
— The People's Station (@V103Atlanta) April 16, 2016
— BULLET BELT™ (@FastStarts) April 15, 2016
— Heather Hennessy (@realheatherh) April 16, 2016
Baseball is still seen as a white man’s sport, despite all the efforts Jackie Robinson went through to push through the color barrier. About only 7% of baseball players are African-American and a more shocking statistic, only 14 major league pitchers are African-American. There are thirty teams and twenty five players on an active roster, so 14 out of 750 players, or 1.8% are African-American pitchers. Why is this happening?
— Fred Mim (@fred_mim) April 15, 2017
— Tweed Thornton (@Tweed_Thornton) April 15, 2017
One of these reasons is the amount of money baseball requires for potential future big-leaguers to be noticed at the amateur level as well as the college level for recruiting. This brings up the conversation of race and income and the lack of opportunity due to finances. Yet, thanks to Jackie Robinson Day, sportswriter use this opportunity to highlight his legacy, but also the amount of work that needs to be done in order for Jackie Robinson’s dream to fully come true.