Baseball fans across the country should be dancing in the streets. Major League Baseball's head honcho, Bud Selig, will finally retire. Last week, Selig announced he's calling it quits after 22 years of driving America's pastime into the ground.
He leaves behind a tarnished legacy.
Under the 79-year-old Milwaukee-born commissioner's watch, the 1994 World Series was cancelled, Congress investigated rampant steroid use by star players, and slumlord owners have destroyed franchises. He's acted like a dictator — from denying the New York Mets the privilege of honoring 9/11 heroes on the tenth anniversary of the attacks to sending the Los Angeles Dodgers into bankruptcy to force a change in owners.
Bud Selig Sold Out Blacks
But Selig's biggest failure has been driving African-Americans out of MLB. That should be on his tombstone. When this season began, black players accounted for only 7 percent of the opening-day rosters, a historic low. It's gotten so bad that Selig put together a 17-member task force, including Hall of Fame great Frank Robinson, to study how to bring back black ballplayers.
Selig is feeling the heat. He allowed team owners to abandon inner-city neighborhoods for the Caribbean and Latin America, where franchises can land players who look and play like Hank Aaron, Vida Blue, Mookie Wilson, Darryl Strawberry, Ken Griffey Jr., Deion Sanders, Kirby Puckett, and other past African-American All-Stars. Unlike the National Football League, MLB doesn't invest resources and money into developing African-American high school athletes.
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For instance, University of Louisville quarterback Teddy Bridgewater and Florida State University running back Devonta Freeman were exceptional baseball players for the Liberty City All-Stars, which is one of the top programs in the nation. Teddy and Devonta could have been two-sport stars like Sanders, who also played pro football.
If Selig really cared about the lack of African-American representation in the big leagues, he would mandate that every team support little-league clubs and high school teams in places such as Overtown, Brownsville, Liberty City, and Miami Gardens.
Selig doesn't need a task force to tell him what went wrong.
Follow Luke on Twitter: @unclelukereal1.