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The 2022 World Series is upon us and fans of the Houston Astros and the Philadelphia Phillies are surely ready to witness baseball excellence at the highest level. Ahead of the series, an alarming story from one outlet went wide stating that there were no Black players expected to play in the game but further examination proved that the headline was something of an overstatement.
The 2022 World Series will kick off Friday (Oct. 28) at the Phillies stadium but The Hill, a Washington, D.C. media company that focuses primarily on politics, published a tweet stating that no Black players born in the United States will play in the game.
The Associated Press had a more accurate description of the Black players who will play in the World Series, with its headline reading, “No US-born Black players on expected World Series rosters” while noting that this is the first time this has occurred since 1950. It should also be noted that The Hill aggregated the AP’s original story so it should be assumed that the headline was changed there as well.
Whether this is poor wording or just something to illicit a deeper conversation is beyond basic determination but it has seemingly disturbed some. As one person noted, the assumption that only Black people born in America matter ignores the wider scope of the African diaspora.
In the AP’s report, the outlet obtained a quote from Bob Kendrick, the president of the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum in Kansas City, Mo.
“That is eye opening,” Kendrick said. “It is somewhat startling that two cities that have high African American populations, there’s not a single Black player.”
Kendrick continued, “It lets us know there’s obviously a lot of work to be done to create opportunities for Black kids to pursue their dream at the highest level.”
That much is true. The sport is wildly popular across Latin America and in portions of Asia and still enjoys a robust amount of support here in the states. It isn’t known how wide the outreach efforts are made by the MLB to grow the sport in inner cities domestically where Black residents typically dwell.