Baseball Economics: Current Research

By John Fizel; Elizabeth Gustafson et al. | Go to book overview
Save to active project

Positional Segregation in Major League Baseball: 1961-1990

Eric Eideand Daraius Irani


Studies analyzing discrimination in major league baseball have found strong evidence that black and white players are segregated in the types of positions they play, with white players heavily represented at leadership positions such as pitcher and catcher and black players largely relegated to nonleadership positions such as outfield [ Pascal and Rapping ( 1972); Scully ( 1974b, 1989); Hill and Spellman ( 1984); Medoff ( 1986a); Christiano ( 1988)]. For example, Scully ( 1974b) found that in 1971, 62 percent of outfield positions were filled by blacks while only about 9 percent of pitchers were black. Medoff ( 1986a) found that in 1984, 70 percent of outfield positions were filled by black players, while blacks comprised only 13 percent of pitchers.

The overrepresentation or underrepresentation of black players relative to white players at each position is a type of occupational segregation specific to professional sports and is known as positional segregation. 1 The existence of positional segregation in major league baseball may be indicative of unequal treatment of equally able players based on the player's race, and hence it is deserving of closer examination. Further, some studies have suggested that players in leadership positions receive more endorsements during their careers and are also more likely to be coaches and managers after retiring [ Schneider and Eitzen ( 1986); Scully ( 1989)]. Black players may therefore be put at an earnings disadvantage both during and after their careers by being segregated into nonleadership positions.

In this chapter we identify annual positional segregation trends between black and white players in major league baseball from 1961 to 1990 and examine potential explanations for the trends. Our approach has two advantages over previous studies. First, the extensive time span of our data provides a more comprehensive view of positional segregation than currently is available and allows previous results based on selected years of data to be interpreted within


Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Cite this page

Cited page

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Baseball Economics: Current Research
Table of contents

Table of contents



Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen
/ 230

matching results for page

Cited passage

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?