Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Progress Major Leagues Take Strides for Minorities, Women

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Progress Major Leagues Take Strides for Minorities, Women

Article excerpt

Major League Baseball's taken a battering for its record on hiring blacks and other minorities.

It happened when the Los Angeles Dodgers former vice president Al Campanis commented in 1987 that blacks lacked the "necessities" to be baseball managers and front-office executives.

When Cincinnati Reds owner Marge Schott uttered her racist remarks in 1992 resulting in her suspension from baseball.

Again, when the Rev. Jesse Jackson protested the hiring shortcoming outside Camden Yards on opening day 1993.

Instead of taking the pummeling, MLB mustered the gumption to deal with the issue.

A few years ago, it hired the firm of Alexander & Associates Inc. to act as consultants, to move along the hiring of minorities. And in September 1992, it set up an Equal Opportunity Committee.

The committee consists of owners from several major league teams. And it committed itself to major-league change in seven areas.


Use of minority- and female-run firms.

Encouraging non-minority firms to be affirmative in hiring and subcontracting.

Ownership and boards of directors.

Employee education.


Community affairs.

At the recent baseball owners meeting in, of all places, Cincinnati, the committee issued its latest progress report.

The bottom line: MLB hasn't struck out on the hiring front, but neither has it hit a homer. Let's call it a double.

Since 1987, minority employment in the teams' front-offices has jumped from 2 percent to 17 percent.

Among the on-field staff (managers, trainers, scouts, coaches and instructors), blacks hold 7 percent of those jobs compared to 14 for Hispanics and .5 percent for Asians.

MLB has five managers who are minorities: Felipe Alou of the Montreal Expos, Dusty Baker of the San Francisco Giants, Don Baylor of the Colorado Rockies, Cito Gaston of the Toronto Blue Jays and Hal McRae Sr. of the Kansas City Royals.

Baseball can brag that Leonard Coleman, National League president, is the second African-American to lead a professional sports league. …

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