The Moore American

Sports

June 25, 2014

African-Americans continue to turn away from baseball

NORMAN — Antoine Lester Sr. grew up playing baseball. From the age of 9 until his stint with the Little Rock Braves, the Arkansas native had a bat and ball in his hands.

Back then, Lester said the game was full of great African-American athletes. More than two decades later, he looks around the landscape and sees the numbers dwindling down more and more. During last weeks Heartland Classic, he counted four total black players in seven teams from around the country. That included his son, Antoine Lester II.

“When I was coming up playing, that’s all that played the game,” Lester Sr. said. “Now it’s few and far now. It does disappoint me because I know there are more out here that love the game than that’s playing the game. I hate it. We can play the game. I just wish there were more African-Americans playing the game.”

The lack of black players in baseball has been an issue in the professional ranks for several years. According to the league, only 8.3 percent of players on 2014 opening day rosters identified themselves as African-American or black.

But according to some players, that is not the case in youth baseball where they believe black players are making a resurgence.

“I see it more and more every year,” Team Arkansas’ Danny Mitchell said. “I’m loving it. It’s good to see a brother playing baseball because you used to never see them. Most of the time they are good. So I’m glad to see them coming into it more and more.”

However, once kids get to the high school ranks, they start picking which sports they want to focus on. At that time, baseball starts to take a backseat to football and basketball.

“I have a friend who plays football,” Lester Jr. said. “He said the reason he doesn’t like to play baseball is because you can’t go pro. They always think about going pro, then think about education. I think more blacks is good. It would show we can do the same thing as others.”

Text Only
Sports
  • Bell built to be tight end

    The question came quickly to Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops. Are there any plans to use Blake Bell at quarterback — in some capacity? “T

    July 30, 2014

  • Preliminary ADM released

    The Oklahoma Secondary School Activities Association released the preliminary 2014-15 ADM for classification purposes Friday and no

    July 30, 2014

  • OU deals with appeals, uniforms and Alabama

    DALLAS — Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops said an appeal is in the works to try to get wide receiver Dorial Green-Beckham eligible this season.

    July 30, 2014

  • What’s coming up

    Brown has qualified: Freshman offensive tackle Orlando Brown, Jr., has qualified academically and is on his way to Norman.

    July 30, 2014

  • Redskins not only nickname to cause stir

    Daniel Snyder has come under fire for refusing to change the mascot of his NFL team, the Washington Redskins. The franchise has been called the Redskins since 1933.

    July 30, 2014

  • Lawyer says athlete who hit woman in face acted in self-defense

    The attorney for Oklahoma running back Joe Mixon says the incident that left a 20-year-old female OU student with multiple facial f

    July 30, 2014

  • Castiglione takes over chairman

    Oklahoma athletic director Joe Castiglione has been named chairman of the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Committee for the 2015-16 academic year.

    July 23, 2014

  • Sooners top preseason poll

    Oklahoma will start the season as the overwhelming favorite to win the Big 12 Conference.

    July 23, 2014

  • Major storylines heading into new season

    The Big 12 Conference Media Days took place Monday and Tuesday at the Dallas Omni Hotel. The two day event elicited far more questi

    July 23, 2014

  • Working to get back

    The high school fast pitch season is set to kick-off in the next few weeks. While all three area teams head into the year with designs on winning the state title, Moore may have the most motivation.

    July 22, 2014

Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide