Baseball to study declining participation of black players

04/12/2013 5:59 PM ET
By Matt Hughes

President of the Detroit Tigers, Dave Dombrowski, will head the task force assigned to study the declining participation of black players in baseball.(AP)
Major League Baseball has commissioned a study of the declining participation of black players in baseball.

The New York Times reported this week on the new task force created by commissioner Bud Selig to address the recent decline in participation. Only 8.5 percent of the players on Opening Day rosters were African-American, down from a high of 19 percent in 1986.

The 17 person task force will be chaired by Dave Dombrowski, the president of the Detroit Tigers, and will also include former manager New York Mets manager Jerry Manual.

Commissioner Selig expressed his frustration in the recent trend.

"I really think our history is so brilliant when it comes to African-Americans," Selig said. "You think about the late 1940s, the 1950s - wow. And you look at that and you say to yourself, 'Why did it not continue, and what could we do to make sure it does continue?'"

Baseball will celebrate Jackie Robinson day on April 15, commemorating Robinson's historic breakthrough as Major League Baseball's first African-American player. comments