No US-born Black players in the World Series makes Tony Clark sad

The World Series is being played without any players who were born in the United States for the first time since 1950, according to Tony Clark, the leader of the players’ union, citing decades of neglect by Major League Baseball.

“It is extremely terrible that any young Black player watching these games tonight won’t see someone who resembles them and as a result might decide against continuing to play our beautiful game and moving on to something else, “Clark stated prior to Houston and Philadelphia’s season opener on Friday. “That is depressing and disappointing.

From 1995 to 2009, the 50-year-old Clark played first base in the major leagues, reaching the AL All-Star team in 2001.

When he first began playing, he recalled, “players made sure that Black players on your team and other teams made sure that you were encouraged and supported, realizing that even even at that time, the numbers weren’t as high, so you were less likely in a lot of ways to see someone that looked like you or came from the same place that you did.” Because there weren’t as many of those players left at the end, fewer and fewer of those conversations were held.

In 2013, Clark was appointed the Players’ Association’s first player executive director.

“We did not arrive here overnight. For a very long time, there have been discussions on this subject, he said. Because we didn’t arrive at this location in an overnight, we won’t escape it in an overnight either. But there will be a chance for our game to be greater tomorrow than it was today as long as there are people who are committed to offering opportunities, providing opportunities both on and off the field.

One of only two Black managers is Dusty Baker of Houston, while the only Black executive in charge of baseball operations for a big league team is Kenny Williams of the Chicago White Sox.

According to Clark, management is responsible for increasing the proportion of Black executives in positions of authority.

He said, “I think you should have a conversation with those in those positions as to why that continues to be the case when they 100% have the ability to control who they hire and who they don’t. To the extent that we’ve got only a couple Black coaches, to the extent that we only have a few Black front office staff.

About 30 players, according to Clark, met with MLB representatives in 2006 to discuss what they were observing and what issues needed to be addressed.

He stated, “We’re still talking about the same things we were talking about in 2006, and it’s 2022.” We’re having the same conversation here, 16 years later.

Before Game 1 on Friday night at Minute Maid Park, Houston and Philadelphia each unveiled their 26-man rosters, and neither team had a Black player who was born in the United States. Players of color from the Caribbean, Central America, and South America can be found on both rosters.

Houston’s Black outfielder Michael Brantley will miss the entire season due to a shoulder injury.

Other subjects:

— Clark stated that the union was happy with the 12-team postseason expansion and continued to reject the 14-team proposal made by MLB during winter negotiations.

He said, “I believe it was excellent that we crawled before we walked.”

The first third-place club to make it to the World Series was Philadelphia.

“All kinds of things can happen over the course of the playoffs, over the course of a month,” Clark said. “You may get your foot in the door and lock it in.” Which enhances the fun of our game.

— On Thursday, negotiations between the union and MLB on a CBA for players on minor league contracts got underway.

Before the 2022 season begins, there is a chance to find common ground, according to Clark.

— The union will ask players if they support keeping the rule that stipulates that a runner must start on second base during extra innings of regular-season games, which was accepted as a minor change in 2020 and maintained through 2022.

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