Saturday, June 03, 2006

What does Baseball have to do with Privilege?

Diversity Inc. sparked my thought process on the privilege of baseball with an article called, “Where Are All the Black Baseball Players?”

Back in history, baseball was a piece of the American Pie, but today it is on the fast track to becoming a privilege sport. As I was growing up, baseball was an everyday word, activity and necessity. Everyone on my block got together daily to play the game. If we had individual team practice we played as a whole neighborhood when we got home. The game was part of us. The game was fair and the game equipment easily available for pennies on the dollar. Everyone had a glove and we all shared the bats and balls.

In my opinion, the American spirit of baseball died in 1979 with the strikes and money greed! No need to unbury the hatchet.

Today, my son plays baseball as an incoming high school freshman. Below is my son’s equipment list to play the sport.

Equipment Needed to Play Ball

  1. A First Baseman’s Glove: Rawlings $29.00 to $200.00 plus
  2. A Pitcher’s Glove: $29.00 to $200.00 plus
  3. A DeMarini Vexxum -8.5 Bat: Baseball Bat: $179.00 to $379.00 plus
  4. Akadema Cleats: $90.00 plus
  5. Batting Gloves: $20.00 Plus
  6. Crotch Cups: $20.00 Plus
  7. Bat/Equipment Bag: $30.00
  8. Travel Costs to other parks (Vehicle, fuel, wear and tear)
  9. Uniform Costs:

Additional Costs: How Bad do You Desire to Play?

  1. City league costs: $100.00 per season
  2. USSSA Baseball Leagues: $500.00 Plus with weekly travel costs.
  3. Professional Coaching: $25.00 plus per 30 minute session
  4. Tournament Fees/Costs
  5. Hotel Fees
  6. Food Costs
  7. Coaches Fees


What is the real hard issue at stake? How do we keep Latin, Central and South American players from devouring our beloved sport of baseball? These international players are driven with an unusual passion. Life survival depends upon the individual’s success. How does a poor family rise above poverty? One way to rise above poverty is to have their son out perform everyone else out of a life requirement to survive, out of pure love for the game, for baseball, but most of all, their family.

How does America Combat the Rising Latin American, Central American, South American and Caribbean Superstars?

America changes the rules. What is at stake? Will Americans from the U.S. continue to support a game where most can not even spell or say the name of the new players? By changing the old rules, new rules will increase the costs of playing the game. Increasing costs will decrease the number of economically challenged individual’s and their ability to compete at the same level. By scientifically studying successful ball players of the past and present, we see that there is a scientific method to being a strong hitter, pitcher and all around player (steroids is not the only answer).

Socioeconomic Impact of Change?

Socioeconomic impacts include new innovations and technologies in baseball equipment and instruction, driving the sport of baseball to become a privilege sport. Most American families, regardless of ethnicity, can not afford to compete in baseball financially under the new rules and requirements of the game. These new financial constraints regarding technology and professional coaching, has changed our American social attitude and norms regarding the sport. In specific cases, socioeconomics issues will necessitate identifying and understanding the cultural impact of these changes, the before and the after consequence of the intervention. Every action has a reaction and this can be positive and/or negative.

In closing, baseball has joined the ranks of golf, la cross, rowing, polo, fencing and other privilege sports and there is not much any of us red blooded Americans can do to stop it. The game is gone! Basketball and soccer remain as two sports with fairly reasonable equipment costs, but they are next. Continual improvement drives new innovations. Technology and politics work closely together to change the world as we know it. Don’t get left behind!

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