Major League Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig said Tuesday he was organizing a 17-member diversity task force that will investigate and discuss the issues concerning the on-field participation by African Americans in the majors.
“I don’t want to miss any opportunity here,” Selig said. “We want to find out if we’re not doing well, why not, and what we need to do better. We’ll meet as many times as we need to to come to meaningful decisions.
The numbers show that on opening day only 8.5 percent of players on the 25-man MLB rosters were African American, while the World Series champion San Francisco Giants and several other teams had no African Americans on their roster.
According to new research conducted by Mark Armour, from the Society of American Baseball Research, the highest percentage of African Americans playing in the majors was in 1986.
“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?’ “
The diversity task force will have its first meeting in Milwaukee with Dave Dombrowski who is the president of the Detroit Tigers and also serves as the chairman of the committee.
Other committee include: Bernard Muir, the athletic director at Stanford, Frank Marcos, the director of baseball’s scouting bureau, former Mets manager Jerry Manuel and other front office executives.