Infographic: The Changing Face of American Baseball

Here’s a good, and important, infographic from the Huffington Post that takes a look at the racial makeup of Major League Baseball.  Jackie Robinson may have broken the color barrier in 1947, but as the graphic points out, that didn’t change the economic barriers to playing baseball.  And, let’s be honest, this is an expensive sport.  On the other hand, Robinson’s debut into the majors did also open the doors for Latinos in the MLB, and given the talent it has introduced, this is definitely a great thing.


7 Comments on “Infographic: The Changing Face of American Baseball”

  1. Jay Pines says:

    I like this article but I would disagree with their price analysis. They seem to be extremely inflating the cost of playing baseball. For example you can buy a bat for $50 to $100, and especially in younger leagues, you wouldn’t have to buy your own helmet.

    • That’s true, it seems awfully high, though I actually think the listed price for cleats is low. But looks like they based the prices on what they found on, so they weren’t just arbitrarily made up. Regardless, the point isn’t the individual prices but rather the comparison of the cost to play baseball as opposed to other sports. I would argue that I could find a pair of basketball shoes for a helluva lot less than $95, and I’ve seen mouth guards for as little as $3-4. But again, that’s not the point. At the end of the day, baseball requires more equipment, especially the further along you go. For example, by the time I got to high school, I and most of my teammates were aware enough of hygiene, lice, etc. that we had no interest in sharing helmets. More equipment is going to cost more money. I do think the difference between football and baseball isn’t as drastic as they make it out to be, but I completely believe basketball is the cheapest of the three. And the bit about NCAA scholarships is especially huge.

      • Jay Pines says:

        Ya I would agree with everything you said. First thing I thought was that the cleats were too low. I think a lot of the demographics relation also has to do with where you live. In a city, it’s harder to find a big open field to play ball in anytime you want, but easy to find a set of hoops. In a rural area, you have plenty of open fields, but hard to come by a decent basketball court. Interesting they don’t mention soccer, which is both relatively cheap and heavily numbered by white demographics (from what I’ve seen) despite being the most popular sport worldwide and popular between both sexes. However, it would make sense in the urban vs. rural space thesis.

        • Agreed, geography has a lot to do with it, which they don’t seem to touch on. Now that you bring it up, soccer does seem like a glaring omission, and I’m curious as to why that is. Maybe they wanted to focus solely on the top three? Who knows.

          • Jay Pines says:

            I’m not sure. I would actually be very curious to see it because it seems, of American born, it is mostly played by white demographics. But in areas with high immigrant populations, you do see a much more diverse demographic. Maybe the data just didn’t seem to fit anywhere for the article. Oh well. Where I grew up, we liked all of the top three. And if you wanted to play, you’d find the money to do it. And if you had the skill, the coach would make sure he got you on the team no matter what.

  2. wkkortas says:

    The soccer notion is interesting, and I would be willing to bet you that inside 30 years it will eclipse baseball in popularity in the U.S.

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