If you haven’t already, over the next few days you’re going to read a whole lot about how there are less African-Americans playing baseball in the United States today than at any time in the last 30 years. That’s true. But there are also less people playing the game than at any point in the last 50 years.
And that’s not a bad thing.
The days where everyone is playing every sport have long transitioned into young athletes choosing a sport and working their asses off to be the best at it. Perfectionism has trumped variety.
Within the first few paragraphs of most articles written about the lack of blacks playing baseball, it is almost guaranteed that basketball –and its affordability- will come up. At the surface, yes, basketball is cheaper to play. But ask a middle of the road player, one that’s not a stud and one that’s not only there because his parents have money, how inexpensive AAU basketball is.
This has less to do with money than people think.
The real factor is that most sports, particularly basketball, have become summer sports. If you want to play at a high level, it’s not very easy to play two sports in the same season. Baseball no longer has a stranglehold on June and July.
The benefit to this is that young athletes that are especially talented are putting far more time and effort into their sport of choice.
That makes them better at their respective sport.
And I can’t see anything wrong with that.