Major League Baseball (MLB) is the highest level of professional baseball in the United States and Canada, featuring the best teams and players in the world. The sport has a long and illustrious history, dating back to the late 19th century. With its long history comes a rich and diverse representation of cultures and backgrounds, making MLB one of the most diverse professional sports leagues in the world. In this article, we will explore the racial makeup of Major League Baseball and how it has changed over the years.
A Brief History of MLB
MLB was founded in 1869, when the Cincinnati Red Stockings became the first professional baseball team. Over the next few decades, the league slowly expanded and began to take shape, eventually leading to the formation of the American and National Leagues in 1901. Since then, the league has grown to 30 teams, with a total of 394 players.
The Racial Makeup of MLB
The racial makeup of MLB has changed dramatically over the years. As of 2020, the league is made up of roughly 60% white players, 18% Latin American players, 9% African American players, 8% Asian American players, and 5% players of other backgrounds. This is a far cry from the early years of the league, when white players made up the vast majority of the league.
A Closer Look at the Racial Makeup of MLB
White players have always been the majority in MLB, though their numbers have steadily declined over the years. In 2020, there were roughly 230 white players in the league, making up about 60% of the total player population. The majority of these players were born in the United States, with a small number coming from Canada, Europe, and Latin America.
Latin American Players
Latin American players have become a major force in MLB in recent years. As of 2020, there were roughly 71 Latin American players in the league, making up 18% of the total player population. The majority of these players come from the Dominican Republic, followed by Venezuela and Cuba. Latin American players are known for their power, speed, and athleticism, and they have become an integral part of MLB over the past few decades.
African American Players
African American players have been a part of MLB since the late 19th century, though their numbers have dwindled in recent years. In 2020, there were roughly 35 African American players in the league, making up 9% of the total player population. The majority of these players come from the United States, though there are a few who were born in Canada and the Caribbean. African American players are known for their power and speed, as well as their ability to play multiple positions.
Asian American Players
Asian American players have become an increasingly visible part of MLB in recent years. As of 2020, there were roughly 32 Asian American players in the league, making up 8% of the total player population. The majority of these players come from Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan, though there are a few who were born in other Asian countries. Asian American players are known for their discipline and technique, as well as their ability to play multiple positions.
Players of other races have always been a part of MLB, though their numbers are small. In 2020, there were roughly 20 players in the league from other backgrounds, making up 5% of the total player population. These players come from a variety of backgrounds, including Native American, Middle Eastern, and Pacific Islander.
MLB’s Racial Diversity
While the racial makeup of MLB has changed dramatically over the years, the league still has a long way to go in terms of diversity. Despite the fact that the league is made up of a variety of different backgrounds, the number of African American players has decreased over the years, while the number of Latin American and Asian American players has increased. The lack of racial diversity in the league has been a major issue, and it is something that MLB has been actively trying to address in recent years.
MLB’s Efforts to Increase Racial Diversity
MLB has taken a number of steps to increase its racial diversity, including:
- Creating a Minor League Diversity Task Force – In 2019, MLB created a Minor League Diversity Task Force to help create a more diverse and inclusive environment for players, coaches, and umpires.
- Establishing a Diversity Fellowship Program – MLB also established a Diversity Fellowship Program in 2019 to provide opportunities for minorities to gain experience in the baseball industry.
- Launching the RBI Program – MLB launched the RBI (Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities) Program in 1989 to help promote baseball in underprivileged areas.
These efforts have been largely successful, leading to an increase in the number of African American, Latin American, and Asian American players in the league.
The racial makeup of MLB has changed dramatically over the years, with white players now making up the minority of the league. While this is a positive step forward, there is still much work to be done in terms of increasing racial diversity in the league. MLB has taken a number of steps to address this issue, and hopefully these efforts will lead to a more diverse and inclusive environment in the years to come.