Back to Black: ’14 World Series is a sure thing

Andrew McCutchen had many reasons to want the Pirates’ postseason run to take them all the way to the World Series, but the most personal one was this:

He hoped to take his desire to positively influence Black American athletes to the most visible of stages.

Cutch won’t be there — but the Black-American presence will be back in the Fall Classic.

Lest you have a so-what’s-new-about-that? reaction to this, remember that the 2013 World Series between the Cardinals and the Red Sox was the first to not have a Black American player swing a bat or throw a pitch since 1950. Think about that — since three years following Jackie Robinson’s erasure of the color line.

The Cards still don’t have a Black player. Neither do the Giants.

But both teams clashing in the ALCS do.

The Royals include outfielders Lorenzo Cain, Jarrod Dyson and Terrance Gore. [And, at the risk of stating the obvious, how wonderfully apt is this on a team that plays its games a few Giancarlo Stanton homers away from the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum?]

The Orioles include center fielder Adam Jones and deluxe pinch-hitter Delmon Young.

We are repeatedly reminded that MLB demographics reflect the steady decline of Black representation in the game. But nothing drove that point home better a year ago than the first World Series in 63 years without a Black player.

That will be a very good page to turn.

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