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MLB – 1980 – Boys In The Field – Audrey Kates Addresses The Trend Of Fewer Blacks Involved In MLB

While growing up as a boy in West Texas during the 1950’s and 1960’s…..baseball was definitely KING when it came to popularity of sports…..with football running a fairly close 2nd…..while all other sports were a distant 3rd…..so, this was the period when the most numbers of blacks came into MLB…..especially considering that Jackie Robinson was the 1st to play a game in the Bigs in 1947….which meant that from 1947 to 1969, Major League Baseball saw the largest influx of black ballplayers coming into the league.

As the decade of the 1970’s came along….two major events took place that ended up causing a significantly large number of black athletes to switch to boxing and football…. with the 1st being the emergence of Cassius Clay / Muhammad Ali….after his snatching the heavyweight boxing title from Sonny Liston in 1964….and the merging of the NFL and AFL in 1966…..cuz these two significant moments in time created a demand for live televised events at a time when sports on television was developing a high demand. 

Live television created big money…..and big money drew the best athletes from baseball into boxing and football….which carried over to the NBA from 1975 to 1985…..which gave testament to the fact that MLB started loosing its attractive appeal to the best black athletes.


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