Major League Baseball was lily white, both for players and managers, until Jackie Robinson left the Black Leagues to join the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1947.
How much progress has been made towards the goal of diversity since then? It's not enough.
A new report from the Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sport at the University of Central Florida shows that Major League Baseball could still improve somewhat when it comes to hiring people of color and women in management positions.
The "Report on Racial and Gender Qualifications of Major League Baseball 2016" gave the teams an "A" on racial hiring practices and an overall "B" rating. Some of the lowest scores were the gender hiring practices, where the teams obtained a "C +" for management positions, "C" for the administration of high-level teams and professional management, and an "F" for the vice-presidents.
The most important questions asked in the annual report are: "Are we playing fair when it comes to sports?" and "Does everyone, regardless of race or gender, have the opportunity to play or operate a team?"
In the 2015 draft, nine of the 36 players recruited, or 25 percent, they were black. The 2016 season began with only three color managers, of 30 teams. The highest points came in 2002 and 2009, when there were ten managers. There are four general managers of color, below a historical maximum of five.
Women, meanwhile, occupied less than 30 percent of the professional positions in the Central Office. In addition, the report noted: "There have been no women who have served as team presidents since Pam Gardner left that position with the Houston Astros in 2011."
According to Dr. Richard Lapchick, author of the report, "In the years since Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier in 1947, his vision was to see several players on the field reflecting various coaches and those in the main office."
Lapchick adds: "The team's headquarters must continue to strive to create a workforce that reflects the United States."
We hope Jackie Robinson's vision for Major League Baseball, both on and off the field, becomes a reality.
Peace, love, compassion and blessings.